Shohei Ohtani had negative impression of 2022 season due to Angels losing

Shohei Ohtani followed up his historic 2021 season with another dominant two-way performance that saw him finish as one of the league’s best hitters and best starting pitchers. 

Despite his own individual dominance, the Angels’ star still had a negative impression of the season due to the team’s continued struggles in the win column. 

“I have to say that August and September, in particular, felt longer to me than last year,” Ohtani said in an interview from Japan, via ESPN. “We were not able to play as many good games as we would like — including 14 consecutive losses. So I have a rather negative impression of this season.”

Despite a strong start to the season, the Angels finished with a disappointing 73-89 record that placed them third in the American League West, 33 games behind the division champion Houston Astros. It is the Angels’ seventh consecutive losing season. 

What makes the Angels’ lack of success so frustrating is that Ohtani and Mike Trout are the two best and most impactful players in baseball and the team has been unable to build a competitive team around them. They have yet to have a winning record since Ohtani joined the team.

He finished the 2022 season with an .875 OPS (10th in the majors), 33 home runs (11th in the majors), six triples, and 11 stolen bases, while also posting a 2.33 era (sixth best in the majors), a 1.01 WHIP (12th in the majors ) and 212 strikeouts (sixth in the majors) as a starting pitcher. His 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings were also second in the majors, just 0.1 off the major league lead. 

It is the second year in a row he has dominated both sides of the game as he continues to do things that no player in Major League history has ever done. 

He won the 2021 American League MVP award for his performance and figures to be no worse than second place this season as he competed with New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for the award. 

Ohtani recently signed a one-year contract for the 2023 season that will pay him a record $30 million for an arbitration-eligible player. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2023 season and should be in line for one of the biggest contracts in pro sports history. It is just a matter of whether he signs that eventual deal with Los Angeles or some other team that will give him a better chance to compete for a playoff spot and World Series title. 

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