ANAHEIM – The Angels’ lineup needed motivation. And who else but Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani to bring that electrifying power to full blast at Angel Stadium in their 8-7 win in the final game of their series against the Rockies on Wednesday.
After hitting a two-run dash in Tuesday’s loss, Ohtani was quick to repeat the dose with a three-run homer in the fourth inning that put Los Angeles-Anaheim up 4-3. It was his third home run since the start of the second half of the season, a testament to his consistent power and ability to stay focused at the plate.
“I’m just basing it on everything I saw last year, when it wasn’t that consistent. The guy worked pretty well through the winter, ”Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “Now when he’s walking more and he’s not expanding the strike zone, he’s doing pretty well.”
Ohtani was able to put the Angels ahead with two outs when Venezuelan right-hander Jesús Tinoco hit a fastball down the middle of the plate. Ohtani was unforgiving as he sent the ball 388 feet across right field. Jack Mayfield and David Fletcher scored with the hit, as fans at Angel Stadium chanted “MVP” as Ohtani ran the bases.
“My goal was to hit the ball through center field, because I had runners on first and second. It could have been a single and not a home run, ”Ohtani said. “I stood at the plate with a hitting mentality; I just wanted those guys to score. I’m glad it was a home run ”.
Statcast clocked Ohtani’s hit at a speed of 113.1 miles per hour – his ninth dash this year with a muzzle velocity of at least 113 mph, two more than any other player in the majors. The Japanese hit 37 full-back hits this year, leading that department in the majors. The Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is second with 32 homers and his Padres compatriot Fernando Tatis Jr. is third with 31.