For the first two games at Yankee Stadium, all eyes were on Shohei Ohtani the hitter.
On Wednesday, the focus will be on both versions of Ohtani, who takes the mound and also will hit when the Los Angeles Angels continue a four-game series with the New York Yankees.
Ohtani homered Monday in the Angels’ 5-3 win at New York, then went deep twice Tuesday in the Yankees’ 11-5 victory.
Ohtani (3-1, 2.58 ERA) is set to make his 12th pitching start this season and the 24th of his career. He made 10 starts as a rookie in 2018, started twice last year and has pitched at least six innings in four of his past five outings.
“I know he’s gonna enjoy it,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of pitching in New York. “He will be ready for it. It’s one of those things that he embraces. He definitely likes these kinds of moments. He’s got a slow heartbeat, a lot of self-confidence. I just love the way he goes about his business.”
Ohtani last pitched on June 23, when he allowed one run and six hits in six innings and took a no-decision against the San Francisco Giants. That marked the sixth time this year that Ohtani had allowed one earned run or none.
Ohtani enters Wednesday averaging 95.4 mph on his four-seam fastball that is one of his five pitches. His arsenal includes a split-fingered fastball that averages 87.7 mph.
What impresses Aaron Boone most about Ohtani?
“Just how great a player he is on both sides,” the Yankees manager said. “Not just really good at doing both. He’s elite in the batter’s box — obviously tremendous power, plate discipline, really elite speed. He puts the pressure on the defense with his speed and obviously he’s a dominant power pitcher on the mound. To have that all wrapped up in one guy is truly impressive what he’s doing.”
Ohtani is 4-for-21 (.190) with four homers and six RBIs in six career games against the Yankees after going 2-for-5 on Tuesday.
His three homers over the past two days give him 28 on the year, two ahead of Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead.
“To see what he’s doing this year, it’s special these last two nights,” Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge said. “Pretty impressive.”
Allowing Ohtani’s latest two homers ultimately did not cost the Yankees as they enjoyed their most productive showing at the plate this season.
Gary Sanchez, Judge and Miguel Andujar homered as the Yankees set a season high for runs and collected 11 hits to snap a four-game skid that included a three-game sweep by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last weekend.
“Good to see,” Boone said. “That’s those guys. That’s the heaviness we’re talking about.”
It marked the second time the Yankees had reached at least 10 runs — the first time since a 10-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on April 30.
New York’s Domingo German (4-5, 4.32 ERA) will look to halt a six-game winless skid Wednesday. Since allowing six hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win at Texas on May 20, German is 0-3 with a 6.28 ERA in six outings and has not completed the fifth inning in his past three starts.
German last pitched Friday in a 5-3 loss at Boston, where he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in four innings.
The right-hander is 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA in three career appearances against the Angels. His only start against them came on April 23, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif., where he allowed just an unearned run in 6 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media