Ohtani's near no-no almost completes ugly A's trifecta originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Not only did the A's 4-2 loss to the Angels cap a sweep at the hands of their AL West rivals in Anaheim, but it was their 100th loss of the season, too. Also, they nearly were no-hit, which would have been a pretty terrible combination had Ohtani (W, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, 10 K) made history.
In speaking with Bally Sports West's Erica Weston after the game, Ohtani said he knew he had a no-hitter going as soon as the fifth inning. As much as he wanted to make history, his focus wasn't focused on that.
"Yeah, I know the no-hitter was going on," Ohtani told Weston. "I wanted it badly, but more than that, I knew it was only a four-run game, so I was just focused on not putting runners on base."
With Ohtani just four outs away from history, A's right fielder Conner Capel broke up the no-hitter with a single past Angels shortstop Livan Soto. Dermis Garica followed with a single to left field before Ohtani recorded the final out in the top of the eighth inning.
After the game, A's manager Mark Kotsay explained how the back-to-back hits helped flip the momentum in Oakland's favor, which resulted in the A's scoring two runs in the ninth before bringing the tying run to the plate.
"Any time a pitcher is rolling through a lineup and having success and you can see the confidence building and the energy in the building, you know it's going to take a special at-bat, and Conner stayed on a ball away and put a good swing on it," Kotsay told reporters. "There's always that exhale, and Garcia gets a hit and we get some momentum offensively, and it carried over to the ninth.
"We all have pride. Nobody wants to go through a no-hit performance. I've been on that end myself as a player. So the dugout knew what was going on. The dugout was talking."
Ohtani had his off-speed pitches working all night. He dominated Oakland by throwing 49 percent sliders, 22 percent cutters, 14 percent curveballs, 11 percent sinkers, 5 percent splitters and just 4 percent four-seam fastballs.
"He threw a lot of off-speed pitches tonight, really left his fastball and dominated the hitters early with a slider-cutter-split combo and kept everything down below the zone," Kotsay explained. "It was a challenge up until Cape got that knock."
"He had his slider working, his cutter," Capel said postgame. "You just got to go up there and battle and try and put the barrel on it, put a good swing on it."
The A's reached 100 losses on Thursday night for the first time since the franchise lost an Oakland-record 108 games in 1979.
With just six games remaining, the A's historically bad 2022 season finally is nearing an end.