A unicorn is usually defined as “a mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead.”
In this space, we’re going to discuss (and try to analyze) what mind-boggling efforts and accomplishments the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star puts together on a week-to-week basis — because it’s the right thing to do.
Yes, we must highlight the greatness that is unfolding before our eyes. The world doesn’t deserve Shohei Ohtani, but he somehow exists — and we should be talking about him as much as possible.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Tuesday? Hit a 117-mph laser for his 15th home run
On a night when the Halos rained runs on the Texas Rangers — the Angels won 11-5 (at one point the game was 11-1), Ohtani may have had the most impactful moment of the game. The Angels were hitting early and often, and with two men on, Ohtani delivered this blast that left the park almost as quickly as it left his bat:
It has been at least six years since any Angels hitter hit a home run that hard — that’s six years of Mike Trout being an Angel, mind you.
That blast put Ohtani in a three-way tie for second place on the homer leaderboard, but I doubt he’ll be tied for long.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Wednesday? Score from first base after a Rendon double
Remember when Superman raced the Flash? I don’t know what their record is but I’m thinking Ohtani gives them a run for their money.
It’s almost hilarious how casual he makes it look:
Is it me, or is he less running than he is galloping?
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Friday? Get into a hilarious “face-off” with Mark Canha
After getting his start pushed to Friday by … traffic, Shohei Ohtani took the mound to square off with the Oakland A’s (he got the night off on offense).
Ohtani looked good early, showing off his signature filth:
But then, something truly magical occurred. Mark Canha was at bat, and Ohtani fired a pitch that ended up too high. Canha didn’t like that.
A story in four parts. First, the pitch and ensuing commotion:
Canha was very upset. Ohtani, on the other hand …
Lol. It gets better too — look at Ohtani while the benches cleared:
And this is how the at-bat ended (shout out to @PitchingNinja for the hilarious edit):
Yes, Ohtani ultimately took the loss as his trouble with walks hurt him in the seventh and the Angels provided little support en route to a 3-1 defeat, but that entire sequence was just chef’s kiss. Oh, and the only players with 50+ strikeouts and 15+ home runs in the same season? Shohei Ohtani in 2018 — and now, Shohei Ohtani this year. (H/T: @MLBStats)
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Saturday? Show off his complete skills as a hitter
The “three true outcomes” of baseball have never been truer than they are today. Pitchers are absolutely dominating on the mound. Batting averages are down across the league. The home run is prevalent. The days of the hitter who seeks to do just that — hit — and make it to first base whichever way possible seem to be waning.
So it’s always refreshing to see Ohtani — who can make headlines as a masher and also as someone who will strike out three times in one game — show that he isn’t a one-trick unicorn as a batter. He went 2-for-5 on Saturday with a two-RBI single. He also stole a base and scored a run.
Yeah, I know, that stat line isn’t anything to write home about. The home runs might send the car into overdrive, but games like these are the ones that keep the wheels turning.
Ohtani’s odds haven’t moved from +115 since our last update, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is gaining on him.
This could end up being a two-horse race when it’s all said and done. Health will remain a huge factor for both players.
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