Shohei Ohtani: It is difficult to be motivated in a difficult season

Things have not been going according to plan for the Los Angeles Angels this season. They are 45-61, fourth in the AL West and 24 games from first place. It’s a miserable place to be, admits superstar Shohei Ohtani.

“Staying motivated like that is hard,” Ohtani told the Los Angeles Times after a 3-1 defeat to A earlier this week.

Ohtani pitched 5.2 innings of two-run ball, but that wasn’t enough for the Angels. Their bats couldn’t start and Ohtani himself went 0 out of 3.

“Individually, there are a lot of things I need to do,” he said. “But my baseball life will continue for some time and whatever the circumstances, I would love to be focused on every game.”

Since those comments were made, the Angels have gone 1-1, including an 8-7 defeat to Oakland in which they connected for seven solo home runs. They were barely able to escape the Marines on Friday night, bouncing in the 10th inning after losing a 4-0 lead in the ninth.

Things aren’t likely to get any easier for the Angels either. They swapped starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, closest Raisel Iglesias and winger Brandon Marsh on expiry.

“I cheer from the bottom of my heart for the players who have left,” added Ohtani. “I would like them to be part of good teams, get results and do their best in the postseason.”

“As a player, it’s pretty hard to know that there’s little chance that a win will play a role in getting you to the postseason. But I think I’d like to do what I have to do the best I can, ”she said.

The rest of the season is sure to be a grind for Ohtani and his Angels teammates.