Los Angeles Angels pitcher and batter Shohei Ohtani proved again that he is a force to be reckoned with after pulling a jaw-dropping two-way feat in two nights.
Ohtani, 27, had one of the best offensive games of his career so far on Tuesday. The athlete went 3-of-4 against the Kansas City Royals, with two home runs and a career-high eight RBIs (run batted in).
Although the Angels lost to the Royals 12-11, Ohtani returned the following night to pull yet another career-high, and this time, it was on the mound.
At the Angels Stadium on Wednesday, the Japanese baseball player struck out 13 Royals batters, surpassing the career-high performance he had against the Houston Astros in April by one strikeout.
The American League MVP’s performance on Tuesday and Wednesday made him the first baseball player in American League and National League history to have at least eight RBIs in one game and then strike out more than at least 10 players the following day.
“He just put us on his back,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said of Ohtani’s performance. “It was just impressive. I thought about taking him out after the seventh but he was adamant, ‘This is mine.’ What a day, what a performance by him.”
Ohtani retired 23 of the last 24 hitters he went up against on Wednesday, and he also allowed two hits in eight innings.
“There’s still the ‘wow’ factor,” Royals second baseman and outfielder Whit Merrifield said. “Nobody else is doing what he’s doing. Definitely just a unique, once-in-a-generation-type player, and it’s fun to share the field with him.”
A career-high 8 RBI last night and a career-high 13 Ks tonight.
Unbelievable, Shohei Ohtani. pic.twitter.com/xqgwHugbaZ
— MLB (@MLB) June 23, 2022
The only baseball player who had at least 10 strikeouts and eight RBIs in a single game in a season or a career before Ohtani was former Atlanta Braves right-hander Tony Cloninger after he struck out 12 batters on April 12, 1966, and had nine RBIs on July 3, 1966.
Ohtani is now the 19th player in Angels history to have 13 strikeouts in a game. The last Angels player who struck out 13 batters was Patrick Sandoval during a game against the Minnesota Twins on July 24, 2021.
The 2021 Player of the Year is currently hitting .260/.336/.487 with 45 RBIs, 15 home runs and seven stolen bases in his 298 plate appearances as a batter. Ohtani also currently holds a 2.90 ERA (earned run average) and 90 strikeouts in 68.1 innings as a pitcher.
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