Shohei Ohtani won his second AL MVP award in the last three seasons after a dominant showing in the 2023 season for the Los Angeles Angels on the mound and at the plate. While his Angels failed to put together a winning season once again, Ohtani had what wound up being his best season in an Angels uniform even with it being cut short due to injury.
Ohtani won the award unanimously for the second time, becoming the first player in MLB history to do that. He continues to set records for all of his accomplishments as a hitter and as a pitcher. Shohei's 2023 season will perhaps be remembered more for his free agency than his team's performance, but there are so many memorable individual Ohtani performances that Angels fans will never forget. Here are the three best.
3) Best Shohei Ohtani moments: His dominance vs. the White Sox (6/27/23)
Throughout his career, Ohtani has obviously tormented most teams, but the damage he's done against the White Sox has been far greater than against most others. That trend was a thing entering the season, and it continued in a big way in 2023.
The Angels hosted the White Sox for a four-game series to wrap up the month of June at a time when the Angels were trying to rack up wins against inferior opponents before a grueling second half schedule.
Ohtani hit a homer in the first game of the series, and was the starting pitcher for Game 2 while also batting second. On the mound, he turned in one of his best performances of the season, delivering 6.1 dominant innings allowing one run with ten strikeouts. Ohtani leaving a start mid-inning is extremely rare, and occurred because he had a cracked fingernail.
Ohtani leaving the game early was so disappointing not only because of how dominant he was on the mound, but he had two hits in two at-bats including a first inning home run and a walk. Angels fans wanted to continue to watch him hit and assumed since he left with nail issues he wasn't going to.
To the surprise of most, Ohtani took his at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning and, of course, went yard to extend the Angels lead. He might not have been able to pitch, but he sure could hit. Ohtani had three hits in three at-bats including two home runs and a walk in addition to his dominance on the mound. It was one of, if not the best game of his MLB career.