California traffic jam derails Ohtani's pitching start

·1-min read
Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani was scratched from a scheduled Thursday start because of a traffic jam on one of San Francisco's bridges

Los Angeles Angels star pitcher Shohei Ohtani was scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics after getting stuck in one of California's infamous traffic jams.

The Major League Baseball club said snarled traffic, as a result of a collision on San Francisco's Bay Bridge, stretched what is normally a 45-minute trip to much longer and Ohtani couldn't get to the stadium in time to warm up.

The Japanese two-way star was on one of several team buses in the logjam. He eventually left the bus to try his luck on the San Francisco's metro system, but that just put him further behind schedule.

"It was just a transportation issue more than anything," said manager Joe Maddon. "It's just unavoidable."

The club decided to have left handed pitcher Patrick Sandoval take the mound in place of Ohtani, who was reassigned to the designated hitter.

"For us, Shohei's most comfortable, he's pretty much regimented to get everything going about 4 o'clock for his start," said Maddon. "It exceeded that by maybe an hour, so we started calling the audible at that point to not pitch him tonight. And if we're not going to pitch him, we're going to DH him."

Catcher Kurt Suzuki was on the same bus and ruled out along with Ohtani. Suzuki will be the catcher for Ohtani on Friday.

Ohtani batted second in the lineup batting against Oakland.

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