The Los Angeles Angels snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday with a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays (box score). Central to those efforts was Angels two-way phenom (and DH on this day) Shohei Ohtani.
Peep his day at the plate against the Rays:
And now for the relevant moving pictures:
How's about another angle on his 25th home run on the season?
With Sunday's performance, in which he wound up a single shy of the cycle, Ohtani is now batting .277/.363/.668 on the season with, as noted, 25 homers. That 25th homer occasioned a bit of franchise history for Ohtani:
Yes, Ohtani at the plate in 2021 has done something not even Mike Trout has. That's also the fourth time this season that Ohtani has hit a home run that left the bat at 115 mph or greater, and as Sarah Langs notes that ties him for the major-league lead in that particular niche category. His 46 extra-base hits also pace the bigs.
Of course, Ohtani is more than "just" one of the most fearsome power hitters in the game today. He's also doubles as a frontline starting pitcher for the Halos. Speaking of which:
Only two players in AL history have had 25+ home runs, 10+ stolen bases and 75+ pitching strikeouts in their careers:— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) June 27, 2021
Shohei Ohtani (reached all 3 already this season)
Walking with the baseball gods, that. On the mound this season, Ohtani has pitched to a 2.58 ERA/178 ERA+ in 11 starts with 82 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. Add his pitching and hitting contributions together, and he's already topped 5.0 WAR before the halfway mark of the season. Throw in the fact that he's providing two-way value from a single roster spot, and it's easy to understand why he's at the forefront of the AL MVP discussion.