Monday, January 24

Shohei Ohtani’s incredible Bronx displays a painful reminder of why the Yankees were all in on the two-way star

Shohei Ohtani leads the majors in home runs with 28 and is on track to hit 57 baseballs over the fences at major league stadiums across the country, including one where his success is especially painful. More on that in a moment.

That independent achievement would be quite amazing. Since Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001, only two players have hit at least 57: Ryan Howard (58 in 2006) and Giancarlo Stanton (59 in 2017). But of course nothing in Ohtani is one-dimensional.

MORE: 10 Reasons We’d Love To See Kyle Schwarber At The Home Run Derby

He is also on track for 168 strikeouts as a pitcher. He has 82 of those in 59 1/3 innings, in the Angels’ first 79 games this year. He has a 2.58 ERA, with ratios of 12.4 K / 9 and 5.9 H / 9. So yeah. In addition to being an MVP candidate as a hitter, he basically also has All-Star caliber as a pitcher.

No, we have never seen anything like this. Not this kind of excellence, not in the same year.

Let’s do a statistic to illustrate our point. It’s simple, add the number of home runs to the number of strikeouts in the same season. Let’s call it the “BS” statistic, for the two best: Babe and Shohei. Here’s a full list of two-way players who hit double digits in every stat in a single season.

Player / Year HOUR K BS
Shohei Othani, 2021 28 82 110
Ohtani, 2018 22 63 85
Babe Ruth, 1919 29 30 59
Ruth, 1918 eleven 40 51
Willie Smith, 1964 eleven twenty 31
Jimmy Ryan, 1887 eleven 17 28
Ryan, 1888 sixteen eleven 27

This is something really groundbreaking, and it almost feels like you’re taking quick steps.

Ohtani has 11 home runs in the last 13 games, including three in his first two games against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium this week. He takes the mound tonight at the stadium, which is something the Yankees once dreamed of.

In that dream, however, Ohtani wore a different uniform.

Remember how the Yankees wanted so much to sign Ohtani in 2017, but were cut off their consideration list without even being able to make an in-person presentation? His interest in the phenomenon of Japan dates back to 2012, so not to make the secondary cut had to hurt a bit. They they were all-in, and did not even reach the semifinals.

And now, to see him become the player they longed for, doing incredible things in his home park?

Yes. Painful.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman, 2017, after learning of Ohtani’s decision: “I started to get a feeling that it was not good a few days ago. I know our presentation was excellent. The response to that was outstanding. I had the feeling that I cannot change that we are a big market and I cannot change that we are in the East. That was something that, presentation or not, could be hard to beat. “

Seeing him crash the lines in the right-field seats at Yankee Stadium is just a reminder of why they wanted to hire Ohtani.

What if the home team’s lineup closes on the mound on Wednesday? It may be too much to see.

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