“I didn’t feel my best today”

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Shohei Ohtani only allowed two hits and one run against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. He pitched six innings, walked just two batters, and struck out five. His team may have lost 2-4, but the Los Angeles Angels pitcher produced solid statistics. They just didn’t meet his standards of approval, which, to be fair, are extremely high.

After the game, Ohtani could only focus on what went wrong. His velocity was down. His longevity on the mound felt stifled. He was tired. He told all these things to Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna after the game. In an article for the “Los Angeles Times,” DiGiovanna shed some light on how the pitcher was feeling. Angels fans be warned: It isn’t great.

Fatigue may be catching up with Shohei Ohtani after loss to Tampa Bay Rays

Los Angeles Angels SP Shohei Ohtani allowed only two hits over six innings in Wednesday's game. One was a home run.
Los Angeles Angels SP Shohei Ohtani allowed only two hits over six innings in Wednesday’s game. One was a home run.

It’s hard pitching the day after your teammate throws a no-hitter. You want to compete and match the performance, but that’s nearly impossible. Usually, the best you can do is hurl a quality start with a low earned-run percentage and small WHIP.

That’s exactly what Shohei Ohtani did on Wednesday. He pitched on the heels of Reid Detmers’ no-hitter — a 12-0 Angels victory. Ohtani was exhausted but still managed to hurl six innings of work. A fully healthy Ohtani could’ve done more.

“Looking at my velocity, I didn’t feel my best today … fatigue could be a factor.” The physical demands of his two-way role may have caught up to #Angels RHP Shohei Ohtani in a 4-2 loss to #Rays, but he says he’s not hurt and prefers to “keep on going.” lat.ms/3FCGHGk

“Looking at my velocity, I didn’t feel my best today … fatigue could be a factor.” The physical demands of his two-way role may have caught up to #Angels RHP Shohei Ohtani in a 4-2 loss to #Rays, but he says he’s not hurt and prefers to “keep on going.” – @ Mike DiGiovanna

Ohtani said that he “didn’t feel his best.” DiGiovanna thought that Ohtani’s 2019 Tommy John Surgery might be returning to haunt him. He asked Ohtani if that was a possibility.

“No,” Ohtani replied. “I’m not worried about that at all.”

shohei ohtani resting his head on the first base coach’s chest https://t.co/J5vpdL5m6W

“shohei ohtani resting his head on the first base coach’s chest” – @ shohei ohtani doing things

These pictures are a few days old, but Ohtani looks pretty tired in them. He also said fatigue is probably the cause of his six-inning performance against the Rays.

“It’s hard to say [why],” he said. “But we were in the last game of a 20-game stretch, so fatigue could be a factor.”

Twenty-game stretches will tire anyone out. The Angels still need to keep a close eye on Ohtani, as overworking him is a dangerous game. Skipper Joe Maddon is fully aware of that.

“He was a little fatigued today,” Maddon said. “That’s why I sent out Matt [Wise, pitching coach] to see him in the sixth. He said, ‘No, I’m fine,’ and he was. He ended up striking out a couple of guys. His curve was outstanding. He was fine. He just was a little more fatigued today than he was the last time.”

But good luck resting Ohtani. He says that “it’s up to Joe [Maddon]” when he rests, but he’ll play every day if he can.

“Personally, I don’t think I need any days. I want to keep on going. But ultimately, it’s up to Joe.”

We all need days off, Shohei. Even three-time MVP Mike Trout takes them when he can. That being said, we’re not complaining if Ohtani plays every day.


Edited by Jodi Whisenhunt

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