ANAHEIM, Calif. – This here, Tuesday night in a full ballpark awaits something like magic, the schedule is not exactly perfect, the opponent is not exactly the Oakland A & # 39; s, which happens instead of happening sometimes. This is a 23-year-old pitching nine days later against a bunch of grown-up and decorated men, on a night when not a single sound is heard, when it looks like it's never going to end. And it's the second inning.
Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani, the two-way phenomenon from Japan, whose 2 ½-week advance into the big leagues had scored a 2-0 record at a 2.08 ERA (along with a .367 batting average and three Home Runs), in his third start, gave three runs in two innings, throwing a voracious 66 pitches, forced, but three swings and misses among them, and in the end
This was a young man who, due to a six-man Rotation and a postponement of the weather has had no competitive advantage since two Sundays ago. Also, a young man who looked as if he had been thinking a bit too much about his first big test, namely the Boston Red Sox by Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, J. D. Martinez, et al. And that's why, a young man spiked his first few splinters, almost tripping as he threw his first curveball, turned a good portion of his sliders waist-high, and so was left with a dependably big fastball but none of the ingredients.
Also, perhaps a developing bubble that Ohnani seemed inclined to, the kind of thing that would ignite 38 pitches in a single inning (the second).
The Final The line over two innings said something about four hits and two walks and three runs, one of them on Betts' home run seven pitches, these nine days after beating the A's almost was not terminable. This time, the fastballs that had painted the edge of the strike zone had seen the splinters, which looked nearly 60 feet long, looked like blows, the sliders that had bounced off the batboxes, now there was little grazing or looking or slipping. On a warm night, there was a lot on his hand, waiting for Martin Maldonado's throwback to catch a search for a repeatable clearance point.
After two innings and with the already warmed up Owen, Ohnani squeezed his cap back on his head, wandered his pants, and stepped in front of nearly 45,000 people – the largest crowd of angels of the season – to see him and the Challenge that was the Red Sox. The Red Sox won, 10-1. Betts hit three home runs. Those who stayed in the third of the home runs were usually Red Sox fans, and so the big hit of the 13-3 Angels and their precious new ace against the 13-2 Red Sox and David Price ended with a thud , a few unwanted pussies and a lot of conversation about the middle finger of the two-way guy.
Here's a baseball season, one small problem after another, a big promise, followed by whatever-the-hell-that was followed by another game tomorrow, and a chance to start it all , On the plan, which was set over 16 previous games, Ohtani would recover on Wednesday night and return on Thursday night as designated bat. He seemed to be barely occupying himself with the bladder, even saying he could have got through the disease, and the resulting inaccuracy was the season at a more critical point. Manager Mike Scioscia said he expected Ohtani to be healthy enough to make his next start – probably next Tuesday in Houston – but there would be no reason to rush to a decision. Ohtani and Scioscia seemed optimistic that the bubble would not hinder Ohtani's blows.
Three and a half hours after the spokesperson for the public announcer announced, "The pitcher, # 17, Sho-HEYYY Oh, no!", And the crowd had roared, and the first fastball had midway through Everybody had looked forward to another good look at the young man who will help make a franchise, there was only the bubble, and what happened, and why, and what now.
"The bubble actually developed on my last takeoff," Ohtani explained, "I felt like it was okay. … The high intensity of this game did not last very well.
While the resulting lack of command most obviously appeared on his splitter, Ohtani said, "My fastball, I did not feel good from my fingertips. "
Maybe it's more of the new baseball whose stitches are supposed to be higher in the American game, maybe it's the splinter's wear, as Ohtani fought bubbles in Japan too, and probably it's just the rigor of the early days a new career, in the early days of a new season, and therefore expected that it will sometimes rub a bit thin, maybe on the fingers, maybe on the scoreboard.
"Another lesson," Ohtani said. that I have to learn. … something that I have to do better next time. "
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