Angels superstar Ohtani takes time off against Mets

Even superstars need a night off once in a while, even if there’s a national audience watching.

Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani was not in the lineup for Sunday night’s game against the New York Mets. Manager Phil Nevin said before the game that the reigning AL MVP approached him in the latter stages of Saturday night’s 11-6 victory not to start.

“I know, he looks like Superman all the time. Even Superman has taken a day off every once in a while,” Nevin said. ready to go.”

“This (day off) happens to be a Sunday and it’s on ESPN. I know a lot of people are upset about this. The better Shohei will be at the end of the season, we’re going to play a lot more prime time games and a lot of them in October and they can watch him play.

Ohtani is on an eight-game hitting streak, which is tied for his longest of the season. He went 11 for 31 with two home runs and five RBIs in that span and increased his batting average by 15 runs to .255.

The two-way Japanese sensation appeared to be briefly jolted after an awkward slide at home plate in the third inning of Saturday’s game. He limped briefly after receiver Tomás Nido applied the home tag on right fielder Jeff McNeil’s throw.

But Ohtani stayed in the game and hit a two-run homer on his next at-bat in the fifth inning.

Nevin, who was named manager for the remainder of the season after Joe Maddon was fired last Tuesday, said he had productive discussions with Ohtani over the past week.

After struggling in 2019 under Brad Ausmus, Ohtani thrived under Maddon, who prioritized unleashing his talents on both sides of the ball. Maddon worked with Ohtani to determine the right workload that allowed him to excel as a hitter and pitcher.

Nevin appears as if he will take the same approach.

“Honestly, it’s up to him. It is his. He is good at managing his body and his time to prepare to hit and throw. No one has ever done this before like he does,” Nevin said. “It’s good to reset his body and we’ll get to that on Tuesday.”

With Ohtani off, Mike Trout got a rare start to designated hitter with Tyler Wade in center field.

The Angels have Monday off before facing the Los Angeles Dodgers for two games at Dodger Stadium starting Tuesday. Ohtani’s next start on the mound will likely come Friday when the Angels open a three-game series in Seattle. He allowed one run on four hits and struck out six in last Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Ohtani is 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 10 starts, striking out 71 in 54 1/3 innings.

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