All we can say is great. Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) has finally made Major League Baseball history. He became the first player in Major League Baseball history to strike out more than 35 batters in the month of June and hit more than 10 home runs at the same time.
Ohtani’s best performance came on June 28, when he started and batted second in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home game against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA. On the mound, Ohtani pitched six and a third innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out 10 to earn his seventh win of the season. At the plate, Ohtani went 3-for-3 with two home runs, two RBIs, two runs scored, and one walk in four at-bats to lead his team to a 4-2 victory.
It was the first time Ohtani has hit two home runs in the same game since entering the major leagues in 2018. Ohtani’s season batting average rose to .304 from .294, and he lowered his ERA from 3.13 to 3.02.
More importantly, he made dramatic plays throughout the game. First, he took the mound in the top of the first inning and worked a triple play to start the inning, then came up to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first. That’s when Ohtani launched a solo shot off opposing starter Michael Kopeck. It was Ohtani’s 27th home run of the season. On a 2-1 pitch count, he lined a 95-mph (152.9 km/h) four-seam fastball over the right-center field wall. The fastball was measured at 110.8 mph, according to MLB.com Gameday. The distance was 127 meters. The launch angle was 35 degrees.
Ohtani was energized on the mound by his home run. He gave up a leadoff double to Eloy Jimenez in the second inning, but retired the next three batters. He retired the side in order in the third and fourth. In the fifth, he induced Andrew Vaughn to ground into a short infield popup and then showed that he was aggressive in calling the play himself.
At the plate, he continued to perform well. Ohtani led off the bottom of the third inning with a walk. However, he was unable to score on the next at-bat. In the bottom of the fifth inning, he led off with a walk and then hit a full-count single to right-center field. It was Ohtani’s third hit of the day. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was unable to come home as the next at-bat did not produce a hit.
In the sixth, he gave up a leadoff walk and a single, but retired the next two batters to end the inning. Ohtani returned to the mound in the seventh and after giving up a leadoff single to Eloy Jimenez, he struck out Andrew Vaughn on a wild pitch. That allowed Jimenez to steal second base. After getting a favorable two-strike count against Yasmani Grandal, Ohtani fouled off four straight pitches to allow a walk. That would be the end of Ohtani’s outing. Jacob Webb took the mound next and gave up a run, increasing Ohtani’s lead to one run.
He threw 102 pitches. As if that wasn’t enough, Ohtani stepped up to the plate for the fourth time in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded. His team was down 2-1, with a one-run lead. The first pitch is a ball, the second a strike. On the third pitch, he crushed an 88.1-mph (141.8-kilometer) low and away splitter for a solo arch over the left field fence. It was his 28th home run of the season, following his 27th earlier. Bat speed was 106.4 mph (171.2 km/h). The distance was 123 meters. The launch angle was 25 degrees.메이저놀이터
According to MLB.com, it was only the sixth time since 1900, when modern baseball began, that Ohtani had struck out 10 or more batters and hit two home runs in the same game. Milt Pappas did it in 1961, Pedro Ramos in 1963, Rick Weiss in 1971, Madison Bumgarner in 2017, and Zack Greinke in 2019. In the American League (AL), which has a designated hitter system, Ohtani made history 60 years after Ramos.
It didn’t stop there. In addition to his 13 home runs as a hitter and 37 strikeouts as a pitcher in the month of June, Ohtani is the first player in MLB history to hit 10+ HRs and strike out 35+ batters in a month, according to Opta Stats. Previously, the only other player to hit 10 home runs and strike out 35 batters in a single month was Major League Baseball legend Babe Ruth.
The mega jackpot is also getting closer. If Ohtani continues to perform like this, the MVP award will be his for now. Ohtani is also eligible for free agency after this season. There are already speculations in the U.S. that he will become the first player in Major League Baseball history to receive a $500 million dollar ($65.6 billion) contract. With Ohtani’s cartoonish performance this season without a slump, a mega-contract could become a reality. How will Ohtani finish this season, and where will he be playing next season?