Shohei Ohtani is just about perfect as a ballplayer for the LA Angels, but he actually almost WENT perfect in their game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday. Ohtani took the bump and was throwing a perfect game through five and a third innings.
He had somehow struck out each Astros batter at least one time in those first five innings, and had struck out 11 through five. One thing that's guaranteed when Ohtani takes the mound--he WILL miss bats. Eventually, with one out in the sixth inning, Jason Castro had himself a base knock to take the perfect game away from ShoTime.
It was still quite the performance to remember, however. Ohtani went six innings, giving up just one hit and walking just one batter while striking out 12. Arguably the best part about it, though, was that he also raked all over the Astros while doing it. Ohtani went two for four with a double and a walk too. He drove in two and scored one of his own as well.
Shohei Ohtani threw his near-perfect six inning outing for the LA Angels in just 81 pitches.
LA Angels Manager Joe Maddon said that if Shohei Ohtani was still perfect after those six innings, however, that he would not have yanked him from the game:
This is of course a topic of discussion due to the team across the freeway taking out Clayton Kershaw when he had a perfect game after seven innings because he was at 85 pitches in his first start and all pitchers are on a pitch count this early in the year due to the shortened spring training. Whether one believes that was the right call or not, Maddon would not do the same at least for the circumstances he was given on Wednesday.
Ohtani has recorded three starts so far this season--two of them being against the Astros. In those two starts, he's gone 10.2 IP while allowing just one total run and two total walks. The Stros have only notched five hits against Ohtani, and no homers. Ohtani is heating up on both the mound and at the plate. The first-place Angels are now 8-5 on the year.