Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani drawing early Babe Ruth comparisons

The Japanese polymath continued to show Babe Ruth-like brilliance in the early stages of his MLB career with a brilliant mound performance on Sunday

Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani continued to display Babe Ruth-like brilliance in the early stages of his Major League Baseball career as he flirted with a perfect game while pitching for six-plus innings in a Los Angeles Angels victory on Sunday.

The 23-year-old rookie allowed just one hit and struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings as he improved to 2-0 as a pitcher in his teams 6-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The performance only increased the buzz that Ohtani, who hit home runs in three consecutive games last week, could become the highest-profile player since Hall of Famer Ruth to succeed on both the mound and at the plate.

Ruth managed to dominate both disciplines for the Boston Red Sox in 1918 and 1919 before his fateful move on to the New York Yankees, where he became the Sultan of Swat and seldom pitched.

I think hes mature beyond his years, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters when asked about the right-handed pitcher before Sundays game.

Hes been challenged at a young age, so hes seasoned to what a lot of players have to get acclimated to. Hes been playing at a very high level of baseball from a very young age.

Shohei, hes very confident, he works very, very hard at what he needs to do, and theres a lot on his plate. But he has the talent to do it.

Ohtani showed plenty of that talent when he retired the first 19 batters he faced, throwing a perfect game until Marcus Semien lined a fastball into left field for a single with one out in the seventh.

Probably my best outing ever was when I was in elementary school, Ohtani, who shone for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan before joining the Angels in December, said through an interpreter.

He pumped his fist as he walked off the field after striking out the last batter he faced with two runners on in the seventh inning, receiving a standing ovation from the 44,742 in attendance as he departed.

I wanted to keep a clean zero on the board, Ohtani said of his last out. One hit would have been two runs – thats a huge difference. I wanted that strikeout and I got it.

Jason Coskrey (@JCoskrey)

Morning Show on TV Asahi: So lets see what Americans are tweeting about Shohei Ohtani pic.twitter.com/sj5wmkGd9B

April 9, 2018

Nicknamed the Babe Ruth of Japan because of his dual threat, Ohtani became the first Major League player with two wins and three home runs in his teams first 10 games since Jim Shaw for the Washington Senators in 1919, according to mlb.com.

He also joined Ruth (1916) and Ken Brett (1973) as the only players in Major League history with a double-digit strikeout game and a home run in three consecutive contests.

Ohtani homered in his first ever at-bat at Angels stadium last week and has continued to thrill fans with a .389 batting average at the plate, where he has three homers and seven RBIs.

On the mound, which is where the Angels plan to use him primarily, Ohtani has 18 strikeouts in two games, helping to push Los Angeles to an impressive 7-3 start.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Add Comment