Leads all of MLB with 44th home run in first game of DH vs. Cincinnati
Pitcher retires after one and a third innings due to right hand cramps
Recent abnormalities are frequent… MVP candidate, but Cy Young Award ‘out of reach’
Los Angeles Angels’메이저사이트 Ohtani hits a two-run home run in the first inning against Cincinnati on Thursday. It was his 44th of the season /AFP
Ohtani walks off the mound after feeling something wrong with his hand while pitching in the second inning. /AFP Yonhap
Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) pitched and hit for the first time in two weeks. As a hitter, he hit a home run, but as a pitcher, he left the mound in the second inning due to “arm fatigue. The Angels took an early lead on Ohtani’s two-run homer before falling 4-9.
Ohtani started and batted second in Game 1 of the 2023 MLB home doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on April 24. He took the mound in the top of the first inning and induced a triple play to end the inning. He got leadoff hitter T.J. Friedle to ground out to second base and retired the next two batters, Matt McClain and Eli De La Cruz, on swinging strikes.
In the bottom of the inning, Ohtani led off with a bases-loaded walk and hit a two-run home run. He took a 148-mile-per-hour fastball up the middle from starter Andrew Abbott and smashed it over the right-center field fence at Angel Stadium. It was a big cannon, traveling 134.7 meters. No. 44 of the season. Ohtani passed Matt Olson (Atlanta Braves-43 home runs) for the major league lead in home runs.
Back on the mound in the top of the second, Ohtani walked the first batter, Spencer Steer, on four pitches. The final pitch was a fastball that sailed wide to the right of the catcher. Ohtani then got Joey Votto to pop out to shortstop.
The next batter he faced, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, was a different story. Shortly after inducing a foul with a 151-mile-per-hour fastball on a 2-ball-2-strike count, he signaled that something was wrong. Ohtani appeared to grimace slightly as he spoke to a trainer and an interpreter as he emerged from the dugout, eventually leaving after throwing just 26 pitches. His performance was one and one-third scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. His fastball reached 152 kilometers per hour. It was about 6 kilometers slower than his usual fastball.
Ohtani was taken out of the game completely in the bottom of the third inning, when he was replaced by Nolan Chanuel. It was determined that the cramps in his right hand were negatively affecting his batting.
Ohtani earned his 10th win of the season (5-0) on the mound against the San Francisco Giants on April 10. He was originally scheduled to start against the Texas Rangers on the 15th, but skipped it. He told manager Phil Nevin himself, “My arm was tired and I wanted to take a day off,” he said. He continued to work as a hitter and then took the mound two weeks later, only to run into bad luck again.
Ohtani hasn’t had any major injuries this year, but he’s had more than a few ailments. On April 4 against the Seattle Mariners, he pitched four scoreless innings before being removed early due to cramping in his throwing hand and fingers. He continued to play and hit his 40th home run. He also had blisters on his fingers and cramps in his back and legs. It’s likely that the combination of pitching and hitting was causing the fatigue.
Ohtani is a lock for the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award this season. He is a favorite to win his second unanimous award in 2021. This year, he was also considered a first-time candidate for the Cy Young Award, the highest honor for pitchers. Ohtani is 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA, competing with the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (10-4 with a 3.03 ERA). However, he hasn’t been feeling well lately and is prone to early exits, so it’s unlikely he’ll be able to match last year’s performance (15-9, 2.33 ERA in 166 innings).