SEATTLE (AP) — Shohei Ohtani was called for pitch clock violations on the mound and at the plate Wednesday, as the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star made more major league history.
Starting against the Seattle Mariners, Ohtani was hit with a violation in the top of the first inning while working against Cal Raleigh. Angels manager Phil Nevin said that his right-hander was not trying to violate the rule implemented this season by intentionally throwing a pitch before Raleigh was ready.
“Part of this rule, when we first put it in, there were some pitchers that were taking advantage of it and quick-pitching some hitters,” Nevin said. “(Max) Scherzer did it in spring training, and they’re just trying to get away from that. In no way is Shohei trying to do that. It’s just his set position is a little different than most and I was trying to explain to (umpire) Pat (Hoberg) what he does.”
Nevin said Hoberg told them that while the pitcher can throw whenever he wants once the clock is in the final 8 seconds, before that the batter has to signal that he’s ready in the box.
Ohtani was flagged again in the top of the sixth before his at-bat against Mariners reliever Matt Brash. Players have 30 seconds to resume play between batters.
The MVP of Japan’s victory in the World Baseball Classic became the first player to be called for clock violations as a pitcher and hitter, but said he understands the rules.
“I had a chance to talk to the umpires after the game, and it cleared things up,” Ohtani said. “So, I know what I need to do, and the adjustments I need to do. It should be fine.”
Ohtani earned his first win of the season and drove in a run in the Angels’ 4-3 victory.
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Associated Press freelance writer Shane Lantz contributed to this report.