Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani on Friday night against the Rangers (LAA-TEX GameTracker) hit his first two home runs of the 2022 season. Here's a look:
That's a 407-foot blast that came at the expense of a 96-mph Matt Bush fastball -- the first pitch of the game. That's career home run No. 94 for Ohtani, and his fifth career leadoff home run. This one also entitles him to one (1) high-fashion cowboy hat:
Then in the fifth, Ohtani victimized a Kolby Allard cutter:
This one came with a side of bat flip:
Ohtani's second blast of the night -- and 95th of his career -- left the bat at 108.1 mph and carried 415 feet. This marks the seventh multi-homer game of Ohtani's career. Give that man a second cowboy hat. Ohtani now has 12 career homers against Texas, which is his highest total versus any opponent.
Ohtani, who serves as the Angels' ace on the mound and DH atop the lineup, is coming off an MVP campaign in 2021 in which he pitched to a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts and mashed 46 homers (to go with an MLB-leading eight triples and 26 stolen bases).
In 2022, however, Ohtani had gotten off to a slow start as both a pitcher (7.56 ERA through a pair of starts) and, until Friday's baseball events, hitter. On the hitting front, Ohtani entered this game with a 2022 slash line of .172/.200/.241 with, as noted, zero homers. Now that line is up to a somewhat more respectable .219/.242/.469. Given Ohtani's elite power and quality-of-contact skills, you should probably expect the upward climb into customary territory to continue.