Game Recap – 05/20/18
The Tampa Bay Rays came into Angel Stadium on Sunday looking to complete their sweep of the Angels and extend their winning streak to seven games. They left disappointed. Shohei Ohtani stifled the Rays over 7.2 innings, scattering 6 hits and a walk with 9 strikeouts while allowing 2 runs, picking up his 4th win of the season.
All 9 batters Ohtani struck out on the day went down swinging, 6 of them coming on his nasty splitter (29.8 swinging strike rate on the year). I mentioned last week that batters have had trouble making contact against Ohtani all season but it may surprise you to know just how good he’s been.
There are 111 starters who have pitched at least 40 innings this year. Shohei sits at #1 in Contact% allowed as per Fangraphs. Below is a chart of the top 10.
That’s some pretty good company to be in.
Again, it’s the fastball. 4 of the 6 hits Shohei gave up on the day came on the fastball, with 3 of those going for extra bases (2 doubles and a homerun). This has been a recurring theme for Ohtani this year.
Fangraphs does a split of wOBA by pitch type which is a good indicator of how well hitters are doing against certain pitches in your arsenal. Against Shohei’s fastball, opponents have a .439 wOBA. Mike Trout’s wOBA is .445 this year. Against his secondary offerings? .140 wOBA. That’s Tyler Wade level. Who is Tyler Wade you ask? Exactly.
Ohtani’s fastball has the velocity to be dominant (he ranks #3 amongst starting pitchers this year according to Fangraphs). So far, he’s just been missing his spots too often. Below are the 3 of the hits Shohei gave up from Sunday’s game. Take note of where the catcher’s glove sets up and where the pitch ends up going.
Homerun in the 3rd inning:
Double in the 8th inning:
Single in the 8th inning:
This 2-2 Splitter:
This GOOD 3-2 Fastball:
This 0-2 Splitter:
This 0-2 Slider
Shohei is now 2-0 in his last 3 starts with a 2.25 ERA and 26 Ks. Here’s hoping he can keep it going with a tough assignment next weekend, making his first start in New York against a Yankee team leading the majors in OPS.