The Los Angeles Angels are in a downward spiral after making a major trade to retain Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels lost a 3-2 home game to the Seattle Mariners at Angels Stadium on June 6. It was their fifth straight loss, dating back to the trade deadline against the Atlanta Braves on April 2. At 56 wins, the Angels’ hard-earned five-game winning streak is on the verge of collapse.
The third-place American League (AL) wild-card Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Sunday, extending their lead over the Angels to six games. Using Toronto’s current winning percentage (.554) as the cutoff for the third wild card, the Angels would need to win 34 of their remaining 50 games, or a .680 or better winning percentage going forward, to make it to fall ball.
The Angels got off to a strong start in the second half, going 9-3 in their first 12 games of the second half, including two four-game winning streaks, to pull within three games of Toronto, five games over the winning percentage cutoff. They added some big names via trade, including Lucas Giolito, Mike Moustakas, CJ Cron, and Randal Grichuk, but a three-game losing streak in their next nine games saw them plummet to 2-7.
Ohtani’s face was not a happy one throughout the game. He went 0-for-4 at the plate, and the umpire’s strike calls were spotty.
Most notably, in his last at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score 1-3, Ohtani went to a favorable count on a three-ball and struck out swinging. On a 3B1S count, Seattle right-hander Andres Muñoz’s five-pitch 86.9-mph slider grazed the outside of the strike zone, but umpire Quinn Wallcourt’s hand went up.
Ohtani shook his head in disappointment and swung wildly at a sixth-pitch 89.7 mph slider in the low strike zone. As he left the batter’s box and headed for the third base dugout, Ohtani appeared stoic, talking to himself as he worked out his anger.
Ohtani had earlier faced Seattle starter George Kirby on a full count in the bottom of the fourth inning, pulling an 80.1-mph curveball in the middle of the seventh that he lined to right field for a sharp hit that was caught by the right fielder. It hit 107.3 mph and was right on the center of the bat, but the direction wasn’t right.
In his third at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, he was hit in the right ankle by a foul pitch of his own and “screamed” in pain.
Ohtani was silent, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, snapping a nine-game hitting streak and dropping his average from .310 to .307 (125-for-411). His 40 home runs, .676 OPS and 1.086 slugging percentage still lead both leagues combined, but it’s hard to get excited about this team.카지노사이트
Ohtani may not realize it, but Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves is closing in on him in the home run race, making the combined home run leader in both leagues an uncertainty. Olson hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs, his 38th of the season. Olson, who trailed by six games as recently as July 28, has been on a roll lately.