The sticky substance witch hunt continues.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani was the victim of another search for banned substances. However, the two-way player had a different reaction than many other pitchers around the league.
It was all sunshine and rainbows for Ohtani as he aced his test. The Japanese pitcher cracked a smile and laughed while undoing his belt for the umpires. He was quickly found innocent and raced back towards the dugout.
Ohtani ended his night by striking out nine batters while allowing one run in six innings, his lone run coming from a Mike Yastrzemski home run. Unfortunately, he did not fare as well at the plate. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Even with a not-so heroic hitting performance, the multi-talented Ohtani was still able to make history. Since Ohtani was able to pitch and hit last night, it marked the first time ever an NL team had a DH in a lineup and an AL team didn’t. (The Angels faced the Giants in their home stadium.)
The MLB has continued to crack down on foreign substances, which has led to protests from pitchers, including some taking off their pants and belts. In one instance, it almost led to a fight between Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer and Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi.
Many players have voiced their opinions about the routine checks, and so has commissioner Rob Manfred.
“My view is the first two days have gone very well. We’ve had no ejections [for foreign substances], players in general have been extremely cooperative, the inspections have taken place quickly and between innings,” Manfred told The Athletic on Wednesday. “Frankly, the data suggests that we are making progress with respect to the issues [in spin rate] that caused us to undertake the effort in the first place.”