Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani matched an impressive Babe Ruth stat, one that only he and the baseball legend can claim.
Shohei Ohtani sees all your baseball records, Babe Ruth. And he’s coming for them.
On Thursday, Ohtani drew even with Ruth on a stat he used to own all by himself: Number of seasons with 10 home runs as a batter and 30 strikeouts as a pitcher.
Ruth did it twice, in 1918 and 1919. Ohtani pulled off the feat in 2018. It’s early in 2021, but he’s already done it again.
Ohtani hit a two-run homer in the third inning of the Angels series finale with the Rays, giving him 10 on the season in 27 games. He picked up his 30th strikeout on Wednesday, his fourth start of the year. He’s had at least seven strikeouts in each appearance.
Shohei Ohtani is doing things as a pitcher and hitter not seen since Babe Ruth
The ways he’s playing, Ohtani will take the record from Ruth entirely. He could do it next year. In fact, the only reason he hasn’t already posted more than two seasons with 10 home runs and 30 strikeouts is because of injury. In 2018, he did it easily but ended up needing Tommy John surgery.
In 2019, he had 18 homers but wasn’t pitching. In 2020, he only pitched twice before injury took him off the mound again. He only had seven home runs from the plate either way.
If he stays healthy, Ohtani will continue to use his impressively varied skill set to set new and exciting records.
The Angels just need to figure out how to turn the immense talent of Ohtani and Mike Trout into victories. Los Angeles is 13-16 and sitting at the bottom of the AL West. They’re in the middle of their second four-game losing streak going back to Apr. 21.
It won’t get any easier as they’ll next face the Dodgers in Anaheim.