Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani set another MLB record on Opening Day and proved, once again, that he is an asset to the league.
Shohei Ohtani is a fairly new player in MLB. He started his career with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018 and has consistently started more games as the seasons progressed.
After his MVP season, Ohtani started off the game with a fast second-pitch at 98 mph. He’s produced high-velocity fastballs in the past, but they’re usually thrown later into the game.
"“He’s just gradually gotten better command of his fastball — that’s what I think the big difference is. And you saw it again tonight — a lot of 97s and 99s. In the past, the early part of the game would be lower numbers until he needed it. Right now, even when it’s not needed, he’s still doing those things.” -Angels manager Joe Maddon, via ESPN"
Shohei Ohtani makes more history
Ohtani’s fastball has rightly garnered the attention of many Angels fans. Angels fans who attended Opening Day likely didn’t know they would witness Ohtani set another big MLB record. Ohtani “became the first player in AL/NL history to both throw his team’s first pitch of the season and face his team’s first pitch of the season as a hitter,” via MLBStats on Twitter.
Ohtani also struck out nine players and allowed only one run throughout nearly five innings, and he had a spotless batting record. He seems to have conflicting emotions about his performance on the mound and at the plate, despite having produced an incredible game.
"“My splitter was a little bit all over the place, but I felt good about my fastball, curveball and slider. I had a chance in my last at-bat to tie the game but I couldn’t come through, which was disappointing. On the pitching side, I felt like the pitch count was high and it didn’t allow me to stay in the game longer.” -Ohtani, via MLB"
Ohtani is an extremely talented player, and his drive to be the best could put him in position for back-to-back MVPs.