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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani is hit by a pitch in Angels’ first shutout loss of 2021


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The Angels achieved a first this season Sunday in Seattle, one they had been trying to avoid.

Their 2-0 loss to the Mariners was their first shutout loss of the season. Justus Sheffield and four relief pitchers limited the Angels to five hits ― and added injury to insult by throwing a baseball that struck the Angels’ starting pitcher Monday on his throwing arm.

In the first inning, Sheffield hit Shohei Ohtani with a 93-mph fastball. The ball hit a protective pad covering Ohtani’s right elbow. The Angels’ designated hitter gasped and briefly crouched on the ground to collect himself before remaining in the game.

Ohtani finished 0 for 3 with two stolen bases, but the lingering effect on his elbow was to be determined. Ohtani had been scheduled to start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday in Anaheim. Maddon said the pitch struck Ohtani on his funny bone, and he will be re-evaluated Monday morning.

Sheffield became the latest left-handed pitcher to stymie the Angels in 2021. The 24-year-old threw six shutout innings, scattering two hits and three walks while striking out four batters.

The Angels have only faced five left-handed starting pitchers this season, but they have become a recurring nightmare. The last four ― Sheffield, Lewis Thorpe, Danny Duffy and Steven Matz ― combined to limit the Angels to four earned runs across 22 innings, a 1.64 ERA.

The Angels were successful in creating chances to score, but repeatedly could not convert. They ultimately grounded into three double plays and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

After Ohtani was hit by a pitch in the first inning, he advanced to third base on a pair of steals. Anthony Rendon extended the inning with a walk. Yet neither of the Angels’ two hottest hitters, Mike Trout or Jared Walsh, delivered the critical hit against Sheffield. Both grounded out ― Walsh on a slider, Trout a sinker ― to end the inning.

The Mariners gave Ohtani a gift when an error by second baseman Dylan Moore allowed him to reach base in the third inning. Sheffield walked Trout, putting runners on first and second base with no outs. But a flyout by Rendon and the first of two double-play groundouts by Walsh, ended the inning.

Trout finished 0 for 3, lowering his batting average to .413. It was only the third time this season Trout has played a complete game without collecting a hit.

Angels starter Dylan Bundy allowed two runs in six innings. He walked one batter and struck out six. Aaron Slegers and Mike Mayers each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

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6 hours ago, Angel Oracle said:

The opposing lefty dominance thing seems to stretch back for years.

Is there a particular reason?

Are there any ballclubs that have a lengthy history of doing really well against LHP's? I suspect this isn't unique to the Halos 

Edited by Toby Flenderson
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