Angels' Shohei Ohtani Becomes 1st SP to Bat 2nd Since 1903; Hits 451-Foot HRApril 4, 2021
Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani made history during Sunday night's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Per MLB.com's Paul Casella, Ohtani is the first player since 1903 to hit second in the lineup in the same game he's the starting pitcher:
By using Ohtani in the lineup, Angels manager Joe Maddon also gave up his designated hitter for the game.
While that seemed like a potentially risky move going into the series finale against the White Sox, Ohtani helped his own cause by turning on a first-pitch 97 mph fastball from Dylan Cease for a solo home run in the bottom of the first.
According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, Ohtani's blast traveled a projected 451 feet.
Before taking his first at-bat of the game, Ohtani also showed off dazzling stuff on the mound. The 26-year-old threw 12 fastballs that were all at least 96 mph, including two that registered 101 mph on ESPN's radar gun.
The 2020 season was a struggle for Ohtani, who was working his way back from Tommy John surgery the previous year. He only threw 1.2 innings as a starting pitcher, allowing seven earned runs on three hits and eight walks. The Japanese star also hit .190/.291/.366 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 44 games.
As long as Ohtani can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for what he can do for the Angels.