Shohei Ohtani started his fifth Big League season (all five with the LA Angels) in a bit of a disappointing fashion offensively. Of course, it was just a seven-game stretch out of a giant 162-game season, but it was noticeable. Ohtani himself alluded to it. Through seven games, he was slashing .172/.200/.241 (.441 OPS).
He had only scored three times and had driven in zero runs without hitting any home runs. In his last six games heading into this Baltimore series, Ohtani had flipped the switch. He had hit three home runs, scored seven runs, and driven in nine in that six-game stretch. Hitting .308/.379/.692 (1.072 OPS) in that span, ShoTime is back.
It's been quite the difference from the first half up to this point and the second half. It goes to show that players like Ohtani should never be questioned when they have a bit of a rough stretch. They're too talented to never be able to figure it out. Besides, Ohtani had absolutely SMOKED some baseballs that were caught. It's not like he wasn't making good contact.
Shohei Ohtani is also making more contact for the LA Angels now.
In those last six games heading into the Orioles series, Shohei Ohtani only struck out seven times for the LA Angels. That's still a bit too much, but it's certainly less than his 10 in the seven games before that. This turnaround all started in Game 2 of the Texas Rangers series.
Ohtani not only went long to leadoff the game, but he hit a second bomb later on. Driving in three runs that game, it was clear that his confidence was back. Sure enough, he went yard the next day as well. It was another two for five day for Ohtani, and another three RBI game for ShoTime.
Ohtani's still the best player in the game, and still the best offensive player in the game as well. No seven-game start was going to change that. He already has three home runs, nine RBIs, and 10 runs on the year, and that's with his offense being absent for the first seven contests of the season. Look for Ohtani's recent hot streak to continue this weekend.