Shohei Ohtani throws one-hit shutout vs. Tigers

Shohei Ohtani throws one-hit shutout vs. Tigers

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Shohei Ohtani throws one-hit shutout vs. Tigers
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DETROIT — Shohei Ohtani has proven a lot of things during his six-year Major League career. Chief among them is that if there’s something you think he can’t do, you’re probably wrong.

The Angels’ two-way superstar dazzled again on Thursday, hurling his first career shutout — a one-hitter — in a 6-0 win over the Tigers in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Comerica Park, and then clubbing his Major League-leading 37th and 38th home runs in an 11-4 win in Game 2.

Ohtani walked three and struck out eight in his gem, putting a bow on the first complete game of his career by coaxing Riley Greene to line out to center field to clinch the win. The lone hit he allowed was a single from Kerry Carpenter to lead off the fifth.

Ohtani threw 111 pitches and batted five times in Game 1. He then met with the media, changed quickly and hit the dugout for the nightcap without breaking stride. After using his first at-bat to get a feel for starter Matt Manning, Ohtani stepped to the plate in the second inning and connected on a four-seamer that left his bat at 107.6 mph.

“He was the story of both games,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He was the best player on the field for both games. We saw what he does at his best on both sides.”

Which side was Hinch more impressed with?

“I don’t have to pick,” he said. “[Ohtani is] the best at both, and he showed us in person.”

The last time a pitcher has allowed one hit or fewer during a shutout and homered on the same day? According to MLB.com research guru Sarah Langs, on June 8, 1986, Expos starter Floyd Youmans held the Phillies to one hit, struck out eight and walked seven, and slugged his first home run of the season against a guy named Maddux (Mike, not Greg) in the second inning of a 12-0 win.

Ohtani’s feat took two games to Youmans’ one, and as if to make up the difference, he took Manning deep again in the fourth inning, this one a two-out solo shot with a 116.9 mph exit velocity.

“Guy has 40 homers for a reason,” Manning said. “He probably had the greatest day of baseball that anyone has ever seen today. It was incredible. I’m proud I didn’t shy away from it. Even when I got behind in the count, I went right at him. Tip your cap. It is what it is.”

It marked Ohtani’s 16th career multihomer game, and his fourth this year. He is only the second player since at least 1900 to throw a complete-game shutout, allowing no more than one hit, and homer twice on the same day, joining Rick Wise, who accomplished the feat while throwing a no-hitter on June 23, 1971.

“His uniqueness merits all the respect in the world,” Hinch said.

Ohtani left Game 2 prior to the seventh inning with what the Angels described as cramping, but manager Phil Nevin said it was simply due to the long, hot day and that Ohtani would DH on Friday in Toronto.

Ohtani’s latest grand showing came on a day he was originally going to take easy — in Ohtani-speak, that means “just” DHing for nine innings. The righty was originally slated to pitch Friday’s series opener at Toronto, but when inclement weather forced the teams to combine Wednesday’s game into a Thursday twin bill, the Angels decided to also bump up Ohtani’s start.

As per usual when it comes to their star, it worked out to everyone’s advantage.

“I feel like he went to another gear today,” Nevin said following Game 1.


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Shohei Ohtani throws one-hit shutout vs. Tigers

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