Shohei Ohtani has made a historic move by calling his own pitches through a PitchCom device hidden under his jersey near his left shoulder. This new approach was prompted by the restrictions of the pitch clock, and Ohtani appeared to hit a glitch immediately. The breakdown got him out of his rhythm, and he left with a 1-0 lead in a game that the Los Angeles Angels lost 2-1 after Oakland scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The communication resumed to start the second inning, and Ohtani settled into an efficient groove. As usual, he was dominant and struck out 10 while only allowing two hits.
Major League Baseball approved the use of PitchCom for pitchers just a week ago, where pitchers have to key in the pitch selection, and the catcher hears it through a speaker in the pitcher’s cap. However, Ohtani’s use of PitchCom is different because he cannot see the numbers, and he had to memorize the keypad to make it work. This move deprives the world of one of the game’s unique pleasures: Ohtani, wearing a quizzical look, incessantly shaking off his catcher. However, the pitch clock combined with the vast array of pitches at his disposal necessitates the adjustment.
Ohtani’s decision to call his game was not entirely perfect in the first inning as catcher Logan O’Hoppe had to call time to ask him to reenter the code on the device. For the rest of the inning, they returned to the prehistoric days with O’Hoppe giving signs. Ohtani said the breakdown got him out of his rhythm. However, in the second inning, they resumed communication, and he settled into an efficient groove.
Shohei Ohtani is a fascinating player to watch as he throws 100 mph and steps up to the plate to hit the ball where he wants to. Despite the new changes, Ohtani’s performance was remarkable as he threw six shutout innings and struck out ten, impressing both the fans and rival managers alike. Playing by the new rules may have complicated the game, but the players adapted quickly, and the results were impressive.
Recommended: Weekly Report: September 9, 1929