What a night. Shohei Ohtani became the third player in the last 45 seasons to pitch and hit for himself with the designated hitter position available against the White Sox on Sunday.
It didn’t take long for Ohtani to make headlines after the start of the game. In the top of the first inning, Ohtani threw threw the fastest pitch clocked in the majors this season (101 MPH). In the bottom of that same inning, the two-way phenom hit a home run with the hardest exit velocity (115 MPH) in the league.
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Ohtani looked sharp in the first few innings of the game before running into trouble in the top of the fifth inning. The right-hander walked back-to-back hitters with two outs to load the bases and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Ohtani nearly escaped trouble with a strike out of Yoan Moncada, but a passed ball and throwing error allowed two more runs to score, tying the game 3-3.
Angels nation held their breath on a play at the plate when White Sox first baseman slid into Ohtani who was covering home. Thankfully Ohtani was just a little shaken up, and walked off on his own power before manager Joe Maddon pulled him from the game. The Halos front office later said Ohtani is fine.
It wasn’t a perfect night, but there were plenty of positive takeaways in Ohtani’s return to the mound.
Shohei Ohtani line vs White Sox
- Hitting (1-for-3) HR
- Pitching (92 pitches) 1.1 IP 2 H 3 R 1 ER 5 BB 7 K
Having a weapon like Ohtani on the roster gives Maddon a lot to work with this season. If Ohtani can manage to stay healthy for a full 162-game season, it’s safe to say the Angels possess the best all-around talent in the league.
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Each time Maddon puts Ohtani in the lineup as a hitter, pitcher, and both as we seen on Sunday night, it’s possible we’ll see some type of rare occurrence in the history of baseball.
Let’s not take it for granted, Ohtani is going to make Angels baseball very fun to watch in 2021.