LA Angels’ Shohei Ohtani’s cannon is on hiatus. He hasn’t added a home run in seven straight games and is eight days shy of 40.
Ohtani went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in a 12-1 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
He had a hit off Justin Verlander, who returned to Houston from the New York Mets in a trade the previous two days, but was unable to find his missing long ball on this day.
Ohtani’s last home run was a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners on April 4. Since then, he has just six hits and four walks in seven games and 30 at-bats. It’s the second time this season that Ohtani’s cannon has been silenced for seven straight games, tying his longest streak. He didn’t hit a home run in a seven-game stretch from May 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals to May 10 against Houston.
The cannon shows no signs of life. As we move into the second half of the season, his health is declining and the opposition is getting tougher. It’s easy to get impatient in these situations.
The match against the Vulcans was interesting because it was at least a head-to-head contest. In his first at-bat, Ohtani pulled a five-seam 86.2-mph changeup off his hips, but could only manage a grounder to the second baseman. In the third inning, he struck out with one out on a five-pitch, 85.6-mph slider high in the strike zone.
Then in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded, he lined a 93.9-mph two-seamer to center field. It was a line drive that traveled 92.6 miles per hour. In the eighth inning, he was hit by a 96.7-mph fastball down the middle from right-hander Rafael Montero. Heading to first base when umpire Alfonso Marquez called the strike, Ohtani frowned, shook his head in unspoken displeasure and walked to the dugout, muttering to himself.
This gave Ohtani a .305 (131-for-429) batting average, 40 home runs, 83 RBI, 89 runs scored, a .409 slugging percentage, a .662 on-base percentage, a 1.071 OPS, and 284 RBI. The Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson also failed to add a home run against the Mets on the day, keeping the two players tied for the lead with 40 homers.
If the Angels play 117 games, Ohtani is on pace to hit 55 homers if he keeps up his current pace. That projection was 61 until he hit his 39th home run of the season on May 29 against the Toronto Blue Jays. It looked like he could break the AL single-season record set by the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge last year.
However, he only added one more home run in the next 13 games. Unsurprisingly, his home run projections are plummeting. Judge hit 46 homers in the team’s 117 games last year, six more than Ohtani this year.
Ohtani hit 38 homers in 117 games in 2021, the same year he hit 46. He’s only hit two more this year. At this rate, 50 homers could be hard to come by. In 2021, Ohtani hit 37 through July before adding nine more in the months of August and September. This year, he’s following a similar pattern through the middle of the summer. 메이저놀이터
He’s not even close to matching Jersey’s numbers from last year, and his career high is in jeopardy. Instead, Olson is closer to 60 homers. With Atlanta playing 114 games, Olson’s projected home run total is 57, two more than Ohtani.
There was some good news for Ohtani. Mike Trout, who was placed on the disabled list on May 5 with a fractured metacarpal in his left hand, took batting practice today for the first time since the injury against a pitching machine. He could return as early as next week and as late as this month. Trout’s return could ease the pressure on Ohtani.