Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani impressed in his first start in the majors, facing the Athletics on Sunday afternoon in Oakland. The right-hander went six innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. All three runs came on Matt Chapman‘s three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. Ohtani was otherwise dominant.
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports notes, Ohtani threw 39 fastballs, averaging just under 98 MPH. He reached 100 MPH three times and 99 nine times. Across all 92 pitches, he made batters whiff 18 times. Five of those whiffs came on his splitter.
Ohtani collected his first major league hit in his first at-bat on Opening Day, when he was in the lineup as a DH.
We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.
Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.
I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.
I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:
Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.