On a day headlined by the disappointing but not entirely unexpected news that Shohei Ohtani would be “recommended for Tommy John surgery,” no one would have faulted you for not tuning in to this game and furthering your self-pity. A day without Mike Trout and Justin Upton featuring 6 rookie starters does not an exciting game make. I completely understand—And how wrong you were!
The team, led by an absolutely savage Shohei, took the opportunity to let all of their frustrations out on the mediocre division rival Texas Rangers, a worthy choice. The offense combined for 16 hits and 9 runs, with every starter logging at least one hit, and the 2-6 batters each recording multi-hit games.
It all started in the first inning when Fletcher doubled to drive in Kole Calhoun to give the Angels a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the night. Ohtani’s walk to follow that would not foreshadow what was to come though.
In the third inning, Ohtani would barely reach on an infield single and Simmons would smack the foul pole in left.
In the fifth, Showtime led off with a towering first pitch homer off of Bibens-Dirkx.
That sucker had a launch angle of 45(!) degrees!
In the seventh, The Ohtaminator would lead off with a single. As Simmons batted, Ohtani stole second, the throw got away, and he made it to third easily where he would score on a single later in the at-bat.
In the eighth, he dropped jaws as he destroyed his second homer of the night, driving in David Fletcher.
This one was a measly 40 degrees. Joey Gallo, needless to say, was unimpressed.
Ohtani’s final line was the following:
4-4, 2 HR, BB, 4 R, 3 RBI
He ends the day with a slash line of .287/.367/.579 on the season, a wRC+ of 157, a wOBA of .398, and 18 HR and 7 SB. He tied the home run lead for a Japanese rookie, and he also accumulated 0.4 fWAR on the day. His 3.3 fWAR on the season is now second among all rookies, just behind Harrison Bader as of tonight.
Torn ligament or not, Miguel Andujar needs to start getting a move on because The Show is going off. And boy, is it fun to watch.
Jaime Barria also recorded his 10th win of the season tonight as he threw 5 rough-ish innings of shutout ball, maneuvering in and out of trouble. It may not have been pretty, but he didn’t have to be anywhere near as good as he was tonight with the offense in full swing, led by an outraged and frustrated Ohtani.
I’m beginning to think that maybe he should tear his UCL more often...