Shohei Ohtani furthers his Cy Young case in Angels’ win

ANAHEIM ― If every day is a referendum on Shohei Ohtani’s credentials for the American League Most Valuable Player award, every Saturday is an important notch in his Cy Young Award resumé.

Ohtani’s latest effort, in which he threw seven shutout innings against the Seattle Mariners in a 2-1 Angels win, furthered his case to be chosen as the AL’s top pitcher.

Ohtani limited the Mariners, who are mired in a three-team race for two wild card spots, to three hits ― all singles. He walked one batter and struck out eight. Over his last four starts, Ohtani has allowed two runs, lowering his earned-run average from 2.83 to 2.43 ― fourth in the American League.

In the fourth inning, Ohtani (13-8) scored what proved to be the game-winning run. He drew a leadoff walk against George Kirby (7-4), went to second base on a single by Taylor Ward, advanced to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on a Matt Duffy groundout.

In the first inning, Ohtani hit a double over the head of left fielder Jesse Winker to score Mike Trout from first base, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead. It was neither the first time nor the last that Ohtani would do nearly everything to lead the Angels to victory.

This time, his heroics came outside the glare of a playoff race but with the full attention of postseason awards voters.

Houston’s Justin Verlander, Tampa Bay’s Shane McLanahan, and the Chicago White Sox’s Dylan Cease are the other top contenders for the Cy Young Award this year. To qualify for the ERA title ― historically an important Cy Young milestone for a starting pitcher ― Ohtani will need to average seven innings in each of his last two starts this season, if he maintains his current schedule of pitching once a week.Related …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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