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A unicorn is usually defined as "a mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead."
In this space, we're going to discuss (and try to analyze) what mind-boggling efforts and accomplishments the Los Angeles Angels' two-way star puts together on a week-to-week basis — because it's the right thing to do.
Yes, we must highlight the greatness that is unfolding before our eyes. The world doesn't deserve Shohei Ohtani, but he somehow exists — and we should be talking about him as much as possible.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Monday? Pitch a gem in his first start after the All-Star Break
As someone who has a personal stake in Ohtani's MVP bid this season, I have made no secret my worry about him being overworked. So I was terrified at what might happen in his first start on the mound after an All-Star break that saw him pitch, hit, and take part in the Home Run Derby.
When Ohtani faced Mark Canha at the top of the A's lineup on Monday, his fastball hovered around 91 mph in his initial offerings. My fears increased.
Five innings and eight strikeouts later, I couldn't be happier.
Ohtani silenced the potent Oakland lineup for six innings, allowing just three hits and one free pass. Even when he would fall behind in the count Ohtani fought back with absolute nasty stuff. He lowered his ERA to 3.21, but would be saddled with a no-decision as the Angels could get nothing going against Cole Irvin and the A's bullpen (for his part, Ohtani went 1-for-4 with a double while batting second in the lineup).
Ohtani has allowed just two runs and walked just one batter through two July starts, and as we very well know, walks have haunted him on the mound this season.
Suffice it to say, Ohtani's first start of the second half brings the following to mind:
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Tuesday? Get the ultimate compliment from Red Sox legend Manny Ramirez
Ohtani, like the rest of the Angels offense, had an ugly Tuesday against James Kaprelian and the A's, but that doesn't mean his presence and impact were diminished elsewhere.
Speaking to MLB Insider Hector Gomez, former Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez had this to say about the unicorn:
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Saturday?
Ohtani had been having a quiet week with the bat, striking out seven times with just one hit — until Saturday, of course.
Ohtani had one of those games on Saturday that provides further proof he isn't just a strikeout-or-home-run hitter. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles, and he also scored a run — a crucial run at that, considering the game ended 2-1. Ohtani also provided some well-deserved refreshment to Patrick Sandoval, the hero of the game who nearly threw a no-hitter in the Angels victory:
-300 solidifies Ohtani as the MVP favorite with a little over two months left in the regular season, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the odds if A) Ohtani pads his home-run lead B) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. overtakes him and/or C) the Blue Jays enter the playoff race.
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