Shohei Ohtani moved level with baseball legend Babe Ruth earlier this month following another home run and pitching victory on August 9. "> Shohei Ohtani moved level with baseball legend Babe Ruth earlier this month following another home run and pitching victory on August 9. " />
Sports | Sep 02

Shohei Ohtani Has Tied Babe Ruth's Record But Could Face A Rocky Period

Los Angeles Angels two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani moved level with baseball legend Babe Ruth earlier this month following another home run and pitching victory on August 9.

The Japanese star got through yet another injury scare to pitch six scoreless innings to add to his 25th home run as the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1. Ohtani has joined Ruth as the only other player in MLB history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season.

Two Negro league players are said to have reached the milestone, per the Angels, with Bullet Rogan of the 1922 Kansas City Monarchs and Ed Rile of the 1927 Detroit stars completing the feat.

The 28-year-old now stands on his own as the only player in league history to record 25 home runs and 100 strikeouts in two consecutive seasons.

Ohtani hit a high drive off Sam Selman in the seventh inning after he had singled and scored on Taylor Ward's three-run homer in the fifth. With his 118th homer, he moved past Ichiro Suzuki for the second-most home runs by a player born in Japan. He's likely hoping to catch up to Hideki Matsui at 175.

"Obviously we're very different types of hitters, but if I get to pass Ichiro I'm really honored,'' the pitcher and hitter said through an interpreter (H/T ESPN).

"I feel like every time we're out there he does something special,'' Phil Nevin, the team's interim manager, said. "You try not to take for granted what we're seeing every night but it's pretty awesome to be a part of. These things don't go by us lightly.''

As a pitcher during the game, Ohtani had five strikeouts, allowed four hits, and retired seven of the last eight batters he faced.

"After that home run today, I turned to the umpire and third base coach and was just like, 'I don't know how he does it,'" Los Angeles third baseman Vimael Machin remarked. "Just being an elite player overall who can throw over 100 mph with nasty off speed and hit the ball the way he hits it, I can't even describe that. I wish I could do that, too. It's amazing what he does.''

Ohtani, though, could have not even made it out of the third inning as he got hit near the top of his left foot by an 87 mph line drive from Ramon Laureano, having gotten hurt near that same area in a collision with pitcher Marco Gonzalez against the Seattle Mariners just two days prior.

He would continue to play after leaving A's fans pretty worried as he had bent over in pain and limped off. He returned to test his leg moments later and carried on, claiming the mishap wasn't as bad as he first thought while speaking to reporters at the end of the contest.

"It hit my foot pretty square so initially, I thought there was a good chance that it might be it tonight,'' he explained. "Got back in there and it wasn't as bad as I initially thought.''

While post-match scans came back negative, Nevin revealed the player's foot became more painful as the game wore on.

"He's good. He'll play tomorrow it looks like,'' Nevin declared. "It hit him right on the instep. Those things, if you sit for a while, a little bit of a chilly night, it tightened up on him a little bit."

Ohtani, who's chasing history, as well as another AL MVP Award, managed a remarkable feat in a match where he could have just as easily gone off injured. He's currently the second betting favorite for AL MVP at +500, behind New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. On that note, New York sportsbook promo codes are available to baseball punters as the regular season continues.

Meanwhile, Ohtani could be headed for some turbulence as Angels owner Arte Moreno announced on Tuesday that he might be selling the team.

"Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time,” Moreno said (via CBS). “Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players, and business partners."

Moreno has owned the team since 2003, having purchased it from Disney for $183 million, and if the A's end up getting sold, it could send shockwaves through the MLB as the Japanese sensation might end up getting traded.

The outlet mentioned above reported that other teams were under the impression that Moreno was the biggest obstacle as it pertains to a trade but, should he be removed from the situation, the path could be cleared.


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