Shohei Ohtani Makes History, Faces and Throws Angels' 1st Pitch vs. Astros

Doric SamApril 8, 2022

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani smiles on the field before the team's baseball game against the Houston Astros on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is picking up right where he left off from last year's historic season.

According to David Adler of MLB.com, Ohtani made history once again by becoming the first player in MLB history ever to throw and face his team's first pitch of the season. Ohtani served as the Angels' Opening Day starter as well as the leadoff hitter on Thursday against the Houston Astros.

Ohtani pitched a scoreless first inning and then grounded out to short after swinging on the first pitch from Houston starter Framber Valdez.

The reigning AL MVP by a unanimous vote, Ohtani dazzled last season both at the plate and on the mound. As a hitter, he recorded 46 home runs and 100 RBI. As a pitcher, he started 23 games and finished with a 9-2 record, a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings.

Ohtani became the first player in baseball history to hit at least 30 home runs while making at least 10 pitching appearances in the same season. He was also just the sixth player ever to have at least 45 homers and at least 25 stolen bases in a single season.

The 27-year-old was the fifth player to be unanimously named MVP since 2000, joining his teammate Mike Trout (2014), Albert Pujols (2009), Barry Bonds (2002) and Bryce Harper (2015). 

"He likes hitting leadoff and I like hitting behind him," Trout said of Ohtani. "His ceiling is unbelievable. Nothing he does really surprises me."

If both Ohtani and Trout remain healthy this season, the Angels will have arguably the most potent 1-2 punch in the AL at the top of their lineup.