On Friday, Shohei Ohtani announced that he’d be competing in the 2021 Home Run Derby. Well, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect next month, as he hit two home runs on Friday night in the Angels’ 11-3 victory over the Tigers.
His first homer of the night came in the fifth inning. After Justin Upton singled to reach base, Ohtani crushed a 2-2 pitch 400 feet that was hit 114.3 mph off the bat. It was a two-run homer and Ohtani’s 20th homer of the year.
Fast forward a few innings later, and Ohtani crushed one 408 feet for his second homer of the night. This one was only 109 mph off the bat. On the season, Ohtani is second in the American League in home runs, fourth in runs batted in and second in OPS. Not bad, you know.. for a starting pitcher.
Ohtani wasn’t the only one with a hot bat, as the Angels had 13 hits as a team on Friday night. Justin Upton and Taylor Ward each had three hits, with Ward driving in three runs. Jared Walsh hit home run No. 16 on the season and is making a strong push for the All-Star Game.
The Angels scored 11, but the number could have been a lot higher as they only went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile on the mound, Alex Cobb was excellent and had his best start in nearly a month. After a really solid May, Cobb has struggled through his first two starts in June. However, he had arguably one of his best outings last night.
Cobb struck out eight in 5 2⁄3 innings of action. He issued only three hits and allowed one run to score, though it was an unearned run. Cobb showed flashes last night of what the Angels have seen at times through him in his first year in LA. Hopefully last night can help swing his season around as he can continue to deliver solid outings for the Angels.
The Angels have won two in a row and are back to .500 on the season. They sit 8.5 games back of first place in the AL West but only 6.5 games back of the Wild Card spot. As I’ve been saying for weeks, all the Halos have to do is slowly chip away. You can’t make up that ground in a week, but instead you can try and pick up one game a week. I still have confidence that this Angels team will be in the heart of battle during the final week of the season for a playoff spot.