Shohei Ohtani matches feat only achieved by Babe Ruth with 12th homer
Shohei Ohtani joined some incredibly exclusive company by hitting his 12th home run of the season during the Los Angels Angels’ 11-5 win over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. Whenever an MLB player can claim to have accomplished a feat that only Babe Ruth had done before him is pretty impressive stuff, obviously.
And that’s just what Ohtani did on Tuesday night. With his three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, Ohtani joins The Babe as the only major league player to hit 12 home runs and pitch 40 innings in the same season, per ESPN.
Ohtani + A.L. Central team = Home run pic.twitter.com/l4nA9LExDM
— Angels (@Angels) August 8, 2018
Overall, Ohtani is rolling at the plate recently as well. The two-way player has three homers in August and Tuesday’s game was his third multi-hit performance in five games. Since coming off the disabled list, Ohtani is hitting .250 with six home runs and 12 RBI in 28 games.
“I may look like I’m taking easy swings in my at-bats, but I’m swinging pretty hard,” Ohtani said through a translator, via an AP report. “I haven’t really changed my approach. Back when I was in Japan, that was one of my strengths, going to the opposite field.”
That said, Ohtani is chomping at the bit to get back on the mound as well. He is slated to throw a light bullpen session on Saturday as he eases himself back into pitching form after suffering a sprained elbow ligament earlier this season.
“I’ve been waiting for this day,” Ohtani said. “I’ve been very eager to get back on the mound.”
But back to the kind of historic season Ohtani is enjoying in his quest to become the first successful two-way player in the big leagues in generations. Here are some stats that exemplify how remarkable a season Ohtani is enjoying.
Players with double-digit home runs and multiple wins in a season:
2018 Shohei Ohtani
1921 Babe Ruth
1919 Babe Ruth
1918 Babe Ruth
1888 Jimmy Ryan
1887 Jimmy Ryan
1886 Harry Richardson
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) August 3, 2018
Most home runs for a player with at least nine games pitched in a season:
1. Babe Ruth – 29 in 1919
2. Shohei Ohtani – 12 in 2018#Angelspic.twitter.com/WbbwIaigQg
— Today in MLB (@TodayintheMLB) August 8, 2018
Pretty heady stuff, indeed.