Sunday night was a day to remember in baseball for a long time. It didn’t have anything to do with the New York Yankees, though: Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher/outfielder, was the first hurler in years to be placed second in the lineup.
Not only that, but he threw bullet after bullet to home plate from the mound: 100 mph fastballs, disgusting, bat-missing splitters, and sliders were part of his fantastic repertoire. He was as impressive as it gets as a pitcher, even though he left the game tied at three after series of defensive miscues.
During the same game, he hit a tape-measure shot: 451 feet, and it sounded like a gunshot. In fact, it broke the Angels’ record for hardest-hit home run in the Statcast era (2015-), at more than 115 mph.
The Yankees’ ace is impressed by Ohtani’s unique talent
Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole confessed that he loves watching Ohtani play, as his two-way talent is a joy to the game.
“I’m a huge fan of Shohei Ohtani; what a magnificent talent,” Cole told MLB.com. “I certainly can throw the ball as hard as him, but I can’t hit it as far as he can. There are certainly people that can hit it as far as he can and can’t even throw it anywhere close to the way that he can throw it. I’ve just sat in the fan seat and rooted for it.”
Cole remembers the time when Mike Trout, the Angels’ franchise player, told him before a game (back when he was with the Houston Astros: “You’ve got to watch this guy’s [batting practice].”
“I snuck out for a couple, and it’s impressive — impressive to all parts of the field,” Cole said. “Pitching against him certainly is a tough out. I only got to see him throw like one time, but he was firing 93-mph splits. That had me on the front of my seat as well.”
The Yankees’ frontline starter said that his Angels colleague has been “given a gift.” And boy, it’s extremely impressive.