‘Strikeout history’ Ohtani falls victim to ML record this time… Despite 6 consecutive hits + 13 stolen bases, team loses 1-5
- on Aug 02, 2023
Even if he struck out, he made a new Major League (ML) history. Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels), who has always been a record-breaker, this time found himself the victim of a record-breaker.
Ohtani went 1-for-4 with a walk, two strikeouts, and a stolen base in the Angels’ 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at TriState Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, starting at second base and designated hitter. His batting average dropped slightly on the season, from .305 to .304.
The Angels were held in check by a strong outing from Atlanta starter Spencer Strider (25), falling 1-5 and halting their winning streak at two. At 56-52, the Angels dropped back into fourth place in the American League behind the Seattle Mariners (55-51).메이저놀이터
Strider is a big-time prospect who is expected to be the new “Dr. K,” striking out 200 batters for the second straight year last year in his first full-time season in the big leagues. He defies the stereotype that a starter needs to have a variety of pitches, striking out a lot of batters with two pitches, a four-seam fastball and a high-speed slider. Last season, he struck out 200 batters in 130 innings, breaking the major league record for fewest strikeouts in a single season. This was notable because it broke Dr. K Randy Johnson’s record of 200 strikeouts in 130⅔ innings set 20 years ago in 2001.
Again, Strider induced a whopping 28 swings and misses with his 87.6-mile-per-hour slider, which topped out at 100 mph (160.9 km/h) and averaged 97.3 mph (156.6 km/h). One of them was Ohtani.
Ohtani drew a three-pitch walk from Strider with one out in the first inning. He swung at a 98-mile-per-hour (157.7 kilometers per hour) four-seam fastball over the top of the plate and watched a four-seam fastball that dropped low on the outside. The third pitch, a changeup, was thrown to the same location as the second pitch and induced a swinging strikeout. Ohtani headed to the dugout with a disappointed look on his face, as if he couldn’t do much about it.
The strikeout was Strider’s 200th of the season, a major league record. His 200th strikeout in 123⅓ innings eclipsed his own record of 200 strikeouts in 130 innings set last year. According to MLB.com, he became the fourth pitcher in the modern era of baseball (since 1920) to record at least two 200-strikeout seasons, joining John Smoltz (five), Phil Niekro (three), and Charlie Morton (two). He also became the fifth pitcher to strike out 200 batters in both of his first two full seasons in the major leagues after the mound was moved to its current distance (from home plate) in 1893. The other four were Darvish Yu, Hideo Nomo, Dwight Gooden, and Herb Score.
Ohtani didn’t fend off the Striders in his next at-bat. He worked a full count with two outs in the top of the third inning, but struck out swinging on an 87.5-mile-per-hour slider up the middle.
It wasn’t until the third at-bat that the earlier humiliation was made a little more palatable. Leading off the sixth inning, Ohtani lined a three-pitch fastball into the outfield for a single up the middle. Shortly thereafter, Mike Moustakas stole second base for his 13th stolen base. It was short-lived, however, as Hunter Renfroe was stranded on a foul-tipped grounder. Ohtani had to settle for a grounder in his final at-bat, ending his six-game hitting streak and his 13th stolen base.
Meanwhile, Angels starter Patrick Sandoval dropped to 8-6 on the season after allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in five innings. The Angels had six hits to Atlanta’s seven, and while the two teams weren’t far apart in terms of hits, they were evenly matched in terms of long balls.
Matt Olson led off the first inning with a single up the middle to put runners on second and third, and Michael Harris II took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth with a home run to right center. In the bottom of the seventh, Orlando Arcia drew a leadoff walk and Harris II capped it off with a back-to-back home run.
Strider pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing three runs on five hits (two walks and one hit-by-pitch) with nine strikeouts to improve to 12-3 on the season.