MLB

LA Angels' Ohtani throws 10 strike outs days after his season almost ended

The Japanese two way sensation put in an inspired performance just days after a sore arm almost ended his season.

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LA Angels' Ohtani throws 10 strike outs days after his season almost ended
Jayne Kamin-Oncea AFP

It was less than a week ago when when Los Angeles manager Joe Maddon, stated that Shohei Ohtani might not pitch again this season due to soreness in his right arm. Yet on Sunday, there he was atop the mound doing one of the things he does exceptionally well, throwing strikeouts.

Ohtani's incredible recovery

The two way sensation matched his season high in strikeouts with 10, as he pitched 8 innings in a game that while ending in a 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics, was truly something to witness. Ohtani was due to start on Friday against the Athletics but was then sidelined as the team mulled over whether or not it was the best option given the situation. In the end the seemingly stunning recovery was complete, as he threw 30 pitches in a bull pen session that same day. There was nothing left to do but hand him the ball for Sunday's game.

The man they call 'Shotime' allowed two runs and five hits with three walks on Sunday, as the A's managed to claw their way to victory against the Angels in 10 innings. Though a losing effort, he amazingly reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time since June 4th while the crowd chanted "M-V-P!"

'Shotime' keeps getting better

"He has a great feel for what he's doing out there and makes adjustments constantly," said Angels manager Joe Maddon. "But the biggest difference from when I saw him first last year to now is overall command of his pitches, all of them, but primarily the fastball.''

When questioned about his motivation as the season comes to an end, Ohtani did not speak of the MVP race. "I need to keep on throwing, and every time I throw I learn something and I'm getting better,'' Ohtani stated using an interpreter. "I want to be pitching next year and beyond so this whole experience from this year is going to help me down the road." It's been hard to keep the motivation up being out of the playoff race like this,'' he said.

Oakland Athletics' Montas matches Ohtani

On the opposite side of the field the A's starting pitcher Frankie Montas turned in a big performance giving up one hit over seven scoreless innings. "When you go up against Ohtani, you know you have to be really good, and he was,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said when asked about Montas' performance. "He matched him all the way until both were out of the game and out pitched him really.''

With the win, the A's rounded out a three-game sweep and added to their 15-4 record  against the Angels this season.