The Los Angeles Angels have been in a state of flux over the last month despite a star-studded roster, and that was on display again as the incredible talent from two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani was flashed on Tuesday night in a loss against the Kansas City Royals.
Ohtani hit two home runs and became the first player born in Japan to have 8 RBI in a game in MLB history. He also became the eighth player in Angels history to achieve that feat.
His ninth-inning three-run home run tied the game and left the bat with an exit velocity of 113.5 mph and was Ohtani’s 15th long ball of the season. The reigning MVP tallied his 100th career home run in mid-May and is now up to 108 after slugging two on Tuesday night.
Unfortunately for Ohtani and the Angels, his accolades come at a frustrating time for the team, but his 8 RBI game was a culmination of continued work, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“There were a lot of emotions going back and forth with the way the game transpired, but it was a great performance from him tonight,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “I mentioned it a couple days ago he was so close, his at-bats in Seattle were as close as I had seen him to getting into a groove. And the two he hit, they were big. I mean, they were huge.”
At the plate, Ohtani has posted a wRC+ of 145 since June 2, and over that stretch, he has just 13 RBI, eight of which came on Tuesday. His average exit velocity puts him in the top 4% in MLB and his xwOBA ranks in the 93rd percentile.
The loss put the Angels at 33-38 and remain 11 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West. In a game when the offense scored 11 runs, they should win the game, but their pitching could quiet the hot-hitting Royals:
“That’s a tough one,” Ohtani said after the loss through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “Obviously, the home run at-bats were good, but I feel like I could have done a better job on the two sac fly at-bats. The results could have been different if I came up with big hits there, so that is something I can improve upon.”
The Angels had an opportunity in the 11th with runners on the corners with nobody out, but Mike Trout and Ohtani didn’t provide one more big swing.
The 12-11 loss became just the fifth time in MLB history that a single player had eight or more RBI in a game his team lost. It’s also the second time that’s happened in Angels’ history (Lee Thomas, 1961).
Trout 3rd overall in All-Star voting
MLB announced the All-Star Game voting update on Tuesday, and the Angels’ nine-time All-Star Trout ranks second in the American League and third in the Majors with 1,295,854 votes.
With a ninth starting assignment, Trout would become the eighth player in AL history to earn nine fan elections with one club, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (Baltimore Orioles, 17); George Brett (Kansas City Royals, 11); Ken Griffey Jr. (Seattle Mariners, 10); Rod Carew (Minnesota Twins, 9); Derek Jeter (New York Yankees, 9); Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners, 9) and Iván Rodríguez (Texas Rangers, 9).
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