Shohei Ohtani took the mound for the LA Angels, and that alone called for must-see TV.
Jack Harris of the LA Times illustrated what was happening a bit right here:
Right off the bat, there was a lot of speculation among baseball fans as to why Ohtani’s velocity could be down. Naturally, people began to assume the worst; wondering if Ohtani was injured, or if there was something wrong. To be fair, not a ton has gone the Angels’ way this year.
The crazy part about it, though, is that it didn’t even matter.
Ohtani had a good game last night. He gave the Angels 4.2 innings on 72 pitches, allowing two earned runs. While his velocity was down, he still struck out five batters, and only walked two.
He even played right field when he left the mound in the fifth inning, and stayed there for the sixth.
People need to stop referring to Ohtani as a two-way player. He’s not. He’s a three-way player. He pitches, DH’s, and plays the field.
He’s undoubtedly the number one show in sports right now.
As for who he was tonight offensively, he impressed yet again.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ohtani decided to do what many hitters for some reason don’t do. That’s bunting for a base hit with the shift on.
Ohtani not only has outplayed every single player in the entire sport through his talent this year, but he also has a tremendously high baseball IQ.
He can hit the long ball, pitch like an Ace, run, hit for average, play the field, and even bunt for base hits when he wants to.
It’s just impossible to overstate what kind of player he is, and what he means to the game.
Sure, it was a little worrisome seeing his velocity down. It was also pretty electric, though, to see him overcome it, get a base hit, and even play defense too.