Los Angeles Angels two-way baseball star Shohei Ohtani, who is putting up numbers comparable only with Babe Ruth this season, tried two ways to reach the ballpark in time Thursday for his scheduled starting pitcher duty but neither worked.
And because Ohtani no longer had his usual three-plus hours to execute his pregame routine, he was scratched from his start in Oakland against the A’s.
A car accident on the Bay Bridge led Ohtani and catcher Kurt Suzuki to conclude the team buses wouldn’t make it in time, and the two chose to ride the BART subway system from the team’s San Francisco hotel to the ballpark in Oakland.
Ohtani didn’t arrive until around 5 p.m. — his routine called for an arrival at 4 p.m. — for the 7 p.m. game.
“He’s pretty regimented to get everything going about 4 o’clock for his start,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “So it was exceeded by maybe an hour. So we started calling the audible at that point to not pitch him tonight.”
Ohtani became a one-way player against the A’s, serving as the Angels’ starting designated hitter.
Don’t blame BART, though, which said via on Twitter: “First, wow, what an honor to host a baseball superstar like Shohei Ohtani on BART. We did not experience any issues on our end. We confirmed with Operations Control Center there was no delay for any Coliseum-heading train during the Bay Bridge incident.”
Ohtani’s teammate Patrick Sandoval stepped in for the Japanese superstar and performed well, shutting out Oakland through five innings.
The A’s battered the Angels’ bullpen with five runs in the sixth inning and went on to win 5-0.
Ohtani, who went 0-3 with a walk on Thursday, was scheduled to pitch against the A’s on Friday.