From trade rumors to injury aftereffects… ‘N-word’ in disappointment, Ohtani was human, too

It’s been 15 days since Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels was pulled from his first start of the second half.

Long before Ohtani took the mound against the Houston Astros, a story broke on Major League Baseball’s official website. The news was that the Angels were seriously considering trading Ohtani before the trade deadline on February 2. This came just a day after the New York Yankees were reportedly interested in trading Ohtani the day before.

The idea of the Angels using Ohtani, who will be a free agent at the end of the season and could command a total of $500-600 million, as a trade chip has been around since before the season began, and Ohtani himself has been asked about it. Until recently, however, the Angels’ ownership denied trading him, and with the trade deadline just two weeks away, it was bound to be on his mind.

To add insult to injury, Ohtani suffered a chipped nail and blisters on his fingertips at the end of the first half, which prevented him from pitching in the All-Star Game. Luckily, the injuries weren’t too serious and he started the first game of the second half, but the results weren’t pretty.

Ohtani gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits and seven walks with four strikeouts in five innings. He suffered his fifth loss of the season in the team’s 5-7 loss. It was the second straight quality start for Ohtani, who also allowed five runs in five innings against the San Diego Padres on May 5. At the plate, he went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored, but it wasn’t enough to carry the team to victory.

While Ohtani threw a fastball that topped out at 99.3 miles per hour (159.8 km/h) on the day, he struggled with his grip on his offspeed pitches, including his sweeper and cutter, as they began to loosen up a bit after the third inning. In between pitches, he picked at the skin on his fingertips, which was peeling from a blister, and applied saliva. Ohtani also became enraged after failing to protect a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, walking three batters on four pitches to end the inning with the score tied 2-2, and uttering the “F-word.

Finally, in the sixth inning, he walked leadoff hitter Corey Jenks, prompting manager Phil Nevin and trainers to pull Ohtani. Ohtani left the game with a look of disappointment and frustration on his face, as he struck out the next two batters he faced as if he had run out of steam.

According to a local interview, Ohtani said after the game, “I’ve been feeling like that (injured) lately. I think I’ll have to check the exact condition tomorrow and see what happens next. The blister is no different than usual (from previous injuries), but the nail problem is big. I feel a problem with my delivery when I throw a sweeper. Even if you have a good pitching motion, if your fingertips don’t feel good, it’s the pitcher who ruins it,” he said of his injury.토스카지노

When asked if he had “frustration building up,” Ohtani said, “Yes. I think everyone probably does. As the losses pile up, I think that kind of emotion will show through. When I was substituted, I wasn’t frustrated, but I was disappointed that it didn’t go the way I thought it would. Looking at the pitch count (94), I wasn’t sure if I could get through the sixth inning, but I didn’t want to give up the leadoff hitter.”

When asked about his 46 walks this year, which already surpassed his previous single-season highs from 2021 and 2022 (44 each), Ohtani said, “Walks are just something that happen. I think it’s because I got out of rhythm. The ideal way for a pitcher to pitch is to get the strikeouts and reduce the walks. If I can get a good pitching process in the future, I think I’ll be able to get more strikeouts and fewer walks.”

However, when asked about Jose Abreu’s grounder to second base in the top of the fifth inning that was deflected behind the plate by the third baseman to make it a 2-4 game, he said, “First of all, you don’t want to get (the ball) on the bat. If it’s an in-play hit, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Nobody wants to make a mistake. We just have to make sure we do what we can,” he said of the unearned run.

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