Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani continues to amaze and redefine what baseball fans know. While recovering from a first inning strikeout that saw him take a 93 mph fastball directly on his hand, he managed to put his name in another spot of the history books.
In the fifth inning of the Angels 10-2 win over the San Diego Padres, Ohtani drew a six-pitch walk. He then proceeded to steal second base, notching his 20th steal of the season. While 20 steals by itself is already impressive, it’s even better when considering the power slugging that Ohtani has done this season.
In fact, he became the first player in Angels history to hit at least 40 home runs and steal at least 20 bases in a single season. The closest Mike Trout ever came to this feat was in 2018, when he stole 24 bases but just narrowly missed 40 home runs, hitting 39.
Jared Walsh had some words to say about Ohtani after being informed of this piece of history, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“Shohei breaks another record every day,” Walsh said. “According to our scoreboard, no one has done anything that he has done since 1885 or whatever. So every night with Sho, it’s something different.”
Joe Maddon was equally impressed with this feat, along with everything else that Ohtani has done this season.
“Every day for the rest of the season he’s probably going to do something that stands out,” Maddon said. “It’s impressive. He’s pitching, too, my God.”
That last sentiment by Maddon is shared by just about every baseball fan, as Ohtani’s magical season adds a new footnote almost nightly. To see what he’s done offensively, hitting over 40 home runs — and leading the Majors — stealing over 20 bases, and the absurd number of extra-base hits is crazy enough.
To think about the fact that a player who does all that is also his team’s best pitcher is legitimately unheard of. Him breaking this Angels record is just another reminder to thoroughly enjoy every minute of what Ohtani does, as it could very well never be repeated once he’s done.
Ohtani scheduled to start Tuesday
There is no indication yet if getting hit on the hand will cause his next start to be pushed back, something that has happened multiple times this season. If it doesn’t, he’ll be on the mound Tuesday against the New York Yankees, trying to make up for his career-worst start the last time he faced them.