Watching the first inning of tonight’s game made everyone’s stomach drop. Shohei Ohtani was hit in his pitching hand at the plate, but was called out when the umps said it was a swinging strike. It appeared to hit him in the wrist and everyone watched with bated breath as he sat in the dugout next to Ippei, his translator.
The broadcast kept panning over to him as he moved his wrist, touched the spot where he had been hit, and wrapped it in a towel and ice. Not only is Shohei the best active player on the Angels, but he is in the midst of what might be the greatest single season ever. It was certainly a relief, but still a lingering concern, as he stepped to the plate again in the third.
With his next start scheduled for Tuesday, the Angels ordered an x-ray immediately after he was hit that came back negative. Maddon said that he’s on track to still pitch on Tuesday but that they will monitor his soreness.
Walsh hit his 24th home run of the season with one out in the 2nd which put the Angels up 1-0. It was already more offense than the Angels had gotten all of last night which was certainly a welcome change. Jack Mayfield proceeded to hit a two run homer in the top of the third, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 5th, Ohtani walked and then stole his 20th base of the season. With that stolen base, Ohtani became the first Angel player and first Japanese born player in history to have a 40 HR/ 20 SB season. And he is the first AL player to accomplish the feat since Curtis Granderson in 2011.
Suarez had some trouble in the fourth when a base hit from Hosmer scored Pham, who had advanced to second on a wild pitch, cutting the Angels lead to 2. Another run came across to score leaving the Angels with a one run lead. Suarez was helped out by Adell’s fantastic throw to get two outs, but couldn’t get out of the inning.
Suarez’s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
An update on last nights starting pitching numbers for the Halos:
Angels starters have now lasted 25 2/3 innings over the last 9 starts.— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) August 29, 2021
That's 8.55 outs per start. https://t.co/nX1ua5mSaT
Tonight though, the offense picked up the pitching and the bullpen continued its recent steak of preventing opponents from scoring.
Walsh doubled in Adell who scored all the way from third to make the score 4-2. Tatis, in a current outfield experiment to help his shoulder, fielded the ball and slipped while making the play. Walsh scored on a Suzuki sac fly, also fielded by Tatis, increasing the lead to 5-2.
Ohtani scored from second on a Jo Adell double (6-2), and with one out, the Padres decided to load the bases by intentionally walking Jared Walsh. After that, Justin Upton recorded his 1,000th career RBI after a sac fly, making it 7-2. He is the 8th active player to record 1,000 career RBIs.
Gosselin drove in two more runs in the 6th, making it 9-2. Ohtani scored from second on a Walsh single and the Angels hit double digit runs. The whole lineup was just on tonight.
Raisel Iglesias came in to close out the game, even with such a large lead (his last appearance was Tuesday, there’s no game tomorrow, and prior to that, he hadn’t pitched for 5 days). He ended the game on 16 pitches.
Andrew Wantz was credited with his first MLB win as the bullpen didn’t allow an ER for the second straight night. The Angels now sit 3 games under .500 at 64-67; they are 11 games back of the second Wild Card spot.
Angels News and Notes:
- Tonight marks Brandon Marsh’s third three-plus hit game of the week
- Tomorrows off day is the first scheduled on Sunday in Angels history
- Walsh had this to say about Ohtani’s accomplishments tonight: “Shohei breaks another record every day. According to our scoreboard, no one’s done anything that he’s done since 1885 or whatever. So every night with Sho, it’s something different.”