Shohei Ohtani Flashes Hype-Worthy Ace Potential After Nightmare Beginning

Shohei Ohtani finally got a proper introduction to a major league mound on Sunday, and he used it to look a lot more like the Japanese legend than the spring training cautionary tale.

Granted, the 23-year-old wannabe two-way star (he went 1-for-5 in his hitting debut on Thursday) didn’t compile an all-timer of a pitching line in the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-4 win over the Oakland Athletics. He lasted six innings and gave up three runs, all of which scored on a long home run by Matt Chapman.

But like with any good race car, it’s what’s under the hood that cheap nfl nike jersey  counts.hi-res-8b972f0294394847354e0c0d4a6fa205_crop_north

Elsewhere on Ohtani’s debut line are six strikeouts and one walk. He earned those by throwing 63 strikes and by collecting (per ESPN.com) 18 whiffs out of 92 total pitches.

That’s a 68 percent rate of strikes and a 20 percent rate of swinging strikes. cheap nike nfl jersey Even Max Scherzer would blush at strike and whiff rates like those.

Yeah, yeah. Small sample size and everything. One promising start does not an ace make. And so on with the appropriate disclaimers.

But if nothing else, this much is apparent right now: The Ohtani who looked completely out of his depth during spring training wasn’t the real Ohtani.

Although he arguably looked worse at the plate in putting up a .347 OPS in 11 Cactus League games, Ohtani didn’t look good on the mound. He put up a 27.00 ERA in two Cactus League starts and also mostly got knocked around in three unofficial outings.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Included among the latter set was an exhibition against the Mexican League’s Tijuana Toros in which he got shelled for six runs. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, part of the problem was that Ohtani’s fastball velocity was having difficulty escaping the 90-to-91 mph range.nfl nike jersey cheap

In retrospect, maybe that’s because he was saving his best bullets for The Show.

Former Kentucky Castoff Charles Matthews Is All About Now as Michigan’s Main Man

SAN ANTONIO — It’s Friday afternoon, two days after Charles Matthews and the Michigan Wolverines landed here to prepare for the Final Four and one day before Michigan will beat Loyola of Chicago to reach Monday night’s national title game against Villanova in the 2018 NCAA men’s tournament. Right now, Matthews ambles into a media session and settles into a seat behind a raised table.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Like so many others with big basketball dreams, he grew up imagining not only sinking buzzer-beaters but also recounting his heroics in interviews. But as he faces the reporters and hears the first question about Kentucky, he can’t help but let out a sigh. cheap nike nfl jersey      hi-res-c393e22b32b59fa0f38a40375d9e4183_crop_north

“I spoke with my media department and my coaching staff,” he responded politely, “and I’m not answering any more questions about the Kentucky transfer process. It’s so far removed now. I’ve been at Michigan two years now. If it’s not about Michigan or the Final Four, cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale I don’t really want to talk about it.”

It’s easy to understand his frustration. Yes, Matthews started his college career at Kentucky. And yes, at one point, he considered himself a potential one-and-done player. But he left Lexington after nine months, and he’s been with Michigan for almost two years. One of the biggest lessons he’s learned is not to worry about the past and not to obsess over the future. Instead, he focuses with laser-like precision on the present.

Working with Greg Harden—the University of Michigan associate athletic director and life cheap nfl nike jersey coach who has helped mold the minds of Tom Brady, Desmond Howard, Michael Phelps and many others—Matthews has learned to become a man of the moment. And this is his moment with Michigan.

In the most important month on the college basketball calendar, cheap nfl jerseys china nike Matthews has been the Wolverines’ most consistently stellar two-way star. He was the West Regional’s Most Outstanding Player, and he’s averaging 16.6 points per game in his team’s tournament run. “He changed his color blue,” assistant coach Saddi Washington said. “He’s a maize man now.”