On Wednesday night, Los Angeles Angels found themselves in a position they have never been in before. Shohei Ohtani was supposed to put together another electrifying performance after hitting three home runs the previous two nights. Instead, he had the worst outing of his entire Major League career.
After giving up four walks, a hit-by-pitch, and two singles, Ohtani was removed from the game with the bases loaded and four runs allowed. Aaron Slegers then allowed a bases-clearing double, bringing Ohtani’s earned run total on the night to seven, the highest number of his entire career.
Despite a 7-2 deficit having been created, the Angels fought all the way back through two rain delays to win the game 11-8. This included a seven-run ninth inning and a game-tying grand slam by Jared Walsh. Ohtani credited his teammates for picking him up after a bad night on the mound, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“The postgame high-fives were the loudest and most exciting of the year, by far,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “That’s for sure. I didn’t have the results I wanted, but the team picked me up. All the pitchers and all the hitters.”
Ohtani tried to figure out what went wrong after the game, saying that it wasn’t mental or physical, but rather a simple lack of command.
“I didn’t really feel the pressure of Yankee Stadium because I hit the last two days,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “As far as pitching, my body felt great, but it was letting the ball get away, kind of yanking it. It was a command issue.”
All starters have bad nights from time to time. It speaks to the incredible nature of Ohtani’s game that when something like this happens, fans are left stunned. By this point, people are just used to seeing Ohtani go out and do something incredible.
Now, he’ll have some time to recalibrate while returning home to Anaheim, where the Angels have a six-game home stand against two American League East opponents.
Angels-Yankees series finale postponed due to weather
The Angels and Yankees were slated to play a four-game set, but the weather in the Bronx did not let up from Wednesday’s rain delays. The game has been postponed and will be rescheduled for August 16. For now, the Angels can chalk this up as a three-game series win.