On Tuesday night, Shohei Ohtani tied a historic MLB record held by the great George Herman "Babe" Ruth since 1918. The Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom has also overtaken Ichiro Suzuki to become second all-time in home runs by a Japanese player in the majors.
On another memorable night for the 2021 American League MVP, Ohtani led by example to help the Angels to a 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
"Shohei Ohtani pitched 6 scoreless innings tonight. He also did this. Unreal." - MLB
On the mound, it took him just 91 pitches to complete six scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits and struck out five hitters.
Oakland Athletics manager Mark Kotsay was the latest in a string of managers to praise Ohtani's unique talent.
"It's exceptional. At this point, you can say it’s one of a kind in the game, because it is. He’s the only player doing it right now," said Kotsay.
Perhaps the only thing surprising about his outing was that Ohtani finished with only five strikeouts. In his last seven starts, he has finished with 13, 11, 10, 12, 11, 11, and 7 strikeouts. The bar is set extremely high when it comes to Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels ace set another personal record last night. His 157 strikeouts on the season are a career high. Keep in mind, the Angels still have 51 games remaining this season.
Shohei Ohtani joins Babe Ruth as the only player to hit 10 home runs and win 10 games in the same season
In his fourth season in the majors, Ohtani has finally reached double digits in the win column. He is now 10-7 on the season with a 2.68 ERA and is averaging an impressive 1.41 strikeouts per innings.
The number 10 win is extra important, considering it places him in a very exclusive club. Ohtani and Babe Ruth are now the only players in National or American League history to have 10 wins and hit 10 home runs in the same season. Ruth achieved the feat back in 1918 with the Boston Red Sox. That season, Ruth finished with a 13-7 record and a 2.22 ERA.
"Ohtani is putting up Babe Ruth numbers. According to the Angels, two players from the Negro Leagues also reached the milestone: Bullet Rogan (1922) and Ed Rile (1927)." - SportsCenter
Finally, Ohtani recorded another noteworthy achievement on Tuesday night. He was 2-3 at the plate with a home run and an RBI. That home run raised his MLB career total to 118 and launched him past Ichiro Suzuki as the second-most by a Japanese-born player. It seems like just a matter of time before Ohtani is able to surpass Hideki Matsui's total of 175.
"With his 118th home run, Shohei Ohtani passes Ichiro Suzuki for second-most home runs in MLB by a Japanese-born player!" - Los Angeles Angels
Mark Kotsay is not the first and will not be the last manager to pay Ohtani a compliment. The Japanese sensation from Oshu continues to shatter age-old records. Last night was a particularly special night for him.
The Angels, with a 48-63 record, are having a poor season. Shohei has not let that dampen his spirits. Whether he remains with the organization in the longrun is still uncertain. For now, let us all appreciate and enjoy one of the greatest baseball talents of our generation.