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Shohei Ohtani shuts down White Sox offense in series finale

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Sox Watch: Otani Dominates Sox Attack originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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One day after elimination from 11 rounds White socks The offense was tempered by a stellar performance by Shohei Ohtani and efficient exits from the Angels’ bullpen. The Sox lost 4-1, but no one has received an RBI since Louis Robert scored the only goal on a wild serve from Ryan Teper. After the loss, the White Sox lost the season series to the Angels. They then head to NorCal for an interleague series with the Giants.


Otani is probably the most interesting player in the game today, not only because he serves and strikes regularly, but because he does both at an elite level. He finally took the mound for the series on Wednesday and lived up to his status as the league’s reigning MVP. Otani was able to hit consistently from the first pitch, and did so with a variety of serves. He used both his large curved hook, which averages 66.7″ vertical breaks, and his slider, which averages 13.5″ horizontal breaks. For context, these pitches break 3.8 inches more than the league average and 7.4 inches more than the average, respectively. This saw batters fail on his splitter, which held opponents at just .137 average ahead of today’s game. When his night was over, Otani went scoreless for the Sox, gave up five hits and struck out 11 batters. But the White Sox were able to squeeze some more out of the bats, increase his innings, and knock him out of the game in the middle of the sixth inning.


At first, it looked like it could be a long night for Michael Kopech. He let the first three Angels batters get to base and then missed a double play opportunity by failing to catch a Tim Anderson shot. This gave Halos a 2-0 lead, which is a significant handicap considering Shohei Otani started with Anaheim. However, after that first frame, Kopech calmed down and only allowed two more baserunners over the next four innings. Kopech had a solid slider and just normal speed with his fastball, but he was able to change the eye level of batsmen at bats, alternating between high shots and low balls, and it threw the Angels off balance. However, he ran out of steam in the sixth inning and gave up two more runs on a Jared Walsh single and a Luis Rengifo home run. Despite the disappointing result, Kopech did an admirable job of overcoming early difficulties to ease the pressure on the bullpen.


On Wednesday, most White Sox batters were in control, but Abreu once again managed to put together a flawless night on the plate. Abreu was the only person who could get to Otani on a regular basis, receiving three hits from him and another from Ryan Teper. This gave him at least three consecutive hits, extended his hitting streak to five games, and gave him 16 hits in his last nine games. Abreu is one of several White Sox hitters who have started to heat up over the past couple of weeks, but for some reason the team can’t consistently match those hits for big innings. The White Sox have four or fewer points in six of their last seven games.

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