Associate managing editor Eric He and sports editor Ollie Jung break down USC’s thrilling win over Texas on Saturday at the Coliseum.Intro music: 10K by Joakim Karudyoutube.com/joakimkarud
Early on, Joe Maddon is maddening to Angels fans.Shohei Ohtani exited Sunday’s game after being largely ineffective vs. the Astros, pitching an inning and two thirds, giving up two runs but, arguably most alarmingly, walking five (four in the second inning). The end of Ohtani’s outing may have had some warning signs there pic.twitter.com/mMPiyhlycb— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) August 2, 2020I realize now I have two versions of this tweet two years apart and this is NOT OKAYhttps://t.co/9TENCeidoX— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) August 3, 2020It’s been a rough go early on for the Angels and new manager Joe Maddon, whose pitching staff has been about as expected in 2020 — as in, not great. Luckily for the Angels, both Dylan Bundy and Griffin Canning have looked like encouraging answers for the rotation, but without Ohtani there are questions to how far the Angels will go if they make the postseason. That’s a big if at the moment.The biggest thing I saw with Shohei Ohtani was his significantly decreased arm speed and the fact that he’s flying open too early.Allow me to explain ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/SxRAQE9GtX— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) July 26, 2020The bullpen might be the bigger issue, though, with the Angels blowing five of six save opportunities already in 2020 and having the fourth-worst xFIP in MLB at 5.19, per Fangraphs. If you’re new to baseball, that’s not great!Maddon has long been questioned for his unorthodox approach to pitching and bullpen use, and that seems to have following him back to Los Angeles in his first year as Angels manager. If they’re going to be without Ohtani, it’s bad. And if Maddon can’t figure out what’s going wrong, it’s going to get a lot worse for LA. MORE: Mike Trout’s newborn was named with baseball in mindThe poor start followed another poor start from Ohtani, with his overall numbers on the season not great despite a small sample size: two starts, 1 2/3 innings, 37.50 ERA. Well, bad comes to worse, with Ohtani heading for an MRI after experiencing soreness in his pitching arm. Shohei Ohtani expressed discomfort in is pitching arm after today’s game. The club has sent him for an MRI, no results yet.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 3, 2020Unfortunately for Ohtani and the Angels, there was a harrowing trend in his velocity Sunday, with his fastball speed taking a concerning dip as his outing wore on. Per MLB.com’s Mike Petriello, that trend is similar to the last start Ohtani had before being shut down and having Tommy John surgery in 2018.