On a night that would go down in baseball history, Shohei Ohtani came close to perfection.

After six flawless innings, he gave up one hit and one walk while striking out 12 in the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-0 shutout victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

But even before he took the mound on Wednesday, the Japanese sensation had already created headlines.

Shohei Ohtani has Brush with Perfection in History-Making Evening

Baseball League reports that he made history by becoming the first starting pitcher to bat twice before throwing a pitch since at least 1900.

Ohtani, speaking via a translator, said, “Getting six runs in the first and starting off a game like that, it’s sort of hard to be locked in and get the outs.” But I felt I could get it done by focusing on one hitter at a time and throwing one pitch at a time.

“Since we have a day off tomorrow, my goal was not to go deep into the game, but rather to get as many outs as possible before turning the ball over to the bullpen,” the starting pitcher explained.

On Wednesday, the AL MVP fired 81 pitches, resulting in 20 strikeouts.

In the sixth inning, when a perfect game seemed imminent, Astros catcher Jason Castro managed to scratch out a single.

Ohtani, who is now 27 years old, had two singles, two RBIs, and a run scored before he allowed his first hit.

Ohtani threw his devastating slider 35 times during the game. With 12 K’s, he tied his MLB career high from last year.

Angels manager Joe Maddon remarked, “He was at his best tonight, it was a tremendous performance.” According to a teammate, “I think he just had enough of Houston giving him hard time, and he wanted to go out there and do something about it, both on the mound and at the plate.”

Maddon continued, “His stuff was outstanding. What you’re trying to describe is beyond your capabilities. In addition, the view was breathtaking from ground level. It’s the best work I’ve seen from him.