Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani had a hell of a game on Tuesday night against the Houston Astros. Let’s roll back the highlight reel.
The Angels fell 5-1 to the Astros on Tuesday, but Shohei Ohtani had a night to remember. His superstar talent shone through the dim disappointment of the Angels’ bullpen and he’s continuing his spectacular run this season with even more broken records and incredible plays. Ohtani threw 62 of his 88 pitches for strikes and kept the ball in the zone, which allowed him to stay in the game for seven innings. The only run he allowed was a fifth inning home run by Kyle Tucker, one of just three hits given up by Ohtani all night.
As if those pitching numbers weren’t good enough, Ohtani also notched a few more incredible stats in his belt, too.
1. Made history with his two-way game
Ohtani is the first player to strike out 10+ players in a game AND play in the outfield since Harvey Haddix on September 28, 1952.
Once Ohtani left the mound, things started to go downhill for the Angels, but Ohtani made his presence felt in other areas of the field. This is the third time he has remained in the lineup in five pitching starts this season.
So far this season, he’s notched a major league-leading 10 homers with his bat and has recorded over 30 strikeouts with his arm. Is there a part of his body that can’t play baseball? His numbers are trending even better than than those of Babe Ruth when he first joined the Yankees as a two-way player 101 years ago.
2. Made Jose Altuve and the Astros look silly
In the bottom of the third, Ohtani made Altuve look like an amateur and pitched right down the middle into his catcher’s hands.
He also got other Astros players swinging at air, first with a 98 mph fastball called for a strike, and then a 89 mph splitter that Yuli Gurriel had absolutely no business trying to hit.
3. Tied a record set by…himself
And finally, Ohtani tied his own record for players who have hit 10+ homers in a season and recorded at least one 10-strikeout game. He did it twice in 2018, and he’s done it again tonight in 2021.
Could Ohtani win league MVP as a two-way player? The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year is well on his way to do something that no other player baseball has done of late: be a successful pitcher and hitter. He’ll have to figure out a way to outshine the production value of all-world teammate Mike Trout, but after a tough loss against the Astros, Ohtani has proven himself to be Los Angeles’ extra-valuable swiss army knife no matter where he plays on the field.