Leading into June, Shohei Ohtani had a few good starts under his belt. He pitched six-plus innings in every start in May, but it wasn’t translating to wins. On June 2, Ohtani had a brutal start against the Yankees, in which they got to him to the tune of four runs, three of them homers. He was run out of the game after three innings.
After the 6-1 loss, then-manager Joe Maddon suggested the Yankees may have been picking up on some pitch tipping from Ohtani.
“They’re really good at reading pitchers,” Maddon said at the time, per SportsNet. “They’re very good at it.”
Ohtani laughed it off, saying he didn’t know whether he was tipping his hand.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “You should probably ask the other side.”
One thing is for certain: If Ohtani was tipping pitches, pitching coach Matt Wise didn’t notice. Pitch tipping has been a recurring theme for the Angels. First it was Ohtani, then a few days later Michael Lorenzen <a href="http://
The conversation between #Angels RHP Michael Lorenzen and CF Mike Trout after first inning was Lorenzen asking Trout if he was tipping pitches. MGR Joe Maddon was coming over to talk to Lorenzen at same time. Not to break up argument, etc.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) June 5, 2022
“>consulted Mike Trout after the first inning about whether he was tipping pitches. Things came to a head Tuesday, when Trout noticed Elvis Peguero tipping from centerfield and coached him up a bit.
Mike Trout out in center field getting annoyed that Elvis Peguero is tipping pitches 😂
guy looks so fed up pic.twitter.com/e2UPQDMW5h
— Adam Stites (@AdamStites_) June 29, 2022
FAGAN: Maybe Angels should just trade Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani
Since that brutal start, Ohtani has adjusted marvelously. The most readily apparent explanation? Modernization. Ohtani has used PitchCom in his past four starts, and it’s led to some historic numbers.
Shohei Ohtani stats in April/May
Over the first two months of the season, while Ohtani was good he wasn’t quite the level fans became accustomed to after his 2021 MVP campaign. Over the first two months of the season, Ohtani’s stats were solid but less than great.
|Shohei Ohtani||44 1/3||3.45||63||10||2.50||1.04||5|
Shohei Ohtani stats in June
Ohtani had five starts in June. His numbers were vastly improved, but his outing against the Yankees hampered the overall numbers.
|Shohei Ohtani||29 2/3||1.52||38||7||2.59||0.98||3|
As good as that is, Ohtani’s numbers over his past four starts — since the change to PitchCom — have been even more alluring.
|Shohei Ohtani||26 2/3||0.34||36||6||1.10||0.75||0|
What Ohtani is doing is utterly unique. The numbers call to mind Max Scherzer’s ridiculous June in 2019, when he posted an ERA of 1.00 and a FIP of 1.59. Scherzer did have two more starts in that time, and that’s taking into account all six starts, but it’s a solid illustration of just how good Ohtani was in the past month.
Ohtani did suffer a back injury in Wednesday’s win over the White Sox, so the hope is that he remains healthy. If he continues this pace on PitchCom, however, we may be in for a special back half of the season.