ANAHEIM, Calif. – Shohei Ohtani has brought many highlights to Angels fans this season. He outperformed her for most of Thursday night.
Ohtani, the Angels’ two-way phenom and reigning AL MVP, threw a no-hit ball in the eighth inning and extended his hitting streak to 14 games as Los Angeles resumed its winning streak with a 4-2 win over Oakland four increased athletics.
“Every time he takes that mound, you can expect something special,” said Phil Nevin, the Angels interim manager. “He had everything going. When he got through the seventh I thought it was going to happen. Unfortunately we will wait until next time.”
Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that he was surprised he lasted eight innings. He said he wasn’t happy with his fastball and left with more breaking balls than normal.
“To be honest, the speed on my fastball wasn’t as fast as normal,” he said. “But my slider did its thing and worked. I’m pretty surprised with my stuff today.”
Ohtani allowed two hits and hit 10 in eight scoreless innings for his longest outing of the season.
In his last home start of the year, Ohtani (15-8) issued a leadoff walk to Tony Kemp before retiring the next 22 batters in turn. Conner Capel broke the no-hit bid with a sharp grounder that deflected the glove of sliding shortstop Livan Soto and got into left midfield with two outs in eighth.
Even if Soto could have fielded it, he would have had trouble kicking Capel out.
Dermis Garcia followed with a clean single to the left before Ohtani grounded Shea Langeliers into third to end the inning.
“It was going to take a special shot, and Conner stayed on a ball and put a good swing at it,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “There’s always this exhale and then Garcia moves forward and we get some momentum.”
Ohtani extended his hitting streak to 14 games – the longest current streak in the majors – by going 2-on-4 with an RBI. He has 26 goals this season in games he has also served.
After winning the American League’s MVP award last season, Ohtani is a leading contender again this year — likely the closest challenger to New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge, who hit his 61st home run Wednesday night to to equal the AL record set by Roger Maris in 1961.
“I have a feeling that you guys are more of an expert on tuning. I’ll leave it up to you,” Ohtani said of the MVP race. “I’m enjoying watching Judge and seeing him achieve his 61st.”
Ohtani has 161 innings pitched, one inning missing, to ensure he will qualify among the league leaders at the end of the season. Ohtani is likely to serve in Oakland next Wednesday in the season finale, so he does.
On the mound, Ohtani’s 15 wins tie for third place in the AL, his 213 strikeouts are third and 2.35 ERA is fourth. At the plate, he is fourth in the league with 34 home runs and sixth in the league with 94 RBIs.
“I know I got MVP last year, but I’m having a better season this year, which just gives me a lot more confidence,” he said.
Ohtani had a perfect game for 5⅓ innings on April 20 in Houston before Jason Castro put up a single to left field in the sixth. It was Houston’s only goal of the game.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34693445/ace-shohei-ohtani-takes-no-hit-bid-8th-inning-los-angeles-angels-defeat-oakland-athletics-4-2 Ace Shohei Ohtani takes no-hit bid into 8th inning, Los Angeles Angels defeat Oakland Athletics