If there was any doubt before, it should be long gone now.
Shohei Ohtani is a true two-way star in Major League Baseball — and he didn't waste any time proving it on Sunday night.
Ohtani, in a historic outing for the Los Angeles Angels, delivered a 100.6 mph fastball in their opening inning of their 7-4 win against the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim. Then, later that very same inning, Ohtani drilled a deep home run on the first pitch at the plate to put the Angels up 1-0 almost instantly.
The ball, which came off the bat at more than 115 mph, traveled more than 450 feet from the plate.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 5, 2021
Ohtani’s night was already historic before the homer. The 26-year-old is the first Angels pitcher to ever hit for himself in a game while the designated hitter rule was in play in the organization’s history, and just the third pitcher to do so across Major League Baseball in the past 45 years, according to The Associated Press. He’s also just the first pitcher to bat second in the lineup since 1903.
Though the season isn’t even a week old — Opening Day was on Thursday — Ohtani’s home run was the hardest-hit of the season. After throwing a 100.6 mph fast ball in the first inning, he holds that league record, too.
Shohei Ohtani has thrown the fastest pitch of any starting pitcher so far in this early season (100.6 MPH) and has the hardest-hit HR of the season by any player (115.2 MPH exit velocity). pic.twitter.com/P3GmsQoJmK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2021
“He's got a great career doing either, and he might have a really spectacular, special career doing both,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said before the game, via The Associated Press. “So you never want to get in the way of greatness.”
Ohtani leaves game after injury at home plate
Ohtani was forced to leave the game in the fifth inning after he was slid in at home plate.
Ohtani, after a dropped third strike went past catcher Max Stassi, ran home to cover the plate while Stassi threw down to first. Leury Garcia scored for the White Sox in the process, and Angels second baseman David Fletcher then threw to Ohtani to try and tag Jose Abreu out — who was making his own play on the plate.
Abreu, though, slid into Ohtani knocking him to the ground — where he stayed clearly in pain before walking off the field.
Shohei Ohtani was forced to leave the game after being slid into at home during this fluke play. pic.twitter.com/vMurRAHsgo
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 5, 2021
He was replaced by Steve Cishek, though the team insisted he wasn't pulled from the game for injury reasons.
#Angels say Ohtani is "fine" and just has some general soreness. He will be reevaluated tomorrow. He was not removed for injury purposes, per team.
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) April 5, 2021
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