LA Angels News

Ranking Shohei Ohtani’s Top 5 Games From His Rookie Year

By Vincent Page
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the mound and reacts after striking out Marcus Semien #10 of the Oakland Athletics for the final out of the fifth inning of a Major League baseball game at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the mound and reacts after striking out Marcus Semien #10 of the Oakland Athletics for the final out of the fifth inning of a Major League baseball game at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Saturday night, Shohei Ohtani formally accepted his award for American League Rookie of the Year. In honor of that, let’s take a look at the Japanese phenom’s best games from his historical 2018 season.

#5: Shohei Ohtani Makes His Debut

The first time Shohei Ohtani took the mound against the Oakland Athletics, it was just about as well as Halo fans could have hoped for. After a Spring Training season where Ohtani was absolutely abysmal, the entire nation was watching to see if he could shake whatever problems he was having in Tempe.

And whatever they were, Ohtani made sure everyone knew who he really was as a pitcher. While it was by no means an absolutely elite start, Ohtani showed that he belonged in the MLB. He threw six innings, and allowed one home run to Matt Chapman, one of the best hitting third baseman in the American League. He gave up a total of five hits, and did struggle with his command by giving up four walks, but also struck out an impressive six batters.

The biggest part of this start was after Ohtani gave up that home run. Once Chapman touched home plate, Ohtani went into an entire new zone. He did not allow another hit through the sixth inning, and allowed a single walk.

While the Angels and their fans were surely happy to see Ohtani contributing and playing well, nobody had any idea what was in store for the rest of Ohtani’s rookie season. And man, what a pleasant surprise.

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