Shohei Ohtani stops White Sox attack in series finale

Sox Sightings: Ohtani Dominates Sox Offensive originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

One day after the outbreak of 11 runs, the White socks offense was silenced by a stellar performance from Shohei Ohtani and effective outings from the Angels bullpen. The Sox lost 4-1, but no one recorded an RBI since Luis Robert scored the lone run on a wild pitch by Ryan Tepera. With the loss, the White Sox dropped the season series for the Angels. Next, they head to NorCal for an interleague series with the Giants.


Ohtani is probably the most exciting player in the game today, not just because he throws and he hits regularly, but because he does both at an elite level. He eventually took the mound for Wednesday’s series and lived up to his status as the league’s reigning MVP. Ohtani managed to throw first throws consistently, and he did it with a variety of throws. He used both his large hook of a curve that breaks an average of 66.7 inches vertically and his slider that breaks an average of 13.5 inches horizontally. For context, those fields break 3.8 inches more than the league average and 7.4 inches more than average, respectively. That caused batters to fail on his splitter, which kept his opponents at only a .137 average in tonight’s game. When his night was over, Ohtani held the Sox scoreless, gave up five hits and struckout 11 batters. But the White Sox were able to work out longer at bats, increase his pitch and drive him out of the game midway through the sixth inning.


Early on, it looked like it was going to be a long night for Michael Kopech. He allowed the first three Angels batters to reach base, then blew a double play chance by failing to correct a throw by Tim Anderson. That saw the Halos take an early 2-0 lead, which is a significant deficit with Shohei Ohtani starting for Anaheim. After that first frame, however, Kopech came to rest and gave up only two more baserunners in the next four innings. Kopech had solid material with his slider and just good speed with his fastball, but he managed to change the eye level of the opponents during the at bats by alternating between high hits and low balls, which kept the Angels off balance. However, he ran out of steam in the sixth inning and gave up two more runs on a single to Jared Walsh and a homerun to Luis Rengifo. Despite the disappointing box score, Kopech did an admirable job getting through the early issues of limiting pressure on the bullpen.


Most White Sox batters were held in check on Wednesday, but Abreu again managed to put in a great night at the plate. Abreu was the only man who could get to Ohtani regularly, three hits from him and another from Ryan Tepera. That gave him at least three basehits in back-to-back nights, extended his hit streak to five games and gave him 16 hits in the last nine games. Abreu is one of several White Sox hitters who have started to warm up in recent weeks, but for some reason, the team doesn’t seem to string those hits together consistently for big innings. The White Sox have now scored four or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.

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