Shohei Ohtani threw four scoreless innings and hit his 40th home run of the season against the Mariners in Anaheim, California, on Thursday. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS
Ohtani Makes History
Shohei Ohtani, the two-way Angels’ player, has accomplished what no player has done in the live-ball era, which began in 1920. In etching his name in history books, Ohtani became the first player to achieve a unique set of statistics in a single game.
Ohtani reached base safely on four different instances, hit a home run, notched a stolen base, and did not surrender a single run as a pitcher. This revelation came courtesy of research conducted by Elias Sports Bureau.
The Angel’s Gambit
Yet, for an Angels squad heavily invested in securing a playoff berth this season, Ohtani’s availability as a pitcher reigns supreme. The multi-talented player remains committed to his regular schedule and is preparing for his next start.
The decision on when Ohtani will return to the mound might not arrive until Tuesday. This is due to Ohtani usually scheduling his practice bullpen sessions a day before his slated pitching appearance.
Stepping Off for Rest?
Ohtani has recently encountered some physical challenges. He was pulled out of the second game of a Detroit doubleheader last Thursday due to leg cramps. The next night, in Toronto, he again had issues, this time while he represented the game’s possible winning run in the ninth inning.
Ohtani, when queried about taking extra breaks to rest, expressed the decision was not entirely his. Demonstrating a team-first mentality, he indicated such a choice would be made collectively. He underlined the significance of every forthcoming game for his team.
Despite acknowledging widespread fatigue in the roster, Ohtani shared his personal intent. The resilient player has no desire to take any days off.
Serving as the pitcher for his team, the Los Angeles Angels, he was able to contribute to his career strikeout tally, reaching the 600-mark during his course of four scoreless innings. This achievement makes Ohtani only the eighth player in the history of Major League Baseball to record 600 strikeouts within the first 84 career pitching appearances.
Overcoming a Setback
By the fourth inning, Ohtani reported to his manager, Phil Nevin, complaining about his recently injured right middle finger. This was the same finger where he previously suffered from a blister and a cracked nail. Due to the discomfort, his finger wouldn’t extend, a situation that wasn’t new to him as it had previously hindered his game during late June and early July.
Stepping back, not down
Although the pain caused Ohtani to restrict his pitching earlier than expected, he didn’t leave the field. Ohtani, displaying his true commitment to his team, decided to continue hitting.
Scoring despite the pain
He cleverly stole second base after being intentionally walked and scored the equalizer. Later in the eighth, he smashed a 106.7 mph home run that gave his team a short-lived lead of 3-1.
A Close Loss
Unfortunately, the Angels couldn’t maintain their lead as Carlos Estevez couldn’t save the game. This loss marks his first blown save in 24 opportunities. The game concluded with a 5-3 victory for the Seattle Mariners, thanks to a ninth-innings grand slam from outfielder Cade Marlowe.