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#pounditMonday, May 29, 2023

Video of Shohei Ohtani reacting to Angels blowing lead goes viral

Aug 21, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani Watch is officially on just one game into the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

Ohtani pitched a magnificent game on Opening Day against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, fanning ten batters across six scoreless innings of work. Even more impressive was that Ohtani did it while calling his own pitches using PitchCom (having memorized the sequences on the keypad).

But in perhaps the most Angels thing imaginable, Ohtani’s performance was not enough to get the win. The offense managed just one run all game (on five hits), and the bullpen failed to hold Ohtani’s 1-0 lead. Though Jimmy Herget pitched a scoreless seventh, Aaron Loup entered in the eighth and allowed two runs to score in short order. The Angels would then lose 2-1.

Video went viral of Ohtani’s reaction in the dugout when Loup let the lead slip. Ohtani rubbed his head in apparent disbelief before walking away with a blank stare on his face.

Ohtani is obviously a competitor, and no competitor will ever be happy to see his team lose the lead. But everything that Ohtani does this year will be under the microscope since he can leave the Angels after the 2023 season as a free agent.

The Angels still have not once made the playoffs since Ohtani came aboard in 2018, and unpopular owner Arte Moreno recently reversed course on his rumored plans to sell the team. Based on what Ohtani himself has also said about his future, it is not looking good right now for Ohtani’s chances of staying long-term in The Big A.

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