The opening series of the season has wrapped up for every team and home openers for some of the league’s northeast teams are on the way later this week. As we begin to settle in for a long spring and summer of baseball, we’ll bring you the top stories from around the game each week so you can keep track even if you aren’t a live-and-die with every box score type of fan.
Ohtani’s First Start Shows Off Potential
One of, if not the biggest, stories coming out of Spring Training was the struggles of the Angels big off-season acquisition, 23-year-old Shohei Ohtani. Billed as a two way threat, he didn’t show much in the way of brilliance during camp, throwing just two and two-thirds innings over two starts and allowing nine hits, eight earned runs and three homers on the mound. Things weren’t much better in the batter’s box either as he posted just four hits in 32 at-bats good for a .125 batting average.
Naturally, because there is little patience among sports fans, there were plenty of folks wondering if Ohtani had been over-hyped. Well, in his first start of the regular season against the A’s, Ohtani showed why he received such high praise. He went six innings, gave up just three hits and three runs (all on a Matt Chapman homer) and struck out six en route to earning his first career MLB win. Take a look at the highlights:
Sure, it’s just one start, and there will be rough patches ahead. But, after a rough spring that nearly had people ready to write him off as a bust, it was good to see Ohtani show what he can do.
Ohtani wasn’t the only pitcher to record a career first this weekend. Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios fired the first complete game shutout of his career in a 7-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Berrios allowed just three hits and struck out six while throwing just 107 pitches to get the job done. After a strong season last year, Berrios made a statement out of the gates this year as did the Twins, taking two of three from the O’s in the opening series. For more from around the league, check out the video above!