Shohei Ohtani doesn’t have to be Babe Ruth, but he’s already matched him in one regard.
Sunday night, Ohtani would pitch for the first time since June 6. And he would make history in the first inning, becoming the second player ever to log 50 innings pitching while slugging 15 home runs during the same season. The only other to do so? Ruth, back in 1919.
The Angels would limit Ohtani to 49 pitches Sunday night, and the Astros got to him just a little. 2.1 innings later, he would surrender two runs (earned) on two hits while walking and striking out two apiece. That doesn’t mean he didn’t look good, though. And above all else, it’s just good to see him back on the mound.
In 51.1 innings of work, Ohtani has a 3.31 ERA, 3.61 FIP and 3.59 DRA. He’s also striking out 29.9% of opposing batters. In other words, despite the limited game time, the 24-year-old phenom has brought it this season. He’s been no slouch at the plate either, slashing .276/.357/.540 with 15 home runs and six stolen bases. He also has a great wRC+ (145) and a hard-hit rate of over 40 percent.
Now it’s all about staying healthy.
It’s a shame injuries have limited him to just 10 starts and 90 games overall, but he’s taken the league by storm. And at this point, it’s tough to pick anybody else for Rookie of the Year. Yes there are some great numbers out there, but we’ve never seen something like this. Not since the time of Babe Ruth. We cannot just ignore that. Plus, it’s not as though he’s been a mess at the plate either. Ohtani is the real deal. It looks like he made the right decision in choosing the American League.
And health permitting, he’s going to be showing us for many years to come.