Ohtani marks All-Star status with 454-foot monster HR

July 3rd, 2023

ANAHEIM -- It was a special Sunday for two-way superstar , as he found out he was named an All-Star as both a pitcher and a designated hitter and celebrated by crushing his Major League-leading 31st homer of the year in a 5-2 victory over the D-backs at Angel Stadium.

His solo homer was absolutely blasted in the eighth inning off lefty Kyle Nelson. Ohtani jumped all over a 1-2 slider over the heart of the plate and smacked it a projected 454 feet to right field, according to Statcast measurements. It ended up in a tunnel not far from his 493-foot blast on Friday.

“It was 450 on that one? That’s it?” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “It was right next to where the other one was. I’m not sure about some of these calculations.”

It was the first homer in July for Ohtani, who hit 15 in June to set the club record for the most homers in any month. And it was the third homer of the game for the Angels, as fellow All-Star homered in the first inning and clubbed a three-run blast in the second. It also backed lefty , who allowed two runs over six innings with nine strikeouts to improve to 2-5 with a 3.72 ERA, as the Angels snapped a four-game losing streak.

Ohtani, the AL MVP in 2021 and the runner-up last year, is having another MVP-caliber season. Ohtani, who turns 29 on Wednesday, has a slash line of .306/.390/.670 with 31 homers, 15 doubles, five triples, 11 stolen bases and 68 RBIs in 84 games. And in 16 starts on the mound, he is 7-3 with a 3.02 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings.

“When he gets into one, it’s fun to watch,” Nevin said. “What he's done and what he's meant to this team, it's immeasurable. He's been big for us. And the best part is that these guys are having fun doing it. He's playful with his teammates, and he's really having a good time out there.”

Moniak, who hit his ninth homer of the year and has 13 career blasts, said he’s continually in awe of the length of Ohtani’s homers.

“I took BP with Shohei one time, and he made me look like I was 12,” Moniak said. “He’s special. It's been a privilege to get to play with him and get to watch him. I'm excited to roll this into the second half and see where he ends up at the end of the year.”