Two-way player and 20201 American League MVP, Ohtani faced the newly named Cleveland Guardians — formerly Indians — on April 27, 2022 at Angels Stadium. Ohtani had a strong outing against the Houston Astros a week ago by securing his first win of the season and tying his career-high 12 strikeouts.
Today, he had another memorable day as he had a 3-hit game, 4 strikeouts, and threw 86 pitches to go through 6 innings to give the Angels and himself a win that put them in the first place in the division. Let’s break it down his performance.
Ohtani got his haircut and ready to give another stellar performance like he did in Houston. One of the habits pitchers tend to do on the mound is to blow into their pitching hand to warm in cold weather under the agreement from both managers prior to the start of the game. This act is called a “doctoring the baseball.”
The Guardians catcher, Maile, made a debut as a member of the Guardians after appearing in 15 games with Brewers last season. With Ramírez leading in every offensive categories as a 3-time All-Star within a team, the bat was pretty quiet in yesterday’s game as they only had 4 hits and one run in a 4-1 victory by the Angels.
Ohtani started to mix his pitches well through his arsenal: fastball, slider, curveball, and splitter. But he was having a command issue as he ended up walking the lead-off hitter, Straw.
Depends on who the home plate umpire is, this pitch may be called as a strike or a ball. Brian Knight was the umpire for this game.
Ohtani managed to get a force out by painting the corner with his splitter.
As shown in the photo, Ramírez found the sweet spot to put a good swing on Ohtani’s slider.
Ohtani watched the ball flying away by presuming he gave up a two-run home run that gave the Guardians a 2-0 lead.
The broadcast compared the break point with the one he threw 7 days ago against the Astros. As shown above, the slider to Ramírez hung in the middle of the plate unlike the one on the right where it had a drastic vertical movement.
Naylor singled off Ohtani’s 97-mph fastball.
However, Ohtani striked out Reyes looking with his curveball to end the first inning.
The second inning: Othani stayed calm and threw a fastball at the knee for a strike to Palacios.
However, Palacios, hit a single off his curveball.
Closeup of Palacios’s contact.
Ohtani painted the corner to Giménez with a 95-mph fastball.
Ohtani got ahead with a 0-2 count and threw a cutter, but Giménez hit it to the opposite field.
Closeup on Giménez’s opposite-field single.
Angels catcher, Stassi had a chat with Ohtani on how to approach Straw with runners on first and second with a 2 – o count.
The answer was a 97-mph fastball up in the zone that struck out Straw.
Then he finished the second inning by leaving the runners stranded by getting Rosario to fly out.
After gaining a 4-run lead in the top of the third inning, his fastball started to dial up as it reached 98 mph in which Ramírez almost…
homered to the right field; just fouled it off the foul pole.
Ohtani again challenged Ramírez a 99-mph fastball and got him on a ground out.
He unleashed a nasty 12-6 curveball to Naylor and got him on a fly out with splitter.
He then fired a 98-mph fastball on top of the zone to strike out Reyes to strand the runner in a scoring position again.
In the fourth inning, only 10 pitches were needed to retire the side for Ohtani.
He also got his first hit of the night off Plesac.
Ohtani had his pitch count lower after the fourth inning.
He again retired the side by throwing a splitter outside the zone to Ramírez and finished his outing.
Ohtani threw a total of 86 pitches — 42: fastball, 20: slider, splitter:11, curveball:10, and cutter:3. Overall, he scattered the balls to avoid staying in the middle.
In bottom of six inning, pitcher Ohtani’s night was over, but not the hitter Ohtani as he aimed Allen’s fastball.
And found a pitch to hit up in the zone.
The ball carried all the way to the right field just over the glove of Naylor whose reach was a few inches shy of catching it. I wondered if Judges from Yankees had caught it.
It was an RBI double from Ohtani that gave another run to the Angels.
In the eighth inning, Ohtani extended his bat as far as he could and put the barrel on it.
The ball landed in no man’s land and marked it as his third hit of the game.
The ability to hit the ball outside the zone to turn it into a hit is what every hitter desires to do.
Ohtani got his second win of the season as a pitcher and went 3-for-5 to contribute as a two-way player.