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Shohei Ohtani passes Hideki Matsui for most single-season HRs by a Japanese player

Shohei Ohtani passes Hideki Matsui for most single-season HRs by a Japanese player

Ohtani passes Matsui for most single-season HR by Japanese player originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Shohei Ohtani is on a historic pace hitting balls out of the park this season, and his 32nd home run of the MLB season on Wednesday night helped him make history with the most home runs ever in a single season by a Japanese-born player.

After fouling a pitch once off his foot, then a second time off his knee, Ohtani launched one 433 yards in the fifth inning of the Angels’ 5-4 win against Boston to pass Hideki Matsui for the milestone.

Matsui, who played a season as an Angel in 2010 following six seasons in pinstripes for the Yankees, sent out a congratulatory statement through Los Angeles, acknowledging the true height of Ohtani’s powers will likely go far beyond this milestone.

“32 home runs in a season is just a passing point for a hitter like Shohei,” Matsui wrote. “I was once a long ball hitter in the Majors, but I believe he is truly a long ball hitter…As a baseball fan myself, I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Ohtani’s current home run pace has been absurd this season, hitting a casual 32 homers in 80 games and 286 at-bats. It’s the most home runs before an MLB all-star break since Orioles slugger Chris Davis hit 37 in 2013.

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