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.
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)
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…
This 3-2 Slider:
This 0-2 Splitter:
This 2-2 Fastball:
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!