“Angels’ Shocking Setback: Ohtani Forced Out with Finger Pain, Team Grapples with Fear of Major Injury”

  • Shohei Ohtani left the mound with finger pain as LA Angels lost 7-5 on Friday 
  • The team continues to struggle and the two-way star’s future is up in the air

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani left the mound with finger pain and admitted he’s not sure how bad the injury is.

The team is struggling and his future is up in the air with the franchise reportedly listening to offers for the two-way sensation.

Ohtani allowed four earned runs on five hits and left the mound in the sixth inning shortly before Mauricio Dubon’s tiebreaking two-run single in the Houston Astros’ 7-5 victory over the Angels.

Ohtani (7-5) was pulled after he walked Corey Julks to open the sixth, consulting with the Angels’ training staff before his exit with those persistent minor problems in his pitching hand. Ohtani’s final start before the All-Star break ended because of a fingertip blister, and he also dealt with a cracked nail last month.

‘For the most part, things just didn’t go the way I wanted to,’ Ohtani said through his translator. 

‘It’s kind of been like that when I was on the mound. … I haven’t really thought about when my next outing is. I’m just going to come to the field, see where my finger is at, and go from there.’

Ohtani said it’s ‘hard to tell’ how significant this injury will be.

‘I’m frustrated to a certain point,’ Ohtani said. ‘Not just me, but I feel the whole team is. I think it’s just only natural when we can’t win games that the frustration builds up.’

Ohtani, who allowed three walks and struck out seven, stayed in the game as a hitter and delivered two singles at the plate, but his Angels have lost a season-high six straight and 10 of 11.

‘I just thought something wasn’t looking right there in the sixth,’ Angels manager Phil Nevin said. 

Ohtani stayed in the game as a hitter and delivered two singles at the plate but Angels lost

The Houston Astros sealed a 7-5 victory at Angel Stadium to heap more misery on Los Angeles

‘I saw something not right after he walked (Julks), so I wanted to check on him, and he kind of mentioned that the finger was a little sensitive. Didn’t come open, didn’t break or anything like that, but decided it was good to get him out then.’

After receiving cheers and global attention during the All-Star festivities in Seattle, Ohtani went back to work in Anaheim amid loud questions about his future in Orange County. The Halos’ pre-break skid reduced their playoff chances and increased the possibility they’ll consider trading Ohtani, who will be a free agent this winter.

‘Seemed like he wasn’t really himself tonight,’ Astros manager Dusty Baker said of Ohtani.

‘Don’t know if that blister is still bothering him, but he didn’t throw some pitches he normally throws. Anytime you get five runs off Ohtani, you did well. But he didn’t look like himself.’

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