Ohtani can’t smile despite 9-game hitting streak, Angels lose fourth straight to fall ball
Superstar Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels) will likely have a “baseball-free” fall again this year.
Ohtani went 1-for-4 with one run scored, one RBI, one walk, and three strikeouts in the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the Angels’ 2023 Major League Baseball home game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Friday.
Ohtani struck out in his first at-bat of the day in the top of the first inning, then reached base on a walk in his second at-bat of the inning in the bottom of the third. In his third at-bat of the fourth inning, he doubled to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Ohtani maintained his season batting average at .310 (126-for-407) and improved his chances of reaching triple digits for the first time since joining the big leagues in 2018. The day before, he hit his 40th home run of the season, effectively reserving the American League home run title.
After leading Japan to victory in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, he’s on pace to set new career highs at the plate this year.
However, the Angels fell to Seattle 7-9, snapping a four-game losing streak. Unable to overcome the aftermath of a four-run first inning, the Angels fell to their knees and bowed their heads.
The Angels are now 56-55 on the season and in fourth place in the American League West. With a direct postseason berth virtually out of reach, the Angels are dreaming of fall baseball as a wild card.
However, the Angels are also behind in the wild card race. They are five games behind third-place Toronto in the American League wild-card standings, which is not easy to overturn.
“Ohtani hit a double to extend his hitting streak to nine games, but the Angels lost their fourth straight game,” said Japanese media outlet Junichi Sports, adding, “Back-to-back losses to the Mariners have made the wild-card race more difficult.”
Another outlet, The Digest, lamented that “the Angels’ bullpen collapse has led to a painful four-game losing streak.”먹튀검증
Ohtani hasn’t seen the postseason since his first major league start in 2018. He is eligible for free agency after this season, and rumors continue to swirl that he will leave the Angels for a team that can contend for a championship.