A lot of guys hit two homers in a game. Happens a couple of times a week, more or less. But Jay Bruce doing it last night was a bit more notable: his bombs were the first and second homers hit by a left-hander off Clayton Kershaw all season long.
Kershaw may normally be murder on lefties, but Bruce is no mere lefty. Despite starting the season in a prolonged slump — and despite getting sensitive about it at times — Bruce is sitting at 268/.330/.496 with 29 homers and 93 RBI on the season. Not too shabby.
Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.
Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.
This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.
Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.