The Los Angeles Angels got just about everything they could have possibly wanted from Shohei Ohtani in his 2021 pitching debut. On the mound, Ohtani went 4.2 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run while striking out seven batters and walking five.
At the plate, Ohtani went 1-for-3 with a huge first inning home run that traveled 451 feet. Ohtani became the first player since 1903 to pitch and bat second in the same game, and he did not disappoint in either facet. However, his night came to an abrupt end when a hectic play at the plate caused him to take a hard fall from a Jose Abreu slide.
He left the game as a pitcher and a hitter after that moment, but said he feels fine after the game, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I feel fine as of now,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “When the collision happened at home plate, the impact was kinda big. I couldn’t get up right away. After time, I’m feeling better.”
To ease the worries of Angels fans, Ohtani ensured that the fall wasn’t as bad as it looked in the moment given he used Abreu as a cushion.
“I can’t really pinpoint where he exactly hit me but he took my legs out basically,” Ohtani said. “I’m guessing it’s somewhere around my calf. When I landed on him, he was kind of he was like a cushion for me. So the impact wasn’t as bad as it looked.”
“I think what he did today and that’s four in a row and then double-duty tonight, I’m definitely gonna pass on him tomorrow,” Maddon said. “But I think he’d available to pinch-hit.”
Ohtani did not get the win on Sunday, but his contributions absolutely were among the main reasons the Angels were able to get a 3-1 series win over the Chicago White Sox. Even though he struggled to get the final out of the fifth inning, leading to the play that eventually knocked him out of the game at the plate, he was still remarkable.
With Ohtani out of the lineup on Monday, it will likely give the Angels a chance to see Albert Pujols at the designated hitter spot with Sunday night’s walk-off hero Jared Walsh at first base. Ohtani will hopefully be back for Tuesday’s game against the Astros.
Walsh becomes late night hero in win over White Sox
The Angels made a series of defensive miscues that led to four unearned runs by the White Sox. However, in the bottom of the ninth, they still had a chance to win the game tied at 4. With two men on and one out, Walsh was at the plate trying to bring the winning run home.
He did so in dramatic fashion, hitting his second home run of the game to dead center field, giving the Halos a 7-4 win and a 3-1 series win.