NEW YORK — Yankee Stadium has not been kind to two-way star Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani’s shortest start of his career came in the Bronx last year, when he recorded just two outs and gave up seven runs on June 30, and he didn’t fare much better in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday. Ohtani went three-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk in a 6-1 defeat that extended the Angels’ losing streak to seven games. Add it up and Ohtani has allowed 11 runs in 3 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium in his two starts.
Ohtani, who was originally scheduled to start Thursday night before Wednesday’s game was postponed, simply didn’t have his usual swing-and-miss stuff, as he recorded just three whiffs among his 75 pitches and struck out only two batters. His velocity, however, was actually up a tick, as his fastball averaged 97.5 mph and reached as high as 100.5 mph. He fell to 3-4 with a 3.99 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings over nine starts this year.
Ohtani, the reigning American League MVP, struggled from the start, as he surrendered a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter on his 11th pitch of the game. Aaron Judge followed with a single, but Ohtani matched his outs total from last year at Yankee Stadium by getting Anthony Rizzo to ground into a double play. But Gleyber Torres followed with a solo homer of his own on a first-pitch fastball above the zone.
Ohtani allowed the first two runners to reach in the second but escaped the jam. He wasn’t as fortunate in the third, when he gave up a solo shot to Judge on a 1-2 slider that was up in the zone. It marked just the second time that Ohtani gave up three homers in a game, as he also served up three in Baltimore on Aug. 25, 2021.
He was removed after giving up back-to-back singles to open the fourth. Lefty José Quijada came in and promptly gave up an RBI double to Marwin Gonzalez, with the run charged to Ohtani. It was the shortest outing of the year for Ohtani, who had gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts.