Ohtani scratched from start due to traffic jam, delayed subway ride
It seems as though only traffic can stop Shohei Ohtani.
The Los Angeles Angels star was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics barely an hour before first pitch at the Oakland Coliseum. This news immediately brought concern to fans, who feared he'd once again gotten injured, but it turned out the change was due to a San Francisco traffic jam.
One of the Angels' buses heading to Oakland from the team hotel in San Francisco got stuck on the Bay Bridge because of an accident. That forced Ohtani to hop on the subway - the BART, as it's known in the Bay Area - in order to make it to the ballpark on time, manager Joe Maddon said, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
The BART has a station serving the Coliseum on a line that connects to San Francisco.
Maddon said Ohtani was further delayed by another issue while riding the subway. BART was quick to deny the manager's claim but later confirmed the delay.
Because his commute on public transit took longer than anticipated, there was no time for Ohtani to go through his normal pitching warmup for Thursday's game, Maddon said. Patrick Sandoval is making the start in his place, with Ohtani hitting second as DH. His start at pitcher was moved back to Friday.
When he's not riding one of America's busiest heavy rail systems, Ohtani has been making the baseball world buzz during his breakout season as a two-way superstar. The 26-year-old owns a 2.37 ERA with 45 strikeouts through six starts as a pitcher while hitting .269/.326/.632 with 15 home runs and 38 RBIs as a DH and occasional outfielder.
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