Shohei Ohtani did yet another incredible thing in the Los Angeles Angels win over the Cleveland Indians Monday night. While there’s plenty to talk about with starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval or a solid relief effort from the bullpen, the main story is Ohtani, as he continues to defy everything we know about baseball.
Just two days away from his next start, Ohtani took the plate in the second inning with two runners on base. Perhaps his biggest flaw as a batter is his willingness to chase pitches outside the strike zone. He showed that by gearing up to swing at a pitch that was shoulder level. Normally, a pitch that high is an automatic take for batters, but for Ohtani, it was a three-run home run.
Sandoval, who had a solid 4.0-inning performance on the mound, was in awe of Ohtani and what he’s capable of doing on a nightly basis, according to JP Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“Um, I mean, it’s unreal,” Sandoval said. “I don’t know how else to say it. He hits the crap out of the ball and throws the crap out of the ball as well. I don’t think people can grasp how insane what he’s doing is. It’s unbelievable.”
That nearly impossible home run — which was one of the highest pitches ever hit out of the park according to StatCast — gave Ohtani the sole home run lead in all of baseball. He now has 13, separating him from the trio of Ronald Acuna Jr., Mitch Haniger, and Aaron Judge, who all have 12.
However, Acuna, Haniger, and Judge don’t also have a 2.10 ERA and 40 strikeouts over five starts on the mound this season. On Wednesday, Ohtani will have another chance to bolster his incredible pitching numbers while also potentially hitting. Depending on the injury status of Mike Trout, he may desperately be needed in the lineup.
Trout exits early in win over Indians
The Angels secured a 7-4 win over the Indians on Monday thanks to an all-around team effort. However, that didn’t include Trout, who left the game after just one inning due to a right calf strain. The team had no updates beyond that, as he is being re-evaluated on Tuesday.