Shohei Ohtani, the ace of the Los Angeles Angels, completely dominated the hapless Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon.
And he did it having just overcome a groin injury that took a couple of days from him.
Ohtani was on the mound for a full seven innings, in which he conceded just six hits: nothing more.
He didn’t walk anyone and struck out 11 Red Sox hitters, his highest output of the young season.
He was a strike-throwing machine today.
“@Angels Shohei Ohtani threw strikes on 81.8% of his 99 pitches today in Boston. That’s the highest strike% by a visiting pitcher in Fenway Park in the pitch-count era (since 1988, min. 50 pitches). Only one Red Sox pitcher has a higher mark – Nathan Eovaldi (82.0%) last season,” Stats By STATS tweeted today.
.@Angels Shohei Ohtani threw strikes on 81.8% of his 99 pitches today in Boston. That's the highest strike% by a visiting pitcher in Fenway Park in the pitch-count era (since 1988, min. 50 pitches).
Only one Red Sox pitcher has a higher mark – Nathan Eovaldi (82.0%) last season.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 5, 2022
Ohtani Trusts His Stuff More Than Anything Else
Throwing strikes is often the best way to navigate through a lineup, but it’s not always easy.
Many pitchers nibble around the strike zone because they don’t trust their stuff.
But Ohtani not only has excellent command of his arsenal, but has no fear and incredible stuff.
That is a really good combination to consistently throw strikes: when you know your pitches are nasty and near unhittable, it becomes easy to throw them in the strike zone.
Ohtani entered the start with a somewhat underwhelming 4.19 ERA, but it is at 3.08 after the incredible outing.
He has thrown 26.2 innings, with just five walks against a whopping 41 strikeouts.
Last year, his hitting rates and totals were perhaps the most impressive part of Ohtani’s statistical profile.
This year, he could break some personal pitching records.
He is a unicorn in baseball.