Major League Baseball’s (MLB) two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani has reached a new Babe Ruth-level milestone after recording his 500th strikeout on Wednesday.
He now joins Hall of Famer Ruth in the elite club of being the only two players in MLB history to have 100 or more home runs along with 500 or more strikeouts.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau’s stats, Ruth threw 501 strikeouts and hit 714 home runs by the end of his career in 1934, making him one of the greatest two-way players of all time.
Ohtani, who currently has a career 134 home runs at just 28 years old, still has a long way to go to match the baseball legend’s mammoth hitting record.
Including the Modern Era (post-1900), Ohtani is the fifth player
to achieve 100 home runs and 500 strikeouts, along with Ruth, Smokey Joe Wood, Red Ruffing and Walter Johnson.
Despite the achievement, Ohtani felt his pitching performance fell short of his personal expectations as he gave up five hits and four runs during the game.
During a postgame interview, Ohtani said through an interpreter: “More than the strikeouts, I’m just disappointed I couldn’t pitch deeper in the game. I feel like they were sitting on certain pitches on certain counts. They guessed right and got all of those extra-base hits. I just have to do a better job.”
With his 13th strikeout, he made history by becoming the 10th Japanese-born pitcher to reach 500 strikeouts and the first MLB pitcher this season to reach 13 strikeouts in a game.