Shohei Ohtani struggles on mound on Independence Day
Shohei Ohtani struggled on the mound as the San Diego Padres blast the Los Angeles Angels ace off the mound in an 8-5 nailbiter on the Fourth of July.
The Fourth of July saw the Los Angeles Angels travel down the road to San Diego to face the Padres in what was meant to be a showcase of Shohei Ohtani’s dominance. As it turned out, not so much.
In the top of the first, the Angels went three up, three down, with the two-way Ohtani going down swinging. And his day didn’t get much better from there.
While he started out well, striking out Juan Soto in the bottom half of the inning, Ohtani gave up a double in the second, followed by a turgid fourth where he surrendered another double and two runs.
The sixth then opened up with a single by Manny Machado, followed by back to back home runs from Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenweth to give the Padres a 5-1 lead. That was the end of Ohtani’s day, and he ended up throwing five complete innings, giving up seven hits and five earned runs, striking out five and walking four batters.
With the bat, Shotime was just as cold, going 0 for 3 on the day. The Angels had just as hard a time getting going, with only a fifth-inning Hunter Renfroe solo shot until a last-ditch ninth which saw four consolation runs cross the plate, making the game more of a nail-biter than in should have been.
The troubles for the Angels didn’t stop there, as neither Aaron Loup or Gerardo Reyes could stop the flow of runs from crossing the plate. Machado, Bogaerts, and Soto remained prolific on the day, going 8 for 9 between them and accounting for seven RBIs as the Padres posted an emphatic 8-5 win.
Not that it was all plain sailing. That ninth inning rally by the Angels saw Jose Castillo load the bases before Josh Hader came on to close and walked in two runs. Hader then seemed to settle and proceeded to slam the door closed. One good swing, one solid shot could have changed the storyline completely, the game ending with the winning run at the plate.
Ohtani’s season won’t be dampened by the outing however with the Japanese phenom leading MLB with 31 home runs and his upcoming free agency certain to shatter all records in terms of price tag.