Shohei Ohtani’s presence on the mound almost certainly means something incredible will happen for the Angels. Through his 11-strikeout performance Wednesday, he delivered another dominant start for the team in need of all the good it can get.
Ohtani joined an elite group of pitchers, becoming just the third in Angels history to strike out 30 batters and not give up a run in three starts, per ESPN Stats & Information. The other two are Nolan Ryan and John Lackey. His scoreless streak reached 21 2/3 consecutive innings. All that on top of his continued brilliance at the plate, though he didn’t get a hit on this night in the Angels’ 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox to take two of three games in the series.
“No. 1 was to not give up the first run,” Ohtani said after the game. “Because my team got early runs, we were able to progress with a good flow. From there, the key was to hold on until we added more runs.
“I’ve never taken the mound thinking, ‘This is tough.’ Whatever the situation, what I do remains the same,” he added. “I always think I can’t let the other team score first.”
The White Sox elevated Ohtani’s pitch count early, making him work through 79 pitches before he was able to get strikeout No. 9 in the fifth inning. Still, he endured, blanking the White Sox through 52/3 innings, giving up five hits and one walk over 108 pitches, 74 of which were strikes.
In the first inning, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and first baseman Jose Abreu worked singles off Ohtani. But the traffic on the bases didn’t make it past second base as Ohtani got all three of his outs on swinging strikeouts.
He got through the second and third innings inducing easy outs and adding three more strikeouts to his total. The fourth inning was when he ran into trouble