After a great first inning, Shohei Ohtani struggled in the second inning of his second outing of the spring on Saturday afternoon.
In the first, Ohtani threw a scoreless inning that included some incredible strikeouts. For the game, he struck out four and showed off his complete arsenal of pitches. When he’s clicking on all of them, he looks practically un-hittable.
Then, the second inning came and all hell broke loose. He allowed five hits and issued two walks and allowed five runs to score. So far through two spring outings, Ohtani has allowed six runs on nine hits in only four innings of work.
“Overall I felt really good,” Ohtani said to reporters following his outing. “The breaking balls I left up in the zone [got hit]. Other than that, when I was able to make my pitches, it felt good.”
It’s certainly good news hearing that Ohtani felt good following the game, considering how rough that inning was. He said that he wanted to focus on throwing more curveballs on the afternoon, as that’s the pitch he’s trying to work on the most. Ohtani said that he knew coming into the game how stacked the White Sox’s lineup is, so he’s glad he was able to face those hitters this early in the year for practice.
Following the game, Angels manager Joe Maddon said he liked what he saw from his pitcher. He said his stuff looked good, but things just went wrong for him in that second inning.
“It’s just all about fastball command as he does that,” Maddon said. “Got his pitch count up a bit, but I liked the stuff a lot. He felt really good after, which is a great sign.”
It’ll likely be another week until we see Ohtani make a start again, but he’ll continue to see at bats at the plate this week.
“The camp is going really well so far, especially on the hitting side,” he said. “I think it’s trending in the right direction. I haven’t pitched in a while, but I’m really impressed with how it’s turned out so far.”