Shohei Ohtani is on a different level. The Los Angeles Angels broke out last season as a legitimate two-way player. A year removed from his MVP exploits, Ohtani is continuing his insane performance in the MLB. He remains as one of the few bright spots that the team has during their freefall.

Ohtani’s latest exploits saw him reach a level only the best of the best from his position has ever reached. The Angels’ 7-1 rout of the Houston Astros on Wednesday saw the Japanese ace throw a massive game from the mound. After the dust settled, Ohtani found himself in rarefied air, joining some of the best players in league history. (via ESPN Stats and Info)

Additionally, MLB.com noted that Shohei Ohtani was just the second Angels pitcher to record 10 strikeouts in four consecutive starts. The Japanese ace reacted to this tidbit by saying that:

“Obviously, it’s a huge honor to be in the same sentence with someone like Nolan Ryan,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “But more than strikeouts, I’m looking to put up zeros and shut opponents out.”

The Angels have needed every bit of the Japanese star’s excellence this season. The first few months of the season had fans hoping that this would be the start of a turnaround. Perhaps, after almost a decade of misery, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani will get their first taste of playoff action. It seemed destined… until it wasn’t.

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Suddenly, the once-dominant Angels crashed back to Earth in horrifying ways. Trout’s normally reliable bat went cold for a while. Stranding multiple runners on base started to become the norm. Even Ohtani found himself struggling during certain moments of their cold stretch. Just recently

Time is slowly running out for the Los Angeles Angels. There’s still just under half the season left to right the ship. If they play to their strengths over the next weeks, they could still make sure that Trout and Ohtani makes it to at least one playoff run with the Angels.