On Sunday, the Los Angeles Angels lost 5-1 against the Seattle Mariners, spoiling a gem of an outing from Shohei Ohtani. Over seven innings of work, the Japanese phenom struck out 10 batters and gave up just one earned run. However, the Angels’ bullpen allowed four runs in the top of the eighth inning, blowing the game open.

The loss was the Angels’ 82nd of the year, cementing the organization’s sixth consecutive losing season. This campaign has been disappointing on numerous fronts. Superstar Mike Trout suffered a right calf strain on May 17 and has been on the injury list ever since. Additionally, the Angels have yet to reap the benefits of pricy signings that include Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton.

Ohtani has been the only constant glimmer of hope throughout the year, putting up the most uniquely remarkable season in all of baseball history. Offensively, he’s batting .258 with 45 homers, 98 RBIs, 99 runs, 90 walks, as well as 24 stolen bases. On the mound, Ohtani’s 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, boasting a 10.8 SO/9.

After Sunday’s game, Ohtani made sure to express his gratitude for the Angels organization.

“I really like the team,” he said through his interpreter. “I love the fans, I love the atmosphere of the team, but more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.”

However, Ohtani also acknowledged the letdown entailed with missing the postseason yet again.

“It’s very frustrating, very disappointing. I always look forward to being in the playoff race at the end and trying to talk about the playoffs with my teammates. I always think about it, so, yeah, it’s been disappointing.”

The modern-day Babe Ruth isn’t a free agent until the end of the 2023 season, but perhaps these comments are indicative of a potentially league-shifting career change in the near future.

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