The Los Angeles Angels completed their three-game set against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. And although they were ultimately swept by their AL West opponent, there were several top tier performances throughout the series, including Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday.
Ohtani went 4-for-5 in the series finale, including a home run, a triple, four RBIs, and two runs scored. It was easily one of his best offensive games of the season, as he finished just a double shy of the cycle. He was directly responsible for the Angels’ seven-run output.
However, the Angels lost 11-7, as Touki Toussaint (4 ER, 2.2 IP), Mike Mayers (5 ER, 5.1 IP), and Jaime Barria (2 ER, 1.0 IP) all struggled. But after the game, the discussion remained laser-focused on Ohtani.
Toussaint spoke about Ohtani’s skillset, speaking from the perspective of a pitcher who used to hit in the National League, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He’s one of a kind,” said right-hander Touki Toussaint, who gave up four runs over 2 2/3 innings and got the loss. “You don’t see that. I’ve hit in the National League and it’s not easy. But he makes it look easy.”
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin went into detail on how Ohtani was able to be so successful despite being pitched around due to lack of depth in the lineup.
“He had a great day, and has been swinging it good,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “He took advantage of some defensive positioning, and understands what he’s got to do with runners on base.”
At this point, there is very little Ohtani could do that would be a surprise. He has shown — on multiple occasions — that he is capable of just about any feat baseball has in existence. He even set himself another record on Wednesday with his triple.
He became just the second player to debut in 1920 or later to have 20 or more career triples and 20 or more career wins as a pitcher. Johnny Cooney had 26 triples and 34 wins between 1921 and 1944.
Ohtani has now also re-entered the stratosphere of his offensive production from 2021. He is slashing .265/.356/.519 for an OPS of .875. It’s the highest his OPS has been all season, and brings him within 100 points of his .965 OPS in 2021.
Mike Trout likely to return to lineup Friday
All indications are pointing to Mike Trout making a return to the Angels lineup for their series opener against the Detroit Tigers on Friday. After two weeks in a row of successful steps forward in his recovery, he felt that he was completely pain-free and ready to get back to the plate.