Elias Says: June 15, 2017

Betts hits his 10th and 11th homers

The Red Sox entered Wednesday night’s game––their 65th this season––as the only major-league team without a player who had hit at least 10 homers this year. But Mookie Betts hit two four-baggers, his 10th and 11th of 2017, to help Boston defeat the Phillies. This was the furthest into a season that the Red Sox went without a player hitting 10 homers since 1993, when Mo Vaughn went deep for the 10th time in the team’s 76th game.

Fisher makes it look easy in MLB debut

Derek Fisher made his major-league debut on Wednesday night and he contributed two hits––a home run and a single––to the Astros’ nine-run sixth inning. Fisher is the first player since Adam LaRoche of the 2004 Braves to record his first two major-league hits in the same inning, and LaRoche, like Fisher, happened to do that in his first game in the big leagues.

K as in Kluber

Corey Kluber’s 10 strikeouts on Wednesday night increased his career total to 1005 in 148 games. Six pitchers in major-league history reached 1000 Ks in fewer games than Kluber: Kerry Wood (134), Tim Lincecum (136), Roger Clemens (143), Stephen Strasburg (144), Dwight Gooden (145) and Hideo Nomo (147).

Cueto taken deep three more times

Mike Moustakas, Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain all homered off Johnny Cueto in the first three innings to help the Royals forge a 4–0 lead and Kansas City went on to defeat the Giants, 7– 2. Cueto has now allowed more home runs this season (16 in 86⅔ innings) than he did all last year (15 in 219⅔ innings). Looking at it another way: Cueto allowed three total home runs over his first 15 starts last season, but he has already thrown 16 gopher balls in his 14 starts in 2017.

Granderson’s 300th home run inspires a trip down memory lane

Curtis Granderson’s 300th career home run broke a 4–4 tie and provided the decisive run in the Mets’ 9–4 win against the Cubs. Granderson is the 10th player to hit a century milestone home run––300 or higher––in a Mets uniform and each of those players did so only once. The chronological list: Duke Snider (400th), Dave Kingman (300), George Foster (300), Gary Carter (300), Eddie Murray (400), Mike Piazza (300), Mo Vaughn (300), Carlos Delgado (400), Gary Sheffield (500) and Granderson (300). Each of those last five homers were hit in Queens, either at Shea Stadium (Piazza, Vaughn, Delgado) or Citi Field (Sheffield, Granderson).

Phillips goes 4-for-6 at Washington

Brandon Phillips collected four hits in the Braves’ 13–2 rout of the Nationals. Phillips is batting .391 (25 for 64) versus Washington over the last two seasons, by far the highest average among the 39 players with at least 40 at-bats against the Nationals over that span.

Padres rookies roast the Reds

Hunter Renfroe was 1-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, while Franchy Cordero drove home the winning run in the Padres’ 4–2 triumph over the Reds. It was the most runs scored by a major-league team in a victory this season in which rookies drove in all of the team’s runs.

Ozuna puts the “O” in Marlins offense

Marcell Ozuna was 2-for-5 with a home run in the Marlins’ come-from-behind win over the Athletics on Wednesday. Ozuna is batting .408 since May 27, and over that stretch he has had a National League-high five games with at least two hits, including a home run.

Rockies rookie goes 4-for-4

Raimel Tapia was 4-for-4 in the Rockies’ win over the Pirates, becoming the first National League rookie this season to have a 4-for-4 or better game. Three AL rookies have done that this year: Andrew Benintendi, who had a 5-for-5 game in April, along with Jared Hoying and Aaron Judge.

Gamel’s fourth straight multi-hit game

Ben Gamel was 3-for-5 in the Mariners’ win against the Twins on Wednesday night and his streak of four games with at least two hits ties the longest by any major-league rookie this season. Andrew Benintendi and Trey Mancini each recorded two or more hits in four consecutive games in May.

Rodney strikes out side to extend scoreless streak

Fernando Rodney secured the Diamondbacks’ 2–1 victory over the Tigers by striking out the side in the ninth inning. It was the sixth of Rodney’s 279 major-league saves in which he faced three batters and struck out all of them (he has never done that when facing more than three batters). Rodney has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 appearances, during which he has 12 saves and opponents are 2-for-43 (.047) against him.

Martin hits game-winning homer

Russell Martin’s eighth-inning home run broke a 6–6 tie in the Blue Jays’ 7–6 victory against the Rays. It was Martin’s ninth career game-winning homer in the eighth inning or later, and all of them were hit as a catcher. That ties him with Matt Wieters for the most eighth-inning-or-later game-winning homers by a catcher since 2006, Martin’s first year in the majors.