The ace wasn’t a sure bet to take the mound this week, because he was nursing a sore groin.
However, he was good to go today and took the ball against the Sox.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Stephanie Apstein shared a funny chat that occurred between Ohtani and his manager, Joe Maddon.
“Joe Maddon said he expected Shohei Ohtani would pitch for the Angels tomorrow but would have a conversation with him to confirm. Maddon just walked by Ohtani in the clubhouse. ‘You good for tomorrow?’ ‘Yes.’ Guess he’s pitching!”
Joe Maddon said he expected Shohei Ohtani would pitch for the Angels tomorrow but would have a conversation with him to confirm. Maddon just walked by Ohtani in the clubhouse.
“You good for tomorrow?”
Guess he’s pitching!
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) May 5, 2022
Those are the kind of short interactions that we probably had with our dads growing up.
Ohtani Is Looking Healthy
All kidding aside, all Maddon wanted to know is that his star pitcher was healthy enough to pitch an important game.
He evidently is, because at the time of writing this article, he had pitched four innings with no runs or walks.
He had allowed three hits and struck out seven hitters.
Ohtani is a crucial piece for the Angels as they try to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Before taking the ball on Thursday, he had a 4.19 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
He has pitched better than that ERA suggests, however, and that number could start dropping in a hurry.
So far, they are leading the AL West division with a 16-10 record.
Will 2022 be the year?