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Shohei Ohtani's historic cycle single-handedly crushes Rays

Ohtani goes critical in 5-3 Angels win

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since Mike Trout and the eighth time in the team's history, an Angel hit for the cycle.

For the first time ever, it was by a Japanese-born player.

For the first time in many moons, this team feels like a real threat.

Ohtani manhandled the Rays today. He took them over his knee and disciplined them in a historic context while Pujols reached 200 homers in socal immediately after the Angels blew away one of the best teams in baseball. It is hard to subdue the anticipation and anxiety welling up inside my chest.

The pitching is a problem of course, but look at this lineup.

With Ohtani hitting his stride the past couple weeks, this offense is one of the best in baseball. The 2nd Wild Card is a weak race against other similarly flawed teams that are best described as "beatable playoff fodder," but anything can happen in the playoffs.

Maybe I'm getting overly eager, but Albert Pujols is outhitting Khris Davis. David Fletcher is performing like Ben Zobrist did during the Cubs' 2016 run. Tommy La Stella is just that much better.

The offense is firing on all cylinders in a way we haven't seen since 2014. That year, the front office (the dreaded Dipoto) made some moves, like it or not, that transformed the team from a fringy Wild Card potential to the team to beat.

It is time to start looking at arms. Tyler Skaggs is not cutting it as a primary. Trevor Cahill is not cutting it. Matt Harvey, no.

Weaknesses need to be addressed as the Angels bats continue to roll in June. We have shown we can hang with the best of them, on the road and at home. We can not let the dingers of the Tom Murphys and Edwin Encarnacions of the world be our downfall. We are too good and too many holes have been filled with what might turn out to be lightning in a bottle while the race for the playoff is so weak to let this opportunity pass us by.

Do the right thing Angels. For Ohtani, jack of all hits, if not for me. He has earned the right to a playoff series.

Join us tomorrow as Ohtani seeks to set a record for consecutive games with a cycle by a Japanese-born player, and as Pujols cranks his 201st dinger as an Angel!


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