Shohei ohtani tied another major league record on Friday, and it showed how much teams are trying to avoid throwing him down the stretch. After walking four on Wednesday and three on Thursday against the first-place Astros, Ohtani drew four more against the wild-card-contending Mariners in a 6-5 loss at Angel Stadium.
Tie the MLB record from 11 free tickets in three games, established by Bryce Harper in 2016. Seattle even intentionally walked Ohtani with one out and no one in the ninth, ultimately leading the Angels to load the bases. Jack Mayfield and José Rojas, however, couldn’t get past closer Paul Sewald, leaving Ohtani in third place.
“That’s what’s going to happen, his team is looking for the playoffs and they’re not going to let him win them,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “When we get back to full complement, it will be different. But until that happens, that will be the case unless that team is not chasing the playoffs. But give us credit. We were in a good position, but I just couldn’t get the race. “.
Ohtani joins Harper and Barry Bonds as the only players to have at least 10 walks in a three-game span in the past 50 years. Surprisingly, Bonds never walked 11 times in three games. Ohtani is also the first player to get at least three walks in three consecutive games since Bonds in 2003; the last AL player to do so was Ray Durham for the White Sox in 2000. The MLB record for consecutive games with at least three walks is four, set by Babe Ruth (1930) and Mickey Mantle (1957). .
“I love that he’s taking his walks,” Maddon said before the show’s opening. “It’s much better than swinging on bad pitches, striking out or making outs. You can contribute in other ways, just scoring runs, running bases and stealing bases. You need to do that. What you are doing now is even better because you have lacked protection. for much of the season. “