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Shohei Ohtani displays his exceptional skills

On Wednesday, Shohei Ohtani displayed his exceptional skills on the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With his best stuff in tow, Ohtani recorded an impressive 12 strikeouts, allowing just five hits and two walks to the formidable Dodgers lineup. Despite his stellar performance, the Los Angeles Angels fell short as they were defeated by the Dodgers, with a final score of 2-0, in an unorthodox duel.

Yahoo Sports: Shohei Ohtani strikes out 12, loses duel to Dodgers bullpen

Jason Owens; June 22, 2023

Shohei Ohtani had his best stuff against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

But it wasn’t enough as seven Dodgers pitchers combined to defeat Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels, 2-0, in an unorthodox duel. Ohtani recorded 12 strikeouts while allowing five hits and two walks to Dodgers hitters. When he left following 101 pitches in seven innings, he wasn’t eligible for the win. A solo home run allowed to Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman stood at the time as the only run of the game.

Freeman plated the run on an 0-1 pitch while leading off the fourth inning. Ohtani’s 85-mph cutter hung over the outside of the plate and Freeman launched it over the left-centerfield wall.

Freeman’s 14th home run of the year proved to be enough to secure the win for Los Angeles. A solo shot by second baseman Miguel Vargas off of Angels reliever Aaron Loup in the eighth inning added an insurance run to the scoreboard. Los Angeles didn’t need it.

The Dodgers countered Ohtani’s effort with a stellar bullpen game led off by Brusdar Graterol. The right-handed reliever stuck out three Angels batters in two innings to set the tone. Victor Gonzalez, Yency AlmonteAlex VesiaRyan BrasierCaleb Ferguson and Evan Phillips followed Graterol’s lead in a combined 2-hitter that kept the Angels out of the scoring column.

Gonzalez registered the win while Phillips recorded a save. Only Graterol recorded more than 1 1/3 innings.

Ohtani gave the Dodgers fits on the mound. He was throwing as hard as 100 mph as late as the sixth inning, when a fastball on the outside corner of the plate sat down Vargas for Ohtani’s 11th strikeout of the night.

But he picked up the loss to fall to 6-3 on the season. He lowered his ERA to 3.13 and increased his season-long strikeout tally to 112 in 89 innings pitched. Unfortunately for Ohtani, he didn’t help his cause with his bat.

Ohtani finished the night 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk. He and fellow All-Star Mike Trout combined to go 0 for 14 at the plate as the Dodgers kept the Angels off the scoreboard while sweeping the two-game series with their Southern California neighbors.

The Dodgers improved to 41-33 (third place, NL West) with the win while the Angels fell to 41-35 (third place, AL West).

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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