Angels' Shohei Ohtani Becomes 1st SP to Bat 2nd Since 1903; Hits 451-Foot HR

Adam WellsApril 4, 2021

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 02: Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) heads towards third base on his triple during a MLB game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 2, 2021 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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:

Paul Casella @Paul_CasellaMLB

Shohei Ohtani is the first starting pitcher to bat in the top-2 spots in the order since Jack Dunleavy hit 2nd for the Cardinals on Sept. 7, 1903.<br><br>Dunleavy went 0-for-4 at the plate, while allowing 7 runs on 12 hits in a CG loss. https://t.co/PACR77negU

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. 

Los Angeles Angels @Angels

But can your pitcher do... THIS? pic.twitter.com/vW7nesRyZ6

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. 

ESPN Stats &amp; Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Shohei Ohtani has thrown the fastest pitch of any starting pitcher so far in this early season (100.6 MPH) and has the hardest-hit HR of the season by any player (115.2 MPH exit velocity). pic.twitter.com/P3GmsQoJmK

ESPN Stats &amp; Info @ESPNStatsInfo

According to @EliasSports Shohei Ohtani is the first starting pitcher to homer in an American League game since the DH was instituted in 1973. pic.twitter.com/itUjyhIqWn

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.