‘I Tried to Hang In There’- Shohei Ohtani Shines Light on Why He Wasn’t in ‘Perfect Shape’ Against Tampa Bay Rays

Published 05/12/2022, 7:30 AM EDT
Sep 25, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) sits in the dugout before being introduced during a pregame awards ceremony at Angel Stadium. Ohtani was given the team MVP and Nick Adenhart Awards before a game against the Seattle Mariners. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani has been a blessing to the game of baseball. Whether from the mound or plate, the LA Angels’ two-way phenom has been absolutely exceptional in the last couple of years. Because of his two-way skills, baseball fans often compare him with the legendary Babe Ruth.

However, sometimes, even the bests may have a poor day in the ballpark. Though Ohtani did not have a bad game against the Tampa Bay Rays, there was a minor dip in his performance.

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Known for his speed and accuracy from the mound, Ohtani has been one of the best starting pitchers in the league. Earlier this month, the Angels star displayed one of the best pitching performances of the season against the Boston Red Sox in the Fenway Park. However, in his recent game against the Rays, Ohtani was not at his best. He even did not match his average pitching velocity.

Shohei Ohtani was not in perfect shape

Even in his poor outing, Shohei Ohtani struck out five batters and allowed only two hits. It speaks about the volume of the bar he has set for himself. Because striking out five batters in a single game is still a very tough job.

Sep 25, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) sprints to first base on his way to a triple against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

But one thing cannot be denied, that there was a notable dip in the velocity of Ohtani’s pitches. His average velocity has been 97.2 mph this season. But the reigning AL MVP averaged only 96.0 mph, while his last pitch clocked at only 93.3 mph.

Talking about his performance, Ohtani admitted that his velocity was not good. “I didn’t feel like I was in the perfect shape, my velocity wasn’t good. But I think I was able to manage somehow. Physically, I was not in fresh condition. It is the same for everyone. So, I tried to hang in there,” Ohtani said.

LA Angels win series despite a loss against Tampa Bay Rays

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Despite losing their third and the last game of the series to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Angels clinched the three-game series by 2-1. Notably, the Joe Maddon-led team had already won the previous two games against the Rays.

With 21 wins out of 33 games, the Angels are donning the American League West. With Mike Trout, Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon by their side, the Angels have been running riots in the 2022 season.

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Given their performances, do you think they will make it to the World Series?

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Abhishek Kumar

785 articles

Abhishek Kumar is an MLB author at EssentiallySports. After completing his Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek has been working in the media industry since two years. Before joining EssentiallySports, he previously worked at APN News as a sub-editor, where he has written articles on sports and politics.

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