Angels 1 Padres 4
A pitcher leading off? Ohtani may not be the *first, but this sure was fun. Thanks Joe Maddon!! How can not get excited about this kind of baseball?
In an otherwise forgetful game for the Angels, Shohei Ohtani did not disappoint. Ohtani led off the top half of the first with a single to center field off Blake Snell and showed solid stuff on the mound, striking out Fernando Tatis Jr. on a full count in the bottom half of the inning.
Ohtani missed his spot a few times but flashed some pretty impressive stuff including his nasty slider, splitter, and a 101MPH fastball to Fernado Tatis.
This bases loaded K got Ohtani out of a jam in the 3rd.
Ohtani ended his game at the plate going 2 for 2 with a walk. On the mound he racked up 5 Ks over 4 innings of work with only 2 hits and a run allowed. He also issued a pair of walks.
Non Ohtani notes:
Raisel Iglesias had a solid outing, as did Chris Rodriguez who continues to impress. Ty Buttrey – not so much.
Albert Pujols and Juston Upton were the only two player not named Ohtani to get a hit. It was indeed a rough day at the plate throughout the lineup with the Angels only notching 5 hits. Pujols prevented a shutout by smashing a home run in the 9th, his 2nd hit of the game.
*Ohtani is the first pitcher to bat leadoff since 1968 and first “real” pitcher to do it since 1901:
Ohtani is getting fat. (That’s a good thing.)
More wowing than expected. Would have loved to see the speedgun in the broadcast, but great anyway.
The sudden hype(who expected this a month ago, not me) sometimes worries me, but cautiously getting optimistic with Sho performing something close or equivalent to the early 2018 season levels.
Really making me excited for this season!
Brent’s write up is also good and I couldn’t help popping my eyeballs at this: “Ohtani has a 1.836 OPS”
Fun day for Angels baseball. Would’ve liked a few more runs from scoring position
Sounds like tomorrow’s broadcast announcing is going to be good!
Ohtani was excellent.
On the other hand, three key vulnerabilities that one could easily see repeating themselves in the regular season:
I worry that Maddon’s close personal relationships with guys like Fowler and Jay will prevent the team from failing fast if these vets don’t pick it up.
Still, I have to believe that Soggy Joe will get this right sooner than later. if this were another edition of WWSD (What would Sosh do) He would keep running the washed up Vets out there until the point of hip replacement.
I, for one would like to see how good Fowler is in the clubhouse in a diminished role riding the pine
If Maddon is adaptive and revolutionary, as we all want him to be, he’ll open the season with Lagares in RF, and Fowler on the bench. Fowler has shown nothing this spring to indicate he’s an MLB regular anymore. There’s a reason St Louis basically paid the Angels to take him.
He’s a very fine human being, but as a player, he’s put up an 86 OPS+ and a .218/.320/.370 slash over the three years of ’18-’20. He’s also delivered negative dWAR for four straight seasons.
That’s not the profile of a player you start in right field.
Lagares, meanwhile, has a valuable glove, while Schebler has uncontestable power in his LHB.
Let’s hope rationality prevails. But after today’s faux paus, It would be the ultimate hypocrisy to bring Fowler into the game as a late inning defensive replacement for J Up.
If Fowler doesn’t earn the starting spot, he hasn’t earned any spot. Both Fowler and Jay should be let go (or run through waivers), if we are talking about who has shown the best potential in the Spring.
Lagares provides positional flexibility, so give him RF and let him back up CF if Trout needs a day off. Schebler is a better bat off the bench, and can back up all the OF positions. And it isn’t like either Lagares or Schebler are not veterans either.
I do think it is great that we have position battles (4th OF, bench IF, back up C). This feels better than it has in years. We aren’t just plugging in anyone that could, if you squint hard enough, man a position. Rojas, Barretto, Ward, Rengifo, plus Lagares and Schebler are all really pushing for playing time.
Right. One of the reasons why we also need good pitching is our offense can’t (and won’t) be on all the time. We will need to win those close low scoring games too.