NEW YORK (AP) — Nobody had to tip off the Yankees about Shohei Ohtani, even though he rarely comes through New York.
In fact, Angels manager Joe Maddon suspects the Bronx Bombers knew something about the reigning AL MVP on Thursday that even the two-way star didn’t.
Maddon indicated that Ohtani was tipping his pitches to New York during Los Angeles’ 6-1 loss after the right-hander gave up solo homers to Matt Carpenter, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge. The Angels lost their seventh straight, their worst skid since an eight-game slide in 2019, in the opener of a doubleheader.
“They’re really good at reading pitchers,” Maddon said of the Yankees. “They’re very good at it.”
Ohtani was set to make history in the nightcap, joining Hall of Famer slugger Jimmie Foxx as the only players to start both ends of a doubleheader, one of them as a pitcher, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Foxx did it with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945 during the final month of his career.
Ohtani, set to DH, was hoping to rinse a miserable start to a soggy day in the Bronx.
Carpenter led off the first inning with a homer that capped an 11-pitch at-bat, and Ohtani didn’t get his first swing-and-miss until his 54th pitch. He was charged with four runs in three-plus innings before Maddon pulled the plug after 75 pitches.
Maddon said he thought New York had picked up on a tell via “natural means.”
“We just have to be more vigilant,” Maddon said.
Asked if he was tipping, Ohtani said with a laugh: “I’m not sure, you should probably ask the other side.”
Nestor Cortes (5-1) delivered seven tidy innings, DJ LeMahieu also homered and the major league-leading Yankees ensured themselves a series victory over slumping Los Angeles.
The game was played under threat…