New month, same story for Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels slugger, hours in the wake of being named American League Player of the Month for June, increased his major-league-leading home run total to 30 with two dingers against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani likewise stole his twelfth base this season in the 10th inning after a walk, putting himself in position to score the game-winning run off a Jared Walsh single.
“He pretty much single handedly beat us. He’s the hottest hitter on the planet right now,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s deep home runs. You walk him, and he’s going to steal second on you. It’s plus-plus speed and plus-plus power, and he’s locked in.”
Ohtani became the third player to have at least 30 grand slams before the All-Star break in the previous 10 seasons, joining Chris Davis in 2013 (37) and Christian Yelich in 2019 (31).
Be that as it may, the achievements didn’t stop there.
He joined Hideki Matsui (31) as the only players born in Japan with a 30-homer season. Ohtani’s six multihomer games (three this season) are attached with Matsui for the second most by a Japanese-conceived player (he trails just Ichiro Suzuki’s seven). Furthermore, with his two homers against the O’s, Ohtani currently has 13 in his previous 15 games, the most in any 15-game span in Angels history.
Ohtani’s transcendent play over the previous month has even caused manager Joe Maddon scanning the word reference for better approaches to describe his play.
“Maybe supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” said Maddon, which is appropriate, considering Disneyland is a stone’s throw from Angel Stadium. “Everytime he swings the bat it looks like it could be a home run. He has the patience to draw a walk and then is a really aggressive and astute base runner. And then he pitches. He’s always prepared and under control. It’s an All-Star performance above and beyond.”
Fans hoping to see Ohtani’s other range of abilities in plain view in the All-Star Game may get their desire.
Maddon needs Ohtani to both contribute and hit the July 13 Midsummer Classic in Denver and has examined it with Tampa Bay Rays captain Kevin Cash, who will deal with the AL crew.
Maddon said seeing Ohtani do both just as partaking in the Home Run Derby on July 12 at Coors Field would attract even non-baseball fans. That is the reason he is supporting displaying Ohtani however much as could be expected.
“The maximum participation of Shohei within limits to me is the right thing to do,” Maddon said before Friday’s 7-8 victory over Baltimore. “What else could you possibly want? We have to do it in a manner that is not going to be destructive in some way.
“In order to have him both pitch and hit, you have to relax a bit, the DH rule. I think they’re prepared to do those kinds of things.”
Ohtani was elected for his first All-Star Game by fans Thursday night as the AL’s beginning assigned hitter. He stayed bashful through his mediator on what the plans may be for him during the game.
“I think as players we’re all like just pieces of the puzzle, and it’s all up to the manager, how he’s going to decide to use me. That’s all I can say for now,” Ohtani said. “It is a pretty big milestone. I want the team to win first. As long as I’m performing and helping the team win, I felt like it should come natural for me to be selected as an All-Star.”
Ohtani was picked as the AL’s player of the month for June on Friday, denoting the first occasion when he got the month to month honor. He batted .309 with 13 home runs and 23 RBIs, alongside going 2-0 with 33 strikeouts in five pitching begins. He completed the month by homering in 11 of the previous 14 games.
His two long balls Friday not just gave him the Angels’ record for most homers before the All-Star break, yet they additionally broke Babe Ruth’s imprint for most in a season with at least 10 games pitched. Ruth had 29 homers in 1919 for the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s just such an easy swing, but it’s violent,” said teammate Mike Trout, who was also voted an All-Star Game starter despite being injured. “You’ve seen him the last few weeks, he’s unconscious at the plate. Anything he hits, it is over the fence.”
Trout said he talked with Ohtani last week and advised him to appreciate the All-Star insight.
“Just the whole atmosphere and being there with all the guys, it’s one of the coolest things you’re going to do. And it goes by so fast, especially for him with the derby and all the directions he is going to be pulled in,” Trout said. “He’s going to try and put on a show, that’s why he’s Show-tani.”
Maddon talked with Cash last end of the week when Los Angeles was at Tampa Bay for a three-game series. Maddon said conversations with Cash will proceed, with Angels senior supervisor Perry Minasian additionally having a job. Talks between the All-Star administrator and groups are normal, particularly with regards to the pitching staff and regardless of whether anybody is tossing the end of the week prior to the game.
Ohtani additionally presented his defense to Cash with a 453-foot homer off the D-ring in right field at Tropicana Field in the principal round of the series on June 25. That was just the 39th ball to arrive at that spot since the recreation center opened in 1998.
Before the All-Star Game, Ohtani has additional pressing matters -, for example, attempting to bob back from an intense trip in his last pitching start. He was accused of a vocation high seven runs in 66% of an inning Wednesday against the New York Yankees, his most exceedingly terrible beginning of the year.
Ohtani said there hasn’t been a decision on when he would make his next start. In the event that he stays on time, it very well may be Tuesday or Wednesday against the Red Sox.