Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani retook the lead in Major League Baseball's home-run chase on Tuesday night, launching his 27th and 28th long balls of the season against the New York Yankees.
Ohtani, who entered the night tied at 26 with Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., delivered a solo shot in the third inning off a changeup from Yankees starter Jameson Taillon. The ball left Ohtani's bat traveling at 109.6 mph and carried 395 feet, according to Statcast's measurements. Take a look:
Ohtani later hit a two-run shot off a Taillon fastball in the fifth. That home run traveled 356 feet and recorded a 112.4 mph exit velocity. Here's the moving picture version of it:
While Ohtani hasn't been as hot as Washington Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber (he homered for the 12th time in his last 10 games, matching the modern MLB record), he has been putting on a show frequently as of late. Tuesday's home runs gave him a dinger in three consecutive games, as well as nine in his past 10 games.
Ohtani came into play on Tuesday night hitting .276/.360/.670 (172 OPS+) with those aforementioned 26 home runs, 60 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases on 14 attempts. Additionally, he'd appeared in 11 games as a pitcher, compiling a 2.58 ERA (178 ERA+) and a 2.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 59 ⅓ innings. Ohtani has been worth 3.1 Wins Above Replacement as a hitter and 2.5 as a pitcher, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.
Ohtani recently agreed to partake in this year's Home Run Derby. That event is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 12 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Our Mike Axisa made the argument earlier on Tuesday that Ohtani should be permitted to both pitch and hit during the All-Star Game, even if it's technically against the rules.