Shohei Ohtani Homers, Throws 101 MPH in First Inning vs. White Sox

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It didn't take long for Shohei Ohtani to put his prodigious talents on display.

Pulling double duties against the White Sox on Sunday night, Ohtani twice touched 100 mph with his fastball in a scoreless top of the first inning—topping out at 100.6—without allowing a hit.

In the bottom half of the inning, Ohtani turned on the first pitch he saw and crushed it over the wall in right field, giving himself a 1-0 lead.

The blast had an exit velocity of 115.2 mph, the hardest for the Angels since Statcast was introduced in 2015, and went 451 feet. His 100.6 mph fastball was the hardest thrown by a starting pitcher this season, while the home run was the hardest-hit by any player in 2021, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Ohtani's first-inning performance had all kinds of historical footnotes. Here are a few of the standouts:

  • He is the first American League pitcher to homer in the first inning of a game since Aug. 26, 1968.
  • He's the first AL starting pitcher to homer against another AL team since Roric Harrison in 1972, the final year without the designated hitter.
  • Ohtani is the first pitcher to bat second in the batting order since 1903.
  • He's the first Angels pitcher with a hit against an AL opponent since Nolan Ryan on Sept. 30, 1972.

Ohtani had never hit in a game before or after one of his starts on a mound before Sunday night, let alone done both in the same game. As a rookie in 2018, he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 10 starts and hit .285 with 22 home runs in 367 plate appearances. 

Manager Joe Maddon has vowed to remove restrictions from Ohtani this season. With early results like this, it's easy to see why.