I know he came up short tonight, but Shohei Ohtani still deserves some love for that performance. I know, I know … he’s not starved for attention. But seriously, we are just so lucky to watch him do his thing on the diamond. It is a true pleasure.
I mean, my god. In a season where one MVP candidate has already tied Roger Maris’ AL Home Run record with six games to go, we ALSO have a two-way phenom nearly throwing a no-hitter while slashing .275/.358/.529 (145 wRC+) with 34 home runs of his own. Oh, and he’s currently rocking a 14-game hitting streak. No big deal.
Shohei Ohtani, you are an absolute AMAZING baseball player, even if you came up just short of history in this one.
Shohei Ohtani Comes Up Short of No-Hitter
Here’s a look at first hit of the game, with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Before that, Ohtani had faced the minimum through 7.2 innings, allowing only a lead-off walk that was later erased by a double-play. He still had an inning to go, but that would have been the 13th no-hitter in Angels history and their second this season (Reid Detmers).
And you don’t have to worry about any official scoring changes, because Dermis Garcia singled right after that, as well. Ohtani got out of it after that. As I click publish, Ohtani is at 8.0 IP, 2H, 1BB, 0ER, 10Ks. He’s currently got a 2.35 ERA on the season.
The AL MVP Race
With all of that said – and I hate to say it — Ohtani really needed the no-hitter on his resume to help overtake Aaron Judge in the AL MVP Race. It’s not like 1.1 more innings SHOULD make that much more of a difference, but a no-hitter at least helps stand up against tying (and likely/eventually beating) the AL HR record. It’s still close, but it just FEELS like Judge has sucked up a whole lot of helium lately.
But it’s not like Ohtani is going down without a fight.
Either way, they are both doing absolutely historic things on the diamond and we are just lucky to get to see it at the same time.
As a reminder, Shohei Ohtani is a plausible trade candidate this offseason, as the Angels owner, Arte Moreno, looks to sell the team. Perhaps the Cubs will be involved …