Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley convene an emergency podcast to discuss Shohei Ohtani’s exhilarating, terrifying, and historic Sunday Night Baseball performance against the White Sox (which veered from triumph to near-tragedy), touching on Ohtani’s titanic home run and resounding bat crack,
Upload Date: Apr 05, 2021
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Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley convene an emergency podcast to discuss Shohei Ohtani’s exhilarating, terrifying, and historic Sunday Night Baseball performance against the White Sox (which veered from triumph to near-tragedy), touching on Ohtani’s titanic home run and resounding bat crack, the aesthetics of his stuff, his Statcast superstardom, his narrow escape from injury after a controversial move (or non-move) by Joe Maddon, and more, plus ruminations on Ty Buttrey’s farewell.
Audio intro: Jane’s Addiction, "Superhero"
Audio outro: Of Montreal, "Let’s Do Everything for the First Time Forever"
Link to video of Ohtani game
Link to video of Ohtani homer
Link to Baseball Savant Gamefeed page
Link to Sam on dropped third strikes
Link to video of 2005 Pierzynski play
Link to Fabian Ardaya on Ohtani’s spin rates
Link to Ohtani outing fun facts
Link to MLB.com Ohtani outing game story
Link to ESPN Ohtani outing game story
Link to Alden Gonzalez column
Link to list of pre-Ohtani games with no DH
Link to Gary Ashwill on Negro Leagues games
Link to Ardaya on Walsh
Link to Walsh’s helmet highlight
Link to SI piece about “as so often happens”
Link to story on leading off inning after great play
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may not survive the season at this rate. My gosh, Ben, people were asking me on twitter to do a wellness check. I know they were asking if you were okay, They were asking if you were conscious, how are you? I'm drained. I was exhilarated and now I am spent. But we're going to do this episode anyway. Mostly I think to provide proof of life for my followers who were tweeting at me throughout the night to ask if I was okay. So we are recording late on sunday night where you are early monday morning where I am, we are doing a show here. Otani pitched and hit in the same sunday night baseball game emergency pod and we probably won't do an emergency pod every time Otani bitches and hits in games this season, which I hope will happen a lot. But this was just a wild, chaotic night and really brought me high and brought me low. My heart stopped twice tonight, once out of joy and once out of terror. So I basically feel like I just watched an elimination game in the playoffs. That is my level of drained right now. What better to end an elimination game in the playoffs with and Tony Larussa managerial decisions. Now I, you know, I think there's a natural instinct in baseball too try to, you know, impose a narrative onto a game. I think that we are inclined to cinematic narratives. And this one was, it was a roller coaster early in the contest. I thought, well this is this is a triumphant tail. This is like, this is like when a plucky animal traverse is the continent to find its owner and you are, you're like wow scott gumption. It's got skill and craft and it has emerged victorious. And then we were in a horror film briefly and like a like a like a Cronenberg horror movie where like this like weird body stuff going on and I'm worried. So it was a lot of ups and downs in this one. Yeah, it went from triumphant to almost tragic easily could have been tragic, looked like it was tragic for a moment and we can laugh about it now because it seems like Shohei is okay as we record here. But he was very nearly laid low I guess he was literally laid low, but only for a moment. So we're talking about the angels white sox sunday night baseball game, which was just a great matchup. Many of the base ballers. I love the most in the world were playing in this game. You had Otani, you had mike trout, you had david fletcher, you had nick magical, many of my favorites. You had many of the hour. You mean Mercedes fresh off his eight straight hits to start the season. The only disappointment was that I couldn't hear Jason Benetti is call. But other than that it was pretty great. And so this was a historic occasion in that Shohei Otani hit and pitched in this game. He started as the pitcher and he hit in the second slot in the lineup. And this was just something that we've been waiting to see. It happened in spring training, but it hadn't happened in a regular season game where the Angels gave up the D. H. To let Shohei Otani hit. And this is something that we've known was a possibility for a while, but it just didn't happen until now. This is obviously very unusual. I asked our frequent stat, blast consultant adam ought to look up the previous instances for me earlier on sunday and this was the seventh time since the institution of the D. H. In 1973 that a team playing under D. H. Rules chose not to use A D. H. And just to let the pitcher hit for himself. So it happened in 1974 Fergie Jenkins, It happened in 1975 ken Holtzman happened twice in 1976 ken Brett. Then it didn't happen at all until 2000 and nine when joe Maddon then managing the race screwed up his lineup card accidentally lost the D. H. And Andy Sunstein hit for himself. And then it happened most recently in 2016 when Madison Bumgarner hit for himself. So this is a rarity as you would expect it to be. And I assumed that the Angels probably had their R. And D. Department slice and dice the numbers here and figure out that it made sense statistically because Otani is just so good that if you lose the D. H. Spot and you have to have a picture hit later in the game or you have to do a double switch as the Angels did or have a pinch hitter come in. Albert Pujols hit in that spot later in the game. Not that that's anything new to joe Maddon who has National League managing experience. So there is a penalty to it. But if the picture is someone who hits like Shohei Otani and someone who hits like Shohei Otani did on sunday, which by the way he hit a gigantic home run on the first pitch he saw of this game. Then I guess the Angels concluded that it made sense. And it seems like it's something that Otani wants to do. And he says that it gives him confidence as a pitcher if he hits well in a game. So this was just exciting to