Ohtani racks up more records, eyes another two-way milestone

September 4th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani made more history on Wednesday night, becoming the first player in MLB history to hit 30 homers and register 10 wins on the mound in the same season. 

It’s something that even Hall of Famer Babe Ruth never did, as the most homers Ruth hit while winning 10 games in a season was 11 in 1918. Ohtani is also the only player in AL/NL history with at least 30 homers and 100 strikeouts in a season, a feat he also accomplished last year, when he hit 46 homers and struck out 156 batters. Ohtani, who started on Saturday against the Astros, entered that game with 176 strikeouts and is aiming to become the first player with 200 strikeouts as a pitcher and 30 homers as a hitter in the same year. 

"I'm simply honored, happy and humbled to hear that,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “But I just want to stay healthy and finish strong." 

Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is also in a heated race with Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for this year’s AL MVP Award. And he said it’s something that gives him extra drive down the stretch. 

"It definitely leads to motivation to do better and try to go for that hardware,” Ohtani said. “It's something I think about. But for the most part, I take it game by game and at-bat by at-bat. At the end of the day, we'll count it all up."