Shohei Ohtani joins Babe Ruth in the Fenway Park storyline with his 11-strikeout jewel against the Red Sox


Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani had an eventful Thursday afternoon in an 8-0 win over the Boston Red Sox (box score), achieving something not done in Major League Baseball since Babe was Ruth did it.

Ohtani, the reigning winner of the American League’s Most Valuable Player award, started the season for the fifth time on Thursday, hitting the No. 3 spot as the Angels’ designated hitter. As a result, he became the first player to start a game hosted at Fenway Park on the mound and finish in the top four of a lineup since Ruth, according to the Red Sox broadcast, in September 1919. (Glove tip to Jason Foster from Sporting News.)

Ohtani wasn’t content with just making history on Thursday. He also scored on both sides of the ball.

On the pitching portion of Ohtani’s game, he knocked out 11 batters over the course of seven shutout innings. He allowed six hits and walked none, throwing 81 of his 99 pitches to strikes. According to Statcast data, Ohtani reached a top speed of 100.3 mph and generated 29 swinging strikes: 10 each on his fastball and slider.

Shohei Ohtani started as a pitcher and designated hitter in Thursday’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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At the plate, Ohtani went 2 for 4, driving in his 13th heat of the year. He even took his number off the Fenway Park scoreboard:

Ohtani entered Thursday with a 4.19 ERA (90th ERA+) and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 6.00 in 19 innings. Meanwhile, he had hit .230/.294/.390 (103 OPS+) with four home runs and four doubles in 109 trips to the plate. These notes are below his usual fare, so expect him to have more breakouts like Thursday in the future. Shohei Ohtani joins Babe Ruth in the Fenway Park storyline with his 11-strikeout jewel against the Red Sox

Justin Scacco

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