Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani put up quite a show on Monday night as he became the first player since Babe Ruth to be the starting pitcher for a game while also leading the Majors in home runs.
It’s been almost 100 years since a player made a pitching start while also leading the Majors in home runs (Babe Ruth; June 13, 1921).
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) April 26, 2021
While the Japanese right-hander gave up four runs in the first inning, he struck out nine of the 14 batters he retired over five innings, reports MLB.com.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) April 27, 2021
He went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored as Los Angeles beat Texas 9-4.
Angels manager Joe Maddon expressed his appreciation for Ohtani’s performance after the game, reports ESPN.
“If you weren’t entertained by watching him tonight,” said Maddon. “you can’t be entertained by watching the game of baseball.”
Babe Ruth was leading MLB with 19 home runs when he played as the Yankees’ starting pitcher against the Tigers on June 13, 1921.
“I try to separate pitching and hitting while I’m doing both, but putting those runs on the board does lead to confidence,” Ohtani said in an interview via interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.
Ohtani also made history with his two-hit, three-run performance which was the first time since Minnesota’s Jim Perry did the same on May 1, 1971.
With his nine strikeouts, Ohtani also became the first pitcher in either league since Cleveland’s Luis Tiant in 1961 to have at least two hits and three runs scored with nine punchouts.
“I’m happy for the team victory and my teammates gave me a lot of run support, which led to confidence,” Ohtani was quoted as saying.
Featured Image via MLB