MLB

'Terrible' first inning leaves Ohtani wanting more after historic game against Rangers

By Sports Desk April 27, 2021

Shohei Ohtani could not ignore his "terrible" first inning during an historic game for the Los Angeles Angels against the Texas Rangers.

Two-way star Ohtani became the first player for nearly 100 years to start a game on the mound while also entering the day leading MLB in home runs.

The last to do so was New York Yankees great and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth back in 1921.

Ohtani, who picked up his first win since May 2018, went two-for-three with two RBIs and three runs scored in Monday's 9-4 victory in Arlington.

He also became the first player to have at least two hits and three runs scored plus nine strikeouts since Luis Tiant for the Cleveland Indians back in 1961.

However, a difficult opening inning, in which he gave up four runs and a homer to Nate Lowe, was foremost in Ohtani's mind after the win.

"I'm happy for the team victory and my team-mates gave me a lot of run support, which led to confidence," he said.

"But personally, that first inning was terrible, so I can't be fully satisfied. I think it's mechanics, more than anything. And I felt like my mechanics were better from the second inning on.

"I try to separate pitching and hitting while I'm doing both, but putting those runs on the board does lead to confidence. But that first inning I had, I need to not repeat that again, and I need to adjust and work on that before my next outing."

Ohtani was pulled after 75 pitches amid concerns about a blister on his right middle finger, but the Japanese star does not think it a major problem.

"I'm not worried at all," Ohtani said. "It's different from my last one and was barely starting to form. I felt like I could've gone another inning."

Related items

  • Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak

    Laurent Courtois has accepted that it is on him to find a winning formula as CF Montreal look to snap their winless run against Toronto FC.

    Montreal were beaten 3-1 by Columbus Crew in midweek and are now without a victory in six games in all competitions.

    That includes a three-game losing streak in MLS, leaving them 13th in the Eastern Conference, and Courtois is eager to get back on track.

    "It's up to me to find the winning formulas and discern the phases of the game," head coach Courtois said after the loss to Columbus.

    "We have to grit our teeth and find solutions. The difficult times we are going through help me identify my group. I want to know the players better. 

    "From all the negative aspects we can observe, I can identify a few individual aspects to improve the game or the team itself."

    Monreal's rivals Toronto have themselves lost back-to-back games ahead of Saturday's Canadian Classique at BMO Field.

    Nashville SC scored twice late on to snatch a 2-0 win in the Reds' most recent match, but acting head coach Jason deVos admits there can be no excuses.

    "The last ten minutes, two mistakes cost us and that's the cruelty of football sometimes - that it's a 90-minute match and you need to put in a 90-minute performance in," he said. 

    "The players are aware of that. They know where the growth areas are for us as a team."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Toronto - Federico Bernardeschi

    Bernardeschi missed the loss to Nashville but will hope to start this weekend in a fixture he has fond memories of. 

    The Italian has scored in each of his two home games against Montreal, making him the third Toronto player to score in two successive home games against them after Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

    Montreal - Joel Waterman

    Montreal have conceded three or more goals five times across their 12 MLS games this season, which is tied with San Jose Earthquakes for the most in MLS.

    They quite simply need to sharpen up at the back, with Joel Waterman needing to step up and hope others around him also do so.. The centre-back led the way for interceptions (three) and clearances (four) against Columbus, yet it was still not enough.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Montreal have won five successive matches against Toronto, following a run of neither side ever winning more than three on the spin in this fixture.

    Toronto have won seven and drawn one of their eight matches in which they have held opponents under two goals since September, while they have lost all 13 in which they have shipped two or more.

    Keeping the opposition quiet is therefore key, and this could present a chance to do just that against a Montreal side with fewer points (five) than any side in MLS since mid-March.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Toronto - 39.6%
    Draw - 28.5%
    Montreal - 31.9%

  • New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union: Porter urges players to cut out errors New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union: Porter urges players to cut out errors

    Caleb Porter accepts New England Revolution must cut out the individual errors if they are to return to winning ways against Philadelphia Union.

    The Revs went down 4-2 to New York Red Bulls last time out to make it four defeats in their last five games, and eight losses in 11 overall this season in MLS.

    New England are bottom of the Eastern Conference, but Porter hopes lessons have been learned ahead of hosting Philadelphia on Saturday.

    "Three of the four [goals NYRB scored] were individual mistakes that are easily correctable," Porter told The Blazing Musket. "We've gone to the training ground and corrected a few of those situation.

    "But it's just individuals in those moments have to be better. It wasn't a bad team-defending performance, but three of the four goals we gave up were routine."

    The Union have double the number of points compared to their opponents, having played one game more, as they occupy ninth place in the East.

    The Us are themselves not in great form, though, as they lost 2-1 at home to New York City FC in their most recent game - a contest overshadowed by a raccoon that entered the field. 

    They have just two points from the past 18 on offer, meanwhile, and head coach Jim Curtin admits it is on him and his players to turn things around.

    "The guys fight until the end, and we have to find a way to get out of this," Curtin said. "We're the only people that are going to get us out of it. 

    "The people in that locker room, the coaches, the players, they recognise that. They've shown they can beat anybody, and we're the only ones that can dig us out of this now."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    New England Revolution - Carles Gil

    Gil got the Revs temporarily on level terms against New York Red Bulls, with that his 100th regular-season goal contribution in MLS. That makes the Revs' attacking midfielder the seventh European player to reach that milestone, and the second Spaniard after David Villa.

    Philadelphia Union - Julian Carranza

    Carranza was on target for the Union in their midweek loss to New York City, coming from one of nine attempts he had on target. The former Argentina age-grade international has now registered four-or-more shots in four MLS career matches.

    To put that in perspective, the two other players to have done so in the club's history - Conor Casey and Andrew Wenger - have done so in a combined two games (one each).

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Philadelphia have won 12 matches against the Revs across all MLS competitions, which includes MLS is Back, since 2018 - their best return against any single opponent across that period.

    New England's tally of seven points from their opening 11 games is their worst-such return at this stage of a campaign in club history, with only two out of 17 teams in the post-shootout era (since 2000) managing to reach the playoffs from this position.

    However, there is some hope for them this weekend as the Union's one point across their past five matches is their fewest across any five-game span within a single season since April 2017.


    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    New England Revolution - 36.1%
    Draw - 28.8%
    Philadelphia Union - 35.1%

  • Schmidt shuts down Twins as red-hot Yankees complete sweep Schmidt shuts down Twins as red-hot Yankees complete sweep

    New York Yankees lead-off hitter Anthony Volpe started off Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins with a home run.

    That was all the run support Clarke Schmidt would need.

    Schmidt pitched a career-high eight innings and the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 5-0 win.

    Schmidt permitted three hits without a walk while striking out eight as New York won for the 10th time in 12 games to become the first AL club to 30 wins.

    The Yankees (30-15) posted back-to-back shutouts at Minnesota and extended their scoreless streak to 26 innings dating to the first inning of Tuesday's series opener.

    Volpe's homer sparked a three-run first inning for New York, which outscored Minnesota 14-1 in the three games.

    Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres each hit two doubles, while Anthony Rizzo, Austin Wells and Alex Verdugo all drove in one run.

    The Twins (24-19) entered this series with only three losses in their previous 20 games before promptly being swept for the first time since April 15-17, at Baltimore.

    Mets score two in 11th to edge Phillies

    J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead single in the 11th and later scored on a wild pitch to provide the final margin as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies to avoid a four-game sweep in the home-and-home series.

    The Phillies sent the game into extras after Bryson Stott tied the game with a single off Mets closer Edwin Díaz in the 9th.

    It marked the second straight blown save for Díaz and his third in four opportunities since May 5.

    Pete Alonso opened the scoring with a first-inning homer for the Mets (20-23), who had lost to the Phillies at home on Monday and Tuesday and then lost the opener of the two-game series in Phildelphia on Wednesday.

    In a scheduling quirk, these teams played four consecutive games split between New York and Philadelphia, as part of the arrangement with the teams playing a two-game set in London on June 8-9.

    Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm each had run-scoring doubles for the NL East-leading Phillies (31-14), who lost for only the fourth time in 20 games.

    De La Cruz runs wild as Reds blank Dodgers

    Elly De La Cruz had four hits, three runs and four stolen bases as the visiting Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 in their series opener.

    De La Cruz now has a major league-leading 30 steals - 13 more than the next-closest player (Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jose Caballero).

    Playing in Cincinnati's 44th game, he is the fastest player to 30 steals since 1996, when Kenny Lofton reached 30 steals in Cleveland's 41st game.

    De La Cruz had has many hits as the Dodgers (29-17), who have now totalled one run in their last two games to lose consecutive games for the first time since April 19-20.

    The Reds (19-25), who ended up using seven pitchers during a bullpen day, won for the second time in three games after going just 1-11 in their previous 12.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.