LA Angels' Ace Shohei Ohtani owns all of Major League Baseball minus one guy. That's randomly Texas Rangers' Catcher Jonah Heim. Heim is now five for five against Ohtani in 2022 after another monster game against the best player in baseball on Wednesday.
He has a homer off of Ohtani and has driven in seven runs while facing ShoTime. For whatever reason, he just has Ohtani's number. In fairness to Ohtani, however, Heim has been on fire in general as well this year. He's batting .300/.388/.543 (.930 OPS) this season. Those are elite numbers, especially for a catcher.
It's just perplexing, however, because it feels as if nobody--not even elite hitters--can hit Ohtani this season. And, they can't...Ohtani's current ERA is 2.82 and his current ERA+ is 134. He strikes out 12.4 hitters per nine innings--opposing hitters can't even get the bat on the ball. For whatever reason, however, Heim has cracked the code.
Jonah Heim has found a way to do what nobody else can--hit Shohei Ohtani.
Nobody would have ever thought that of all people to figure out Shohei Ohtani, it would be Jonah Heim. Heim had only played 95 games heading into this year. He had also looked terrible in those 95 games--slashing .198/.243/.340 (.583 OPS) with a 59 OPS+.
He's been a different beast this year, however, recording an OPS+ 115 points higher at 174. It makes it a bit more understandable when seeing that Heim appears to be Ohtani's kryptonite.
He's not just some player who was expected to be a backup catcher who absolutely just tees off on Ohtani. He's teeing off on everybody. He's part of why Texas has won four straight games after leaving their series against the Angels. They remained five games behind the Halos in the AL West standings, however.