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."

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