Ohtani was visibly in pain after being hit on his elbow pad by lefty Justus Sheffield, but he remained in the game. After being hit, Ohtani promptly stole second and third, marking the first multi-stolen base game of his career. He now has six stolen bases this season, which is more than the rest of the team combined (four).
Historically, the Angels had given Ohtani the day off before his pitching starts to prevent injury, but this year, they’ve been more aggressive as he’s played in all 26 of the team’s games.
The Angels employ a six-man rotation and Quintana last pitched on Tuesday, so he's on five days' rest.
Angels manager Joe Maddon liked Ohtani’s aggressiveness and believes it showed that he wasn’t bothered too much by his elbow.
“You saw him seek revenge by stealing second and third,” Maddon said. “I love all of that. He had good at-bats the rest of the way. He did not look like he was inhibited. So, I thought he looked pretty normal after that event. He was sore, but he kept telling me he was feeling better game-in-progress.”
Maddon added that he doesn’t believe the HBP will create any issues with either his pitching or his hitting.
“I don't think it'll affect either,” Maddon said. “It just might be sore for a bit. I mean, those pads are pretty good. But it might've caught him right in between the crease of the pad. But he's fine. He not would not have been able to react the way he did afterwards if there was anything more to it."
Ohtani made some history with his two steals, as the only players with at least eight homers, six stolen bases and three starts on the mound in a season are Babe Ruth (1918 and '19) and Ohtani (2018 and '21). He also is tied for fifth in the Majors in both stolen bases and homers this season.
Maddon has indicated that Ohtani has a green light while on the bases and that his speed is the most underrated aspect of his game. Ohtani is ranked as the 17th-fastest player in the Majors this year by the Statcast sprint speed metric.
“It’s probably the least talked about part of his game,” Maddon said. “And he wants to go, he wants to do this. He has to do it within parameters -- know the pitcher, know the time, know the catcher, etc. -- but he has no restrictions. It's not any different than any other good baserunner or basestealer."