The Los Angeles Angels came into Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres reeling. Injuries had knocked most of their pitching staff out of commission, and the team had lost six of their previous seven games, including a night in which Shohei Ohtani pitched.
Things only looked worse in the first inning of the series finale against the Padres, when Ohtani took a 93 mph fastball to his hand. The umpire ruled that he swung on the play, leading to a strikeout. Ohtani would stay in the game despite concern at Angel Stadium.
Not only would he stay in, he wound up scoring two of the Angels’ 10 runs in a 10-2 victory over San Diego. It brought them to 64-67, with Ohtani being the main concern after the game.
The Angels two-way star had an X-ray immediately following the win and will be monitored during tomorrow’s off day and Monday before he’s scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
Shohei Ohtani had an x-ray on his hand after being hit by a pitch but the results came back negative. So he's on track to start on Tuesday against the Yankees but the Angels will monitor his soreness in the coming days. They have a rare Sunday off-day tomorrow.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 29, 2021
With the good news that the X-rays were negative, the Angels can focus on the numerous positives to come out of Saturday’s win. Joe Maddon was particularly happy with his relief crew, one that had struggled mightily over the past week, via Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“The bullpen was very good,” Maddon said. “Everyone that came out of the ‘pen was outstanding. Up and down the lineup, I thought we had great at-bats.”
Andrew Wantz, Junior Guerra, Steve Cishek, and Raisel Iglesias combined to pitch 5.1 shutout innings after yet another short start, this time by Jose Suarez. Suarez went just 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks.
Now, the Angels will get their first off-day on a Sunday in the franchise’s history, and it feels like it couldn’t have come at a better time. They’ll start a home set against the New York Yankees on Monday, hopefully with a fully healthy Ohtani.
Packy Naughton provides bright spot
While Saturday night was mostly smiles for the Angels, Friday night was the opposite story. They lost 5-0 to the Padres with Triple-A pitcher Cooper Criswell forced to make a spot start. He struggled, but Packy Naughton did not, giving up zero earned runs over 4.1 innings of work.