Tuesday was reminiscent of the start Ohtani had against the Cleveland Indians earlier in the year where everybody panicked about his velocity early in the game. Ohtani had a good game that day, and the velocity being down was overblown. The same thing happened on Tuesday, when he was averaging 92.2 mph on his fastball in the first inning.
That’s over three miles per hour less than what his usual average velocity on his fastball is. He got up to a 92.8 mph fastball average after two, and then by the fifth inning, he was almost touching 100 to get out of a grueling inning and limit the Giants’ damage to just one run. They only scored one run off of him all day in six innings.
The LA Angels have yet to see consequences for Shohei Ohtani’s velocity being down at times this year.
There’s no need for the LA Angels to be worried about Shohei Ohtani’s velocity.
There are plenty of factors that could be the cause of this. Maybe it’s a long season and he gets a bit tired sometimes. Maybe it was because this was the first time he had pitched on five days’ rest this year.
Maybe it was because regularly pitching and hitting at the same time isn’t supposed to be possible.
When a catcher bats .250 and barely eclipses 30 home runs, we get excited, don’t we? Our reasoning is that while a .250 batting average with 30 home runs isn’t an incredible stat line, to be able to hit that well while a catcher wears his legs out for nine innings every day is very impressive.
So, why can’t we accept that Ohtani’s arm might just not be at 100% every pitch when he’s the top power hitter in the game? He’s still pitching at an elite level, posting an astonishing 2.58 ERA, while striking out 12.4 batters per nine innings.
It obviously doesn’t matter at that type of production while still striking out a ridiculous number of batters. Besides, again, he brought that velocity back up as his start went on. It’s not like this is even a consistent problem.
The facts are that he’s still producing, and it hasn’t affected who he is as a player. Every time people try to look into it, he ends up performing.
Let’s all give it a rest.