The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hit his 30th home run of the season, a towering moonshot to center field off a 98 mph belt-high fastball from New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, which put the Angels ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
30TH HOMER OF THE YEAR.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 1, 2022
The unanimous 2021 American League MVP, Shohei Ohtani had made good on the two-way promise he entered the majors with back in 2018, and then some. Ohtani’s latest dinger puts him in even more rarefied air, achieving a feat that hasn’t yet been accomplished in MLB history. Ohtani is the only player to ever hit 30 home runs and throw 100 strikeouts in a single season. Even Babe Ruth, the poster child for two-way baseball players, never accomplished the feat. And Ohtani’s now done it two seasons in a row.
The 28-year old two-way player also became the only Japanese-born player in MLB history with multiple 30-HR seasons.
Ohtani is the only player in MLB history to hit 30 HR and throw 100 K in a season, and he's now done it twice. https://t.co/zJdYLHg14t
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 1, 2022
The Angels have been fortunate in recent seasons, boasting the services of Shohei Ohtani and GOAT candidate centerfielder Mike Trout, but the Angels have had barely any success to show for it. The Angels’ 56-74 record this season has been extremely disappointing in particular, especially after a hot 27-17 start where they found themselves trailing AL West leaders Houston Astros by just one game.
Thus, baseball fans have speculated as to whether the Angels have been wasting the services of Ohtani, especially after yet another record-setting season. At the time of writing, Ohtani has tallied a 2.67 ERA in addition to 176 Ks, along with 30 HRs and 82 RBIs. If the Angels continue to struggle in the coming season, they may have no choice but to trade Ohtani, who is set to become a free agent in 2024.
For now, however, Angels fans will continue to be treated to some Ohtani magic, and they should continue to cherish Ohtani’s stellar performances while they still can.