Ohtani's Heroic Homer And Worrisome Exit: MLB Leader Faces Arm Fatigue Setback

Photo: Instagram/Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani, leading the MLB in home runs, showcased promise as he returned to the mound after a skipped start due to arm fatigue.

The Angels were optimistic about his performance against the Reds in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Early on, he demonstrated sharpness and even launched his 44th homer of the season in the first inning.

However, his outing was short-lived as he exited the game in the second inning due to a recurrence of arm fatigue that had troubled him earlier. The Angels' manager, Phil Nevin, shared that the impact of this setback on Ohtani's future remains uncertain.

Despite the exit, Ohtani mentioned that he didn't experience pain during his play, which offered a glimmer of encouragement. Nevin highlighted the ongoing evaluation process, emphasizing that these situations require time for proper assessment.

In the initial inning, Ohtani delivered a flawless performance but signaled discomfort after pitching a fastball to Christian Encarnacion-Strand. This prompted Nevin and the head athletic trainer to intervene, leading to Ohtani's early departure.

His velocity was notably reduced, with his fastball averaging around 93.1 mph, a drop from his typical season average of 96.9 mph. The speeds of his other pitches also decreased.

Nevin expressed concern about the abrupt exit and the noticeable changes in Ohtani's pitching dynamics. The manager's worry was fueled by the dip in velocity and the altered shapes of Ohtani's pitches.

Ohtani's walk and subsequent departure in the second inning added to these concerns. Although Ohtani's arm fatigue didn't hinder his performance at the plate initially, the decision to substitute him was made to facilitate immediate evaluation by the training staff.

This differed from a previous instance when Ohtani experienced finger cramping but remained in the lineup after leaving the pitching role. Despite the challenges on the mound, Ohtani's offensive prowess was evident in his early homer.

Missing just two more home runs to match his personal best and three to tie the club record, Ohtani showcased his power and ability. His 115.7 mph homer dispelled doubts about his batting form being affected by arm fatigue.

Following Ohtani's departure, the Angels struggled to maintain their lead, with a critical error contributing to the Reds' comeback. Despite the victory, Reds' third baseman Spencer Steer expressed disappointment over not facing Ohtani's prime form, hoping for a swift recovery.

Steer praised Ohtani's talent and expressed anticipation for his return, echoing sentiments shared by baseball fans who appreciate Ohtani's remarkable skills.

Read Next: Yankees' Losing Streak Continues: Ninth Consecutive Defeat In Face of Favorable Setup

Source: MLB


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