He was throwing a perfect game until giving up one hit and one walk over six scoreless innings — to go with 12 strikeouts — in the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-0 shutout victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
“Since we have an off-day tomorrow, my focus was not to try to go long in the game, but get as many outs as I can and hand it over to the bullpen.”
The AL MVP threw 81 pitches on Wednesday, having 20 swings and misses.
When it looked like he might be approaching a perfect game, Astros catcher Jason Castro was able to squeak out a single in the sixth inning.
Before giving up that first hit, 27-year-old Ohtani had two hits, two RBIs and scored a run.
Ohtani used his deadly slider throughout the game, throwing it 35 times. His 12 strikeouts matched his MLB-high in 2018.
Maddon added: “His stuff was extraordinary. You can’t even describe it. And again, from the field level, it was incredible. From him, it’s the best I’ve seen.”