April 5, 2021

Shohei Ohtani Pitches & Bats In Same Game For First Time
(Strikes Out 7, Throws 100+ Nine Times, Hits 451-Foot Home Run)

Shohei Ohtani is my favourite player in baseball right now.

On Sunday night, he pitched and batted for the first time in his major league career, and is the first pitcher to bat second in a lineup in more than 118 years (Jack Dunleavy, Cardinals, September 7, 1903). Only two pitchers have hit for themselves in a DH-game since Ken Brett did it twice in 1976: Andy Sonnanstine (2009, lineup card mistake) and Madison Bumgarner (2016, interleague start).

Ohtani, 26 years old, struck out seven White Sox batters over 4.2 innings, topping 100 mph nine times. (Before last night, he had cracked 100 mph a total of seven times in his previous 13 starts combined.)

He also crushed a 451-foot home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, becoming the first American League starting pitcher to homer against an AL team since Roric Harrison on the final day of the 1972 season (October 3). Thus, Ohtani is the first starting pitcher to homer in an AL game since the DH debuted in 1973.

The home run had an exit velocity of 115.2 mph, the hardest hit homer by an Angels player since at least 2015 (when Statcast debuted). It was the longest regular-season home run of Ohtani's career (49 homers to date). He hit two dongs in spring training this year that were estimated at more than 460 feet. . . .Ohtani also lined out on a ball he hit at 110 mph. That was the second-hardest hit ball of the game, by any player on either team.

2021: Ohtani has thrown the fastest pitch (100.6 mph) and hit the hardest-hit home run (115.2 mph). He's also first player to hit a ball 110+ mph off the bat and throw a pitch 100+ mph in the same game (tracked by Statcast).

I'm glad I got this game under my belt. It will lead to more confidence.

Also: Mike Trout swung at a 3-0 pitch that was out of the strike zone for the first time in nearly five years (May 7, 2016).

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