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  1. The Morning Wrap shares the day’s top five stories from our reporters at the Southern California Newspaper Group … And have everything delivered to you in our daily newsletters WEDNESDAY, AUG. 5 ONE: Angels manager Joe Maddon said Shohei Ohtani is likely done pitching the rest of the year after being diagnosed with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass on Monday, reporter Jeff Fletcher writes. But that won’t stop Ohtani from being a DH. Next up: Angels at Seattle, today, 6:40 p.m. What Joe Maddon said about Ohtani: “I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year. From what I’ve seen, I believe that he can (be a two-way player). “We just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out.” Angels win: It wasn’t all bad news, after losing seven of their first 10 games, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols homered in a 5-3 victory over seattle. View the full article
  2. Los Angeles Angels’ Jo Adell (59) safely reaches first as Seattle Mariners first baseman Evan White waits for the throw after Adell hit a single in his first major-league at-bat during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout catches a fly ball hit by Seattle Mariners’ Dylan Moore at the wall during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols watches his two-run home run as Seattle Mariners catcher Austin Nola looks on during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Seattle Mariners right fielder Kyle Lewis makes a leaping catch at the wall of a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Jason Castro during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels’ Jo Adell (59) hits a single in his first major-league at-bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, right, is pulled by manager Joe Maddon during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Justin Dunn throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game as Seattle Mariners catcher Austin Nola looks on, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game as Seattle Mariners catcher Austin Nola looks on, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels right fielder Jo Adell smiles as he takes the field making his major league debut during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run as Seattle Mariners catcher Austin Nola looks on during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout warms up before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, second from right, talks with Brian Goodwin, right, and other teammates before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, right, talks with Brian Goodwin, left, before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell bunts in the batting cage before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell reacts as he walks out of the batting cage before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Show Caption of Expand If Tuesday marked a new start for the Angels, it was a good one. After losing seven of their first 10 games, the Angels had an off day and returned with Mike Trout and uber prospect Jo Adell together in the outfield, and a rotation no longer clinging to the hope of Shohei Ohtani. Trout homered and Adell had an infield single in his big league debut, and Andrew Heaney continued his solid work in the rotation, leading the visiting Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. The Angels even got effective work out of a bullpen that had been the team’s biggest weakness in the early going. The Angels had built a 5-1 lead in the top of the seventh, and they held it. Keynan Middleton allowed a homer to Dylan Moore in the seventh and Felix Peña gave up a run on a bloop hit in the eighth, cutting the lead to 5-3. Ty Buttrey, who now seems to be Joe Maddon’s preferred closer after Hansel Robles’ early struggles, got out of the eighth with the lead. Buttrey then pitched the ninth to record the save, ending a game the Angels had led since the first inning. Trout, playing for the first time since his son was born last week, crushed a homer to center field in the first inning. An out later, Brian Goodwin walked and came home on a two-run homer by Albert Pujols. It was Pujols’ 659th homer, just one behind Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. It was also the team-leading third homer of the season for Pujols, who hit a grand slam on Sunday. Later in the inning, Adell beat out a slow chopper for an infield hit in his first big league at-bat, running at an elite speed of more than 30 feet per second. The Angels’ No. 1 prospect struck out and grounded out twice in his next three trips. The Angels didn’t score again until David Fletcher’s two-run homer in the seventh, but they provided more than enough runs for Heaney. Heaney gave up three hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.35 after three starts. He threw 87 pitches on Tuesday, after being pulled with fewer than 70 in his first two starts. Heaney, along with Dylan Bundy and Griffin Canning, have performed well early. They have given the Angels reason to hope that they can still have a capable rotation even with Ohtani now done pitching for the season because of a forearm strain. View the full article
  3. Joe Maddon officially declared what the calendar had made likely a day earlier about Shohei Ohtani. “I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” the Angels manager said Tuesday afternoon, officially putting an end to Ohtani as a two-way player in 2020. Ohtani will still be able to serve as a nearly full-time DH, although Maddon didn’t put him in the lineup on Tuesday because he said he’s still “a little bit sore.” Ohtani was diagnosed on Monday with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass. The general timetable for that injury is at least four weeks before a throwing program can be started. Considering he’d need time to work from throwing to pitching in a game, and there are now only eight weeks left in the regular season, it was almost certain Monday that Ohtani had thrown his final pitch of the year. However, Maddon stopped short Tuesday of saying that Ohtani’s days as two-way player were over. “From what I’ve seen, I believe that he can (be a two-way player),” Maddon said. “We just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out.” Maddon said he looked forward to getting Ohtani, the pitcher, a fresh start in 2021, with a normal spring training. At that point, they would be better able to assess whether his career as a two-way player is viable. “He’s such a high-end arm and of course what he can do in the batter’s box,” Maddon said. “It might get to the point where he may chose to want to do one thing over the other and just express that to us.” Ohtani’s 2020 season as a pitcher ended quickly, after just 1 2/3 innings. In his debut, he couldn’t get an out among the six batters he faced. In his second start, on Sunday, he pitched a perfect first, but then fell apart in the second. He walked five and threw 42 pitches in the inning, recording just two outs. Ohtani’s velocity dipped during the inning, which Maddon said he thought was just fatigue. Ohtani later complained of arm discomfort, and tests revealed the injury. NEW DAD THOUGHTS Mike Trout rejoined the Angels after missing four games for the birth of his son. He called the experience “incredible” and “pretty amazing” and said it was difficult to leave his wife, Jess, and the baby, Beckham, back home when he flew to Seattle. “I FaceTimed the wife probably 30 times already today,” Trout said. “She probably thinks I’m crazy.” Trout’s return also alleviated the fears of some who suspected he might simply opt-out, particularly given the difficulties Major League Baseball has had controlling the coronavirus. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have each missed a week or more of games because of team outbreaks. Trout had expressed concern about COVID-19 since before the start of summer camp. “A lot of things flying through my head, obviously Jess was worried,” Trout said. “What I’ve been doing, this team the Angels, we’ve been safe. I feel safe here. Everybody’s being accountable, staying in the hotel room, doing the right things and making the right choices. Until something happens, I feel like it’s been good so far. It’s definitely scary for baseball.” ALSO Related Articles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani won’t be able to throw for at least 4 weeks, but can DH Angels to promote top prospect Jo Adell MORNING WRAP: Shohei Ohtani big concern for Angels; Clayton Kershaw ageless in season debut Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation Angels send Shohei Ohtani for MRI after rough outing The Angels placed Cam Bedrosian on the injured list with a right adductor strain. Bedrosian had been one of the few consistently effective relievers in the first 10 games, allowing one run in his first 4 1/3 innings. Kyle Keller was recalled from the alternate site in Long Beach to take Bedrosian’s spot… In order to create spots for Jo Adell and Mike Trout, the Angels optioned Michael Hermosillo and Jared Walsh to Long Beach. View the full article
  4. The start of Jo Adell’s big league career, one that the Angels hope will see him become a franchise player, can be pointed to Justin Upton. Adell, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, was promoted to the big leagues and inserted into the lineup on Tuesday night. It was a move that was inevitable, at some point, but the reason it’s happening right now is that Upton has started the season in a 5-for-37 slump. Manager Joe Maddon said Adell will now be the Angels everyday right fielder, while Upton and Brian Goodwin will platoon in left. Upton, as the right-handed hitting half of that platoon, is obviously going to get the short end of the playing time. Goodwin started the season 10 for 30 with two homers. Maddon said that Adell had been playing well in games at the alternate site in Long Beach, and he had cleaned up some of his defensive issues, but Upton’s slump was the final spark to light the fuse on Adell’s career. “If J-Up had been hotter, it probably would not have happened (now),” Maddon said. “I can’t deny that. That’s 100 percent true. It was a combination of factors. His readiness and the opportunity. J-Up could easily get back into a regular rotation, but for right now we’re working with a platoon with him and Goody. That’s the straight up truth.” The demotion for Upton comes just a couple weeks after Maddon complemented how well he was looking during summer camp. Upton homered in the second game of the season, but has not gotten hot. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats, with four strikeouts. Upton, 32, is making a pro-rated portion of $21 million this year, with $51 million due over the next two seasons. Maddon said he understood the decision to reduce his playing time, though. “Justin was wonderful in the conversation,” Maddon said. “I’m sure he is not 100 percent happy about it, but he will play. He’s going to play often. It’s just for now, when you have this opportunity with the young man, generally what you do is (make) a spot for him, and give him an opportunity.” For Adell, 21, that meant the chance to live out his dream. He had hit .298 with an .878 OPS in parts of three minor league seasons. His defense was the last piece of the puzzle. After a few miscues in right field during summer camp, Adell conceded it was an area that needed work. He said he spent about 30 minutes a day focusing on outfield play while working out in Long Beach. Adell said he’s been satisfied with his work at the plate too, which general manager Billy Eppler said had shown significant improvement even between spring training and summer camp. Now he’ll get his chance to show the world what all the talk has been about as he’s climbed the prospect charts. “So much excitement,” Adell said. “You work so hard, and you always have that as the goal out in front of you, and then one day you get the call like this and it finally validates the work you’ve done… It’s definitely humbling and very exciting.” Related Articles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani won’t be able to throw for at least 4 weeks, but can DH Angels to promote top prospect Jo Adell MORNING WRAP: Shohei Ohtani big concern for Angels; Clayton Kershaw ageless in season debut Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation Angels send Shohei Ohtani for MRI after rough outing View the full article
  5. Hello BiographyTrends,

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  6. Hello Imbecile Detector,

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  7. Hello Joey Hahne,

    Welcome to AngelsWin.com. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

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  8. The chances of Shohei Ohtani pitching again for the Angels this season took a hit with the Monday news that his MRI exam showed an injury that will prevent him from throwing for four to six weeks. There are only eight weeks left in this shortened season. Ohtani, who had some discomfort after making his second appearance of the year on the mound on Sunday, was diagnosed with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass. The “general timetable for beginning a throwing progression following this injury is four to six weeks,” the Angels announced. In the meantime, Ohtani can still serve as the team’s designated hitter. He was not placed on the injured list and he traveled with the team to Seattle, where the Angels will begin a series on Tuesday. The news is certainly discouraging for those who had looked forward to seeing Ohtani once again serve as a two-way player, a role at which he excelled for the first two months of 2018. On the positive side, the Angels did not indicate there was any damage to Ohtani’s ulnar collateral ligament, which required Tommy John surgery that has kept him from pitching in the majors for most of the past two years. Related Articles Angels to promote top prospect Jo Adell MORNING WRAP: Shohei Ohtani big concern for Angels; Clayton Kershaw ageless in season debut Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation Angels send Shohei Ohtani for MRI after rough outing Angels bullpen blows another one in 11-inning loss to Astros More to come on this story. View the full article
  9. Hello RunsBayloredIn,

    Welcome to AngelsWin.com. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

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  10. The Angels will promote Jo Adell for his big league debut before Tuesday’s game in Seattle, a source confirmed on Monday. Adell, 21, is the Angels No. 1 prospect, and one of the top five in all of minor league baseball. The Angels opted against putting him on the Opening Day roster, mostly because they believed he needed to work on his defense. The Angels are expected to option Michael Hermosillo and Jared Walsh. They will also add Mike Trout to the roster on Tuesday. Trout had been on the paternity list for the birth of his son. More to come on this story. Related Articles MORNING WRAP: Shohei Ohtani big concern for Angels; Clayton Kershaw ageless in season debut Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation Angels send Shohei Ohtani for MRI after rough outing Angels bullpen blows another one in 11-inning loss to Astros WATCH: Angels’ Albert Pujols hit grand slam against Astros View the full article
  11. By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer To say that 2020 has been a strange year is clearly an understatement. Not only has it dramatically disrupted Major League baseball, but it has all but shutdown Minor League baseball. The long-term effect of that will not be known for years. As fans, we know that the Minor Leaguers are our future. Their development is critical to the success of the Angels organization. To find out more about how those players who are not part of the limited training program are doing, we recently met online and spoke with William Holmes, the Angels 5th round draft pick in 2018. For William, development is critical, as he is trying to become part of the wave of 2-way players, following in Shohei Ohtani's footsteps. Drafted out of high school, William has posted a .252/.357/.329 line with 18 walks and 1 HR in 168 PAs and a 5.18 ERA with 38 Ks in 24.1 IP. He's done that all while being one of the youngest players in the leagues in which he played. We spoke with William about his goals, how he's progressing, and what he's doing this offseason to continue his development. As a player, he shows plenty of promise with lots of athleticism that should lead to success on both sides of the game. At AngelsWin.com, we believe that as he matures, and improves, he will shoot up our prospect charts over the next couple of years, and is definitely one of our prospects worth getting to know. Please click below to watch our interview with William Holmes. View the full article
  12. The Morning Wrap shares the days top five stories from our reporters at the Southern California Newspaper Group … And have everything delivered to you in our daily newsletters MONDAY, AUG. 3 ONE: Could it get any worse for the Angels? Not only do they blow a lead and lose to the Astros 6-5 in 11 innings, but their star prospect, Shohei Ohtani, was roughed up in the second inning, and then complained of discomfort in his arm, and was sent for an MRI. Columnist Jim Alexandered wondered: “Whatever the result of that diagnostic test, then, the other challenge ultimately will be to get Ohtani through the mental aspect of this.” Next up: Angels at Mariners, Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. View the full article
  13. Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, walks off the mound after being taken out of the baseball game during the second inning against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets set to pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is taken our of the game by manager Joe Maddon during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, winds up as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets a pat on the back from a teammate after being taken out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, follows through as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel leads off during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, and catcher Max Stassi, left, waves to teammates in the stands prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts as he walks in a run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands on the mound before being taken out of the game after walking in his second run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Show Caption of Expand Was it a crisis of confidence, maybe? Was Shohei Ohtani hesitant to really cut loose on the mound, 22 months after Tommy John surgery? Or was it maybe a dearth of adrenaline? Without the fans and the signs and real, live honest to goodness noise, has Ohtani just found it hard to get pumped up enough to just let it fly in this strangest of all baseball seasons? Both of the above, maybe, but there’s more – and it’s enough to cause furrowed brows and worried looks among the Angels and their faithful, at the very least. Ohtani’s second start of 2020, Sunday at Angel Stadium against Houston, was marginally better than his first last week in Oakland, when he couldn’t get out of the first inning. This time he breezed through the first – eight pitches, six strikes and a 1-2-3 inning – but the second was brutal: Five walks, two of which forced in runs, in two-thirds of an inning. And while his velocity started out better Sunday, getting as high as 97, it had tailed off significantly to 89.7 and below by the end of his day. In both cases, half the pitches he threw were balls: 50 in this case including 42, with 23 balls, in the second inning And then Ohtani reported “discomfort” in his pitching arm, according to an Angels spokesman, and was sent for an MRI. You panicking yet? It is worth noting that even with his command struggles in the second inning, Ohtani still could have escaped unscathed Sunday but for plate umpire Alfonso Marquez’ Incredible Floating Strike Zone. A 3-2 pitch to Astros catcher Dustin Garneau in the upper inside quadrant was called ball four by Marquez to force in the first run, and if anyone knows the Japanese translation for “robot umps” I’ve got to think that’s what was going through Ohtani’s mind. It looked like it was inside the strike zone graphic on the telecast, the online GameDay graphic likewise had it a strike, and after Anthony Rendon was called out on a simliar pitch an inning later the Angels’ telecast helpfully replayed that Ohtani pitch, complete with 3-D illustration. “He gets that called strike three right there, he gets out of the inning with 30 some pitches and it could have been a different story,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Could have been. I’m just saying. “Overall, a lot better physical stuff. But the results aren’t good yet.” The concern was real that Ohtani was hesitant to let it rip, even after having a few extra months to heal from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2018. Maddon said he thought the decrease in velocity was more a combination of fatigue from a long inning and getting out of sync mechanically. The fact that four of the walks came on full counts suggested that Ohtani wasn’t confident enough yet to put hitters away.Related Articles Angels send Shohei Ohtani for MRI after rough outing Angels bullpen blows another one in 11-inning loss to Astros WATCH: Angels’ Albert Pujols hit grand slam against Astros After welcoming his first child, Mike Trout to rejoin Angels on Tuesday in Seattle Angels rally for 10th inning victory after blowing the lead in the ninth This may have been a tipoff. In a Saturday teleconference interview he was asked if he’d overcome the hesitancy to let it all out and answered, through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, “It’s hard to say. I can’t give you a 100 percent answer saying I will be not apprehensive when I’m throwing.” Whatever the result of that diagnostic test, then, the other challenge ultimately will be to get Ohtani through the mental aspect of this. “There’s a lot of conversations involved,” Maddon said, after the game but before Ohtani’s trip to the MRI chamber was disclosed. “In order to really understand how you could help him, you got to do a good job of listening. You present the opportunity or the forum for the player to speak openly and then you listen. “I’m a mental skills guy. I believe in it. It’s about creating and maintaining a routine. It’s not complicated, but when things start going quickly we get away from it. We all do. So it’s a conversation, an open conversation. It’s a lot of listening. And then it’s building the process, building the program each individual player has, and try to have him put it back together. Eventually they do. It’s about slowing the moment down … creating and maintaining a good process.” Meanwhile, there is also this: The Angels don’t just have Ohtani the pitcher to think about but Ohtani the hitter as well. Right now he’s hitting .148 with a .586 OPS in six games as a DH, but he does have two home runs and seven RBI, and the Angels are more threatening offensively when he’s in the batting order. If he’s struggling on the mound one day a week, he can still help with the bat the rest of the week. It’s bad enough that the Angels have started this weirdest of all seasons 3-7. If both sides of Ohtani are somehow shut down … well, have we said enough bad things yet about 2020? jalexander@scng.com @Jim_Alexander on Twitter View the full article
  14. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, follows through as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel leads off during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts as he walks in a run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, walks off the mound after being taken out of the baseball game during the second inning against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets set to pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands on the mound before being taken out of the game after walking in his second run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, winds up as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets a pat on the back from a teammate after being taken out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, and catcher Max Stassi, left, waves to teammates in the stands prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is taken our of the game by manager Joe Maddon during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Show Caption of Expand ANAHEIM — Shohei Ohtani’s outing started off so well, then it took a disappointing turn, and several hours later it got even worse. After the Angels’ 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros in 11 innings, the team announced that Ohtani felt some discomfort in his arm after failing to get out of the second inning and had been sent for an MRI exam. The Angels did not plan to release results of the MRI on Sunday. Ohtani, who was making his second appearance on the mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery, had not recorded an out in his first outing last Sunday, with a fastball that averaged just 92.9 mph, compared with the 96.7 mph he threw before surgery. This time, though, Ohtani improved to 94.4 mph, topping out at 97.1 mph, which at least temporarily allayed fears that he had anything wrong with his arm. The problem was his control. In his second inning of work, he walked five batters and stayed on the mound for 42 pitches before Manager Joe Maddon pulled him, still with two outs. Maddon gave no indication that Ohtani had any sort of health concerns when addressing the media. The Angels subsequently announced that Ohtani had gone for an MRI. The Angels had high hopes for Ohtani, 26, as a two-way player, particularly after he did well enough in both roles for the first two months of 2018 to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Since then, though, he has not been able to continue at that level. Ohtani had Tommy John surgery in October 2018, which limited him to spend all of 2019 as a hitter. They had planned on him starting to pitch in May 2020, just to limit his innings. Once the pandemic pushed the start of the season back to July, the Angels expected to have Ohtani for the entire season in both roles.Related Articles Angels bullpen blows another one in 11-inning loss to Astros WATCH: Angels’ Albert Pujols hit grand slam against Astros After welcoming his first child, Mike Trout to rejoin Angels on Tuesday in Seattle Angels rally for 10th inning victory after blowing the lead in the ninth Angels hoping new dad Mike Trout can return Sunday However, two starts in there are now significant questions, about his performance and his health. In Ohtani’s two outings, he has faced 16 batters and he has walked eight of them. He has been charged with seven runs and he’s completed just 1-2/3 innings. When he didn’t have his fastball velocity in his first game, last Sunday in Oakland, Ohtani had said he felt reluctant to throw at his full velocity. Maddon and pitching coach Mickey Callaway both said Ohtani simply needed to be confident that he was healthy. This time, he was throwing harder and the immediate results were a perfect first inning, on just eight pitches. The second was another story. Ohtani walked the first three hitters of the inning. After two strikeouts, he did not get an apparent third strike called on Dustin Garneau, instead walking in a run. He then walked George Springer. Ohtani’s fastballs to Springer dropped to 89 mph. Maddon explained after the game that he thought Ohtani had just gotten fatigued from throwing 42 pitches in an inning. While the Angels wait to see if Ohtani’s MRI is clean, Maddon said he was encouraged by some of what he saw. “I saw some positive signs,” he said. “The velocity was much better. The slider was much better. It just seemed he tried to hit the edges too much, but he threw the ball much better.” View the full article
  15. Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is taken our of the game by manager Joe Maddon during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, walks off the mound after being taken out of the baseball game during the second inning against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, winds up as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets a pat on the back from a teammate after being taken out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, follows through as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel leads off during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, and catcher Max Stassi, left, waves to teammates in the stands prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets set to pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts as he walks in a run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands on the mound before being taken out of the game after walking in his second run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Show Caption of Expand ANAHEIM — It happened again. The Angels lost 6-5 to the Houston Astros in 11 innings on Sunday, the third time already in the young season they’ve lost a game when leading in the seventh inning or later. And that was a day after they blew another ninth-inning lead but came back to win anyway. The bullpen has been a glaring deficiency so far, dropping the Angels to 3-7 with one-sixth of their schedule complete in this 60-game sprint. This time they had overcome a Shohei Ohtani start that showed promise, but plenty of work still to do. He walked five in the second inning and was knocked out with two runs on the board. Albert Pujols then hit a monster grand slam to put the Angels up 4-2, and the bullpen almost made that lead hold up for the victory. Keynan Middleton allowed an Alex Bregman homer in the seventh and Ty Buttrey, who was trying for a five-out save, gave up a one-out RBI single by Josh Reddick to tie it in the ninth. It was the Angels’ fifth blown save of the season. Both teams capitalized on their free runner in the 10th, but each scored only one. After scoring, the Angels had the bases loaded with one out, but Max Stassi popped up and Matt Thaiss was called out on strikes. In the 11th, Bregman’s one-out single against Jacob Barnes drove in George Springer. The Angels couldn’t tie it this time. Although David Fletcher’s groundout moved the tying run to third, and the Angels loaded the bases with two walks, Brian Goodwin hit a flyout to end it. Most of the Angels offense came on one swing from Pujols in the third inning. His 437-foot blast was his second longest homer in the last three years. It was the 15th grand slam of his career, and the 658th homer, as he pulled within two of equaling Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. That homer turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead, erasing Ohtani’s performance in his second start of the season. He had failed to get an out a week earlier in his debut in Oakland. Ohtani, Manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Mickey Callaway had all suggested one of his issues in Oakland was a reluctance to throw at his normal velocity because he was coming off an injury. He allayed those fears the second time out, averaging 94.4 mph and hitting 97.1 mph with his fastball. Ohtani averaged 96.7 mph before Tommy John surgery, but only 92.9 mph in his season debut last week in Oakland. In the first, Ohtani also snapped off a couple nice splitters on his way to a perfect, eight-pitch inning. Much of the optimism generated from that inning melted away in the second, though. Ohtani walked five hitters, pushing in two runs. He threw 42 pitches in the inning and could only get two outs before he was pulled. Ohtani has walked eight of the 16 batters he’s faced in two starts. More to come on this story. View the full article