Shohei Ohtani’s home runs often seem to have a flair for the dramatic.
On Saturday night, the Angels star hit his 16th homer of the season, which left his bat at 118 mph and traveled 462 feet into the right-center-field stands in the third inning.
“We gotta keep playing hard,” interim manager Phil Nevin said after the game. “We gotta keep grinding out here. The guys are.”
The team made a last ditch effort in the ninth, with David MacKinnon working a walk and Mike Trout reaching base on balls after he had to duck to avoid getting hit in the head by a pitch, something he very clearly was not happy about.
“If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside,” Trout said after the game. “And if you’re gonna hit me hit me in the ribs. Don’t hit me in the head.”
Ohtani stepped to the plate hoping to change the Angels’ narrative, but his liner, though hit at 104 mph, dropped into the glove of Mariners right fielder Taylor Trammel, ending the game.
Ohtani’s homer earlier in the game wasn’t his longest or hardest hit, but it was more than enough to electrify the Angel Stadium crowd after the Mariners scored a run in the first.
And it convinced the Mariners to have starter Logan Gilbert intentionally walk him his third time up, in the fifth, after Trout doubled. That inning ended with both of them getting stranded on base.
Ohtani got his solo shot off Gilbert’s 96.8-mph, four-seam fastball, which he sent down the middle for the slugger to crush.
“Dude’s insane,” Angels starter Patrick Sandoval said of Ohtani after the game.