Two-way star wins 10th game, moves into 2nd all-time in HRs for Japanese-born players
OAKLAND — Another night, another milestone. Such is the life of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.
In Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over the A’s, Ohtani added not just one, but three feats to his already lengthy list of career accomplishments.
In short: Ohtani joined Babe Ruth in an exclusive club, moved up on the all-time home run list for Japanese-born players and set a single-season career high in strikeouts. Yes, all that in one night.
“I feel like every time we’re out there, he does something special,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Tonight, certainly another great milestone for him.”
Here’s a look into Ohtani’s latest trio of accomplishments — a chance for us to revel in the fact that we’re all here to witness history being made.
Ohtani joins Babe Ruth’s exclusive 10-homer, 10-win club
Ohtani tossed six scoreless innings to earn his 10th win of the season for the first time in his Major League career. He joins “The Babe” as the only two players in AL/NL history to win at least 10 games on the mound and hit at least 10 home runs in the same season. Ruth did it over 100 years ago, going 13-7 on the mound while going deep 11 times for the Red Sox in 1918.
Available records show that the feat has been accomplished twice in the Negro Leagues as well, with Ed Rile and Bullet Rogan rounding out the list. Rile went 11-6 with 11 homers for the Detroit Stars in 1927, while Rogan went 14-8 with 15 blasts for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1922.
Ohtani has been chasing that 10th win since last season, when he was stuck at nine wins in his final three starts of 2021. This season, he was again in a nine-win rut after dropping his previous three decisions, but everything finally came together on Tuesday.
“I knew I was eventually going to get it, if I kept pitching well,” Ohtani said via interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “Today we scored first, [Taylor Ward] hit that three-run home run. Hopefully we can keep it up, keep it going.”
It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime accomplishments that even encourages accolades from the opposing dugout.
“It’s exceptional,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “It shows his athleticism, shows his talent. At this point, you can say it’s one of a kind in the game, because it is. He’s the only player doing it right now, and [he’s] doing it well.”