'What a nasty pitch!': Shohei signs Kody Clemens' K ball

September 7th, 2022

ANAHEIM -- You always remember your first strikeout. That's undoubtedly true for all pitchers, but in the unique case of Tigers infielder , he definitely won't ever forget his.

On Monday night, Clemens came in with Detroit on the wrong end of an eventual 10-0 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium. Spelling manager A.J. Hinch's bullpen, Clemens was making his third pitching appearance in the past seven days (and sixth this season).

All that hard work paid off with an unexpected strikeout of two-way sensation/superstar , who was caught looking on a 68.4-mph eephus pitch he was not expecting.

In the clubhouse after the game, Clemens mentioned that his teammates were urging him to get the ball autographed by Ohtani to commemorate the feat.

Prior to Tuesday night's game, that framed, autographed ball was indeed delivered to Clemens while he and his teammates awaited batting practice. Along with the ball came an inscription from No. 17 himself: 

"What a nasty pitch!"

It was indeed a nasty pitch, and now the Tigers utilityman really has something he can show off to his dad.

"He handled that really well," said Hinch of Ohtani, who came into that at-bat against Clemens having clubbed a pair of homers in the game and probably had no expectation of striking out against a position player.

"That was definitely the lightest moment of the day and probably a big memory for Kody. Maybe not as big a memory for Shohei, but what a great sport."