Shohei Ohtani’s brilliance both at the plate and on the mound has been one of the marvels of the 2021 MLB season. However, his performance on Wednesday was almost the complete opposite.
Ohtani struggled mightily in his start on the road against the New York Yankees earlier tonight. The Los Angeles Angels ace gave up seven earned runs in the first inning, as the Yankees were able to bat through their lineup. Ohtani lacked command, throwing just 20 of his 41 pitches for strikes and giving up four walks in the brief appearance.
The Angles pulled the 26-year-old in the first inning after he recorded just two outs. He was replaced by right-hander Aaron Slegers.
The outing marked Ohtani’s worst of his career, with seven earned runs being the most he’d ever allowed in a start. His stellar 2.58 ERA took a major hit as a result, leaping up a full run to 3.60.
Apart from Wednesday’s outing, Ohtani has been nothing short of brilliant this season. Not only has he posted a 3-1 record and thrown 82 strikeouts on the mound, but the Angels phenom leads MLB in home runs (28) and leads the American League in slugging percentage (.688). He’s hitting .278 in 74 games played this year and is well on his way to his first All Star Game appearance.
It’s unclear if tonight’s outing is an indication that the Angels should be concerned with Ohtani moving forward. Given his stellar performance so far this year, it’s likely that Wednesday just wasn’t his night.
After the Yankees seven-run first inning, the bats slowed down. New York still had a 7-3 lead when the game entered a rain delay in the bottom of the third inning.
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