Angels' Shohei Ohtani makes case to start in All-Star Game

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani provides a second-inning pitch versus the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on Wednesday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

There is less than a week till the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. On Wednesday at Angel Stadium, Dusty Baker, who will handle the American League group, got an opportunity to see among his possible beginning pitchers personally.

Shohei Ohtani provided another outstanding efficiency, on the mound and at the plate, as the Angels played Baker’s Houston Astros.

Ohtani had 12 strikeouts, strolling 2 batters and quiting 4 hits and one made run over 6 innings and 105 pitches. He ended up being simply the 2nd pitcher in Angels history to tape 10 or more strikeouts in four-consecutive starts. The other pitcher to do so was Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Ohtani is 6-0 in his last 6 starts, with a 0.45 period because period. The offense has actually produced in each of those last starts, consisting of Wednesday.

“I’m in the lineup the other games we’re losing, so in that sense I do take [the losses] personally and try to win the games that I pitch,” Ohtani stated through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara after the video game.

Ohtani likewise contributed 2 RBI on a triple he struck off Astros starter Cristian Javier in the 2nd inning and got a single off reducer Bryan Abreu in the 6th — he was driven house in the 6th throughout the group’s four-run rally. The Angels beat the Astros 7-1.

“He’s not just an All-Star, he’s a megastar,” Baker stated of Ohtani prior to the video game. “He’s one of the top offensive players and one of the top pitchers. And he’s smart — I can tell the way he plays the game that he’s not only talented, but he’s smart.”

Ohtani was called the AL beginning designated player and contributed to the list of qualified beginning pitchers for the All-Star Game for a 2nd year in a row. He was the very first gamer to be a beginning pitcher and hit in the leadoff area, which took place throughout the 2021 Midsummer Classic.

He is a fan preferred to make the start for the video game, for a prospective beginning pitching match with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

Baker stated on Tuesday that Astros ace Justin Verlander would not pitch in the All-Star Game, so that guidelines him out.

Another more statistically deserving starter, nevertheless, would be Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan.

McClanahan had the very best period in baseball (1.71) amongst beginning pitchers this season since Wednesday. He likewise logged 147 strikeouts with simply 19 strolls over 18 starts (10-3). For referral, Ohtani had a 2.44 period with 111 strikeouts and 20 strolls over 14 starts (8-4) prior to Wednesday.

But that’s all for Baker to choose by Monday, the day prior to the All-Star Game.

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani slides safely into third base on a second-inning triple.

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani slides securely into 3rd base on a second-inning triple as Houston Astros 3rd baseman Alex Bregman waits on the ball at Angel Stadium on Wednesday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Baker stated on Wednesday he simply began his procedure of determining how to handle his All-Star lineup, which starts with connecting with those gamers’ supervisors to discover how they’re feeling, whether they’ll be offered to play in the video game and their general convenience level of when to play in the video game.

“I gotta take care of their players as well as mine,” Baker stated, discussing that he understands not every gamer offered will be feeling 100% healthy. “I know the game doesn’t count… You might play to win, but you don’t win at all costs in this situation,” Baker included.

Among the gamers Baker stated he asked about was Mike Trout, who ran out the Angels beginning lineup on Wednesday. Trout was pulled from the middle of the video game on Tuesday with upper-back convulsions.

Trout, prior to Wednesday’s video game, stated he felt a lot much better than the night prior to which he had actually begun feeling pain in his back and has actually been playing through it. Tuesday night, his upper back felt more uneasy.

The Angels are positive that Trout will not go on the hurt list and he is positive he will have the ability to play in the All-Star Game.

Home run derby

Ohtani stated he had actually not decided over whether he will take part in Monday’s crowning achievement derby. He stated he still had actually not heard just how much he will be utilized throughout the All-Star Game which’s impacting his choice on the derby.

The derby bracket is exposed Thursday at 4 p.m. PDT.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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