The second one in particular was even more wild, and almost smoked Ohtani. The third pitch was somehow worse and literally did.
The umpires weren’t having it. They ejected Mike Wright from the game. Mike Wright was not happy about it, but those last two pitches were literally horrible, and despite Shohei clearly trying to dodge the pitch, the third one still managed to smack Ohtani in the calf.
After it appeared that Mike Wright hit Shohei Ohtani on purpose, Ohtani took the high road for the LA Angels.
When all this happened, Shohei Ohtani simply went to first base and chatted it up with White Sox first baseman Gavin Sheets. Tony La Russa on the other hand, handled it pretty poorly.
He acted as if he didn’t understand why Wright was ejected, when we realistically all do. He then was tossed from the game and took it out on the dugout telephone.
La Russa was dealing with lots of frustration in general today, as his team is now 29-28 in his last 57 games, and got blown out by an injury-ravaged Angels squad to lose the series.
Here’s the thing about this situation. Do we know for sure it was on purpose? The umpires think they do, but I personally don’t.
I like what Halos Heaven, the SB Nation LA Angels site, had to say about it:
They’re exactly right. He may not have done it on purpose, and they don’t even think he did. But it’s pretty easy to see why the umpires didn’t appreciate that. I don’t know what La Russa doesn’t get.
La Russa is one of the greatest managers in baseball history, and people tend to forget that these days. I’m not trying to downplay a manager who’s won three World Series Championships, six pennants, and four Manager of the Year awards. However, I will say that La Russa handled this situation poorly, and I hope to see better from him in the future.