Entering Monday night's game, Shohei Ohtani had done just about everything in his LA Angels' career, and professional baseball career in general. When having the greatest season in baseball history last year, one checks quite a few boxes on the baseball bucket list.
One thing Ohtani hadn't done, not only in MLB but also not in the NPB in Japan, was hit a grand slam. It's wild to think about. After 48 home runs out in the NPB, and 98 homers out here in the States, he still hadn't hit one out with the bases juiced up. On Monday, however, he got the job done:
Ohtani squared up a grand slam for his sixth home run of the season. He notched together his 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st RBI of the season with that swing--a remarkable number just 31 games into the year. That last RBI was also the 23rd run he's scored himself this season. That leads the AL, and is another incredible number to hit when just 31 outings in.
Shohei Ohtani is heating up at the plate for the LA Angels.
Not only has Shohei Ohtani hit six home runs on the year to go along with 23 runs and 21 RBIs, but he's also improving his slash line--showing that he can be counted on on a plate appearance-by-plate appearance basis.
Ohtani is hitting .368/.429/.737 (1.165 OPS) in his last five games in addition to his two bombs, nine RBIs, and five runs during that time.
So while his current .252/.315/.445 (.761 OPS) slash line is not particularly impressive, it's certainly on the upswing. To put it in perspective, he was hitting .230/.294/.390 (.684 OPS) prior to this five-game stretch. He's been a different beast these past five ballgames.
Homering twice, scoring thrice, and driving in five runs yesterday shows just how explosive Ohtani can be. The one thing he hadn't figured out how to do just yet in his pro baseball career, was how to clear three bases in one swing. Now that he's hitting grand slams, there is officially nothing the great ShoTime can't do.