Disaster nearly hit the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night in their win over the visiting Chicago White Sox as star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani went down hard while trying to catch a throw at the plate. Ohtani had to leave the game but has avoided major injury. However, he is not expected to be available at least Monday vs. the visiting Houston Astros, and closer Raisel Iglesias will not be at Manager Joe Maddon's disposal, either. The Angels are slight -115 favorites on the William Hill Sportsbook MLB odds.
Ohtani put on quite the performance Sunday. He not only threw the hardest pitch of any starting pitcher so far this season at 100.6 mph but also had the hardest-hit home run of any player with an exit velocity of 115.2 mph. Ohtani was the first starting pitcher to homer in an American League game since the DH was instituted in 1973. He also finished with a career-high eight pitches of at least 100 mph, the most by an Angels starter since Ervin Santana threw 12 in a game in 2008.
In the fifth inning, Ohtani exited after taking a Jose Abreu cleat to his left ankle while Ohtani was covering the plate. It was not at all a dirty play. Ohtani said his leg felt "fine" after the game, adding that the collision "wasn't as bad as it looked." Maddon already has said Ohtani will not start Monday. He's hitting .188 on the season with two homers and three RBIs. It's likely that Albert Pujols will serve as the DH vs. Houston.
As for Iglesias, he blew the save Sunday but that was largely his fault due to a poor throw to third base that allowed the tying run to score. Iglesias would end up getting the win in the bottom of the ninth when Jared Walsh hit a walk-off three-run homer. Because Iglesias (1-0, 6.00 ERA, 1 save) has already taken the mound three times this season and threw 30 pitches Sunday, there's no chance Maddon would use him Monday.
Houston enters as the only 4-0 team in MLB and is one of just three teams since 1901 to start 4-0 and have scored at least eight runs in every game. The Astros start young right-hander Luis Garcia. He has thrown just 12.1 big-league innings in his career with one start and is 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA. The Angels counter with veteran lefty Jose Quintana in his team debut. He was limited to just 10 innings due to injury in 2020 with the Cubs but had a solid spring this year with a 3.32 ERA in six starts.
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