Rich Hill on Shohei Ohtani: Player Like Him May Not Come Around for Another 100 Years

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

BOSTON, MA - MAY 5: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on May 5, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Rich Hill believes he was pitching against a once-in-a-century player during Thursday's game.

"It's something that hasn't happened for 100 years and may not happen for another 100 years," the Boston Red Sox pitcher said of Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, per Rob Bradford of WEEI.

Ohtani pitched seven shutout innings and struck out 11 while leading the Angels to an 8-0 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. He also hit third in his team's lineup and went 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored.

He and Hill were locked in a pitcher's duel, but the latter left after five shutout innings, having posted six strikeouts. Los Angeles wasted little time in jumping on the bullpen, as Tanner Houck was charged with seven earned runs in 2.1 innings.

Ohtani's RBI single came off Houck in the top of the eighth when the visitors broke the game open with five runs in the frame.

It was more of the same for the two-way star, who took home the American League MVP and a Silver Slugger award last year behind a .257/.372/.592 slash line, 46 home runs, 100 RBI and 26 stolen bases on offense and a 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 156 strikeouts as a pitcher.

The 27-year-old has been even better on the mound to start the 2022 campaign with a 3.08 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Los Angeles has not made the playoffs since 2014, but he is a major reason why that could change this year. It improved to 17-10 with Thursday's win, which is good enough for first place in the American League West at two games ahead of the Houston Astros.

Fortunately for Hill and the Red Sox, they only have to play Ohtani and the Angels four more times all season after Los Angeles took two of three in Fenway Park this week.