Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani showed off his versatility at the Kansas City Royals this week, putting on a performance unlike any other in major league baseball.
On Tuesday, he let his bat do the talking with two home runs and eight RBIs in a 12-11 loss.
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Visibly disappointed by the setback, he got his own revenge the next day by striking out 13 in eight innings on the mound to lead the Angels to a 5-0 triumph.
Never in the history of the big leagues, and not even the legendary Babe Ruth, has a player scored before now a game of 13 strikeouts as a gunner and an eight RBI game on offense.
“There is still the effect of amazement. Nobody else does what he does. He is truly a unique generational player and it is pleasant to share the field with him, ”commented to the site MLB.com the color holder of the Royals Whit Merrifield.
Be in full control
For Angels manager Phil Nevin, self-control is one of the ingredients in Ohtani’s recipe. Moreover, he had to wait an additional dozen minutes before starting the meeting due to a ceremony. He conceded two successive singles, but he did not allow himself to be overwhelmed by frustration, liquidating 16 batters in a row.
“We see him in action on a daily basis and you’d think you’d get used to that excellence, except there are a lot of factors to consider with him, like how he keeps his mind on the game. He’s attentive to everything, he is incredible. Seeing what he does on a baseball field is enjoyable to experience every day,” Nevin said.
And, of course, athleticism is nothing to sneeze at.
“He has a unique throwing repertoire,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. I don’t think you’ll find many guys with that much ammo. He threw everything for strikes. He bets on three different slippery balls, as well as a cut ball and a curve ball. When his shots start moving, that’s when the strikeouts pile up.”
The Japanese is averaging .260 at the plate this season, having totaled 15 long balls and 45 RBIs. On the mound, he went 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA.