Sunday night was a day to remember in baseball for a long time. It didnâ€™t have anything to do with the New York Yankees, though: Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angelsâ€™ 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 Angelsâ€™ record for hardest-hit home run in the Statcast era (2015-), at more than 115 mph.
The Yankeesâ€™ ace is impressed by Ohtaniâ€™s unique talent
Yankeesâ€™ ace Gerrit Cole confessed that he loves watching Ohtani play, as his two-way talent is a joy to the game.
â€œIâ€™m a huge fan of Shohei Ohtani; what a magnificent talent,â€ Cole told MLB.com. â€œI certainly can throw the ball as hard as him, but I canâ€™t hit it as far as he can. There are certainly people that can hit it as far as he can and canâ€™t even throw it anywhere close to the way that he can throw it. Iâ€™ve just sat in the fan seat and rooted for it.â€
Cole remembers the time when Mike Trout, the Angelsâ€™ franchise player, told him before a game (back when he was with the Houston Astros: â€œYouâ€™ve got to watch this guyâ€™s [batting practice].â€
â€œI snuck out for a couple, and itâ€™s impressive — impressive to all parts of the field,â€ Cole said. â€œPitching 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.â€
The Yankeesâ€™ frontline starter said that his Angels colleague has been â€œgiven a gift.â€ And boy, itâ€™s extremely impressive.