Shohei Ohtani is following up his 2021 MVP run with an incredible season this year, and although it might not be enough to push the Los Angeles Angels into the playoffs, the numbers he’s putting up will put him with some special company.
With a historic month of June, Ohtani didn’t leave that in the rearview mirror and has continued his torrid pace with another seven-inning, 10 strikeout performance on Wednesday against the Miami Marlins. He became the first Angels pitcher since Garret Richards in 2014 to record 110 strikeouts during the first half of the season.
Ohtani completed that feat in just 81 innings pitched. His past five starts have been immaculate, and he joins eight others in Major League Baseball history to go 5-0 with 46 or more strikeouts while allowing one or fewer earned runs.
He is a modern-day two-way superstar that cannot be lumped in as just another player. Following his record-setting game against the Royals on June 22, Whit Merrifield called Ohtani a ‘once-in-a-generation-type player.’
Ohtani joined Johan Satana as the only American League pitchers to go 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA while tallying 40 or more strikeouts over a four-game stretch in the divisional era. Prior to 1969, only Ray Culp of the 1968 Red Sox and Rube Waddell with the 1907 Athletics had done so.
At the plate, Ohtani has picked up where he left off in June, and when he stole second base in the seventh inning on Wednesday, he joined Mike Trout (five times), Darin Erstad (two times), and Don Baylor (two times) as the only Angels to record multiple seasons of 15 home runs and 10 steals prior to the All-Star break.
On the year, he is 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 81 innings on the mound, and at the plate, he is carrying a .839 on-base plus slugging with 18 home runs and 53 runs batted in.
Ohtani has another historic night against Royals
On June 21, the Angels fell to the Royals in a 12-11 extra-innings loss that featured a near comeback and an opportunity for Ohtani to win the game in the 11th inning, but the moment didn’t happen and nevertheless, it was a noteworthy night.
Ohtani hit two home runs and became the first player born in Japan to have 8 RBI in a game in MLB history. He also became the eighth player in Angels history to achieve that feat.
His ninth-inning three-run home run tied the game and left the bat with an exit velocity of 113.5 mph and was Ohtani’s 15th long ball of the season. The reigning MVP tallied his 100th career home run in mid-May and is now up to 108 after slugging two on Tuesday.
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