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.

The Good
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.

Chart1

That’s some pretty good company to be in.

The Bad

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:

The Filthy

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.

 

Game Recap – 05/13/18

Hi Shohei fans! My name is Max and I’ll be breaking down Shohei’s starts this year. My hope is to do this after every one of his starts (and some of his hitting games of course). Here we go!

Fans watching the Twins Angels game on Mother’s Day were treated to a duel between two exciting young pitchers in Fernando Romero and Shohei Ohtani. Romero was effectively wild in this one, giving up 4 hits and walking 3 but limiting the Angels to 1 run in 5 innings of work while striking out 6 batters. Ohtani was much better, striking out 11 batters over 6.1 innings while giving up only 3 hits and 2 walks while allowing just 1 run.

The Good

Shohei continues to get whiffs, generating a massive 21 swinging strikes in 103 pitches Sunday. Prior to this start, Ohtani’s 15.3% swinging strike rate placed him 5th among starters this season with at least 20 IP.

The slider continues to improve as well, as Ohtani is locating them more consistently down and away in his last two starts.

(Maps below from pitchfx.texasleaguers.com)

The Bad

It’s hard to find much “bad” about Ohtani’s performance during this impressive outing. One area of improvement for the 23 year old is fastball command early in the game.

After a Brian Dozier single to lead off the game, Ohtani threw a 2-2 fastball way outside to Max Kepler followed by a full count fastball down the middle that was hit hard at Kinsler for an out. This was followed up by 2 straight fastballs up out of the zone to fall behind Eduardo Escobar. Even with the velocity Shohei has, fastball command will be key in getting ahead of batters so that he can get to his filthy secondary offerings. Speaking of which…

The Filthy

This 3-2 Slider:

This 0-2 Splitter:

This 2-2 Fastball:

This Glove Slap:

Despite a dominant 1-run outing, Ohtani takes a no-decision for the day. The Angels would win it on a walk-off single by Zack Cozart in the bottom of the 9th. Shohei’s next scheduled start is Saturday, May 19th against the Tampa Bay Rays. See you then!

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