I really wasn't. I knew he had a good week. His first MLB start as pitcher last Sunday went pretty well - he went six innings against Oakland and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk while striking out six. The only real blemish was the three run home run he gave up to Matt Chapman. Then as a batter this week he homered in his first three home games - Tuesday vs the Indians (in his first at bat at Angel Stadium), Wednesday against the Indians again and then Friday against the A's. But I wasn't going to feature him this week.
I've probably featured Ohtani in Card Of The Week more than any other player. Frankly I'm not sure how many cards I have of Ohtani that I haven't already shown on the blog. And there were others to consider. Takahiro Norimoto got his 1000th career strikeout on Friday. The Lions have won their first 8 games of the season. And 300+ pound Japhet Amador stole a base yesterday - his first steal ever in NPB. So I was going to go with Amador.
And then Ohtani had his second start as a pitcher today.
He was perfect for the first 6 1/3 innings of the game. He ended up going 7 innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out 12. And it seemed he was pitching effortlessly, at least until the seventh inning. He struck out the side twice - in the first and fifth innings - and it didn't seem like any ball got hit particularly well off him. It was one of the best pitching performances I've ever watched on TV.
The 2018 season is now 11 days old and Ohtani is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He's given up four hits and two walks in 13 innings while striking out 18. As a batter he's hitting .389 with an OBP of .421 and a slugging percentage off .889. He's 7 for 16 with three home runs and seven RBIs. He's walked once and struck out four times. It's early but so far it doesn't look like Ohtani is having issues adjusting to MLB. Now obviously MLB will be adjusting to him and how successful he continues to be will depend on how he adjusts to the league's adjustments (and so on) but he's doing well for now.
I thought I'd show off a subset that BBM included in their 2014 Fighters which commemorated Ohtani's first three wins and first three home runs of the 2013 season (he went 3-0 that year with four home runs). I've shown two of these cards before but here's all six:
|2014 BBM Fighters #F76|
|2014 BBM Fighters #F77|
|2014 BBM Fighters #F78|
|2014 BBM Fighters #F79|
|2014 BBM Fighters #F80|
|2014 BBM Fighters #F81|