Shohei Ohtani 1st Pitcher Since Babe Ruth to Make Start While Leading MLB in HR

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs down the baseline after hitting a double against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 23, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Babe Ruth is quite the company to keep when discussing major league record books, and that is the situation Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani found himself in when he started Monday's game against the Texas Rangers.

Ohtani became the first pitcher to start a game on the mound while also leading the league in home runs since Ruth did so in 1921:


When Shohei Ohtani takes the mound tonight, he'll be the first pitcher to start a game while also leading the league in HR since ... Babe Ruth, 100 ๐”‚๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“ป๐“ผ ๐“ช๐“ฐ๐“ธ. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ https://t.co/FsG650VD9p

The Angels hurler, who also plays designated hitter for his team in games he's not pitching, started Monday's slate with seven long balls.

That was good enough to be included in an eight-way tie for first in the league alongside Nelson Cruz, Eduardo Escobar, J.D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos, Ryan McMahon, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr.

Monday was just Ohtani's third game as a pitcher this season because of a blister, but he has still helped the Angels in the early going with his impressive offensive skills. That skill set was on full display Monday when he drove in two runs with a double and then scored to tie the game in the second inning.