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Elias Says: September 30, 2017

Ramirez making push for MVP votes

Jose Ramirez put a little more pressure on the MVP voters by going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Indians’ win over the White Sox on Friday night. It was the seventh time this season that Ramirez went 3-for-3 or better. The last player to have seven games in one season in which he went 3-for-3 or better was Albert Pujols for the Cardinals in 2008 (seven). Only one other player in Indians history went 3-for-3 or better seven times in one season. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie had nine such games in 1910.

Bauer is third Indians pitcher with 17 wins

Trevor Bauer earned his 17th win by pitching six solid innings in the Indians’ win over the White Sox on Friday night. Bauer joins Corey Kluber (18-4) and Carlos Carrasco (18-6) as three Indians pitchers with at least 17 wins this season. Prior to the Indians, the last major-league team with three pitchers with 17 or more wins in one season was the 2003 Yankees: Andy Pettitte (21-8), Roger Clemens (17-9) and Mike Mussina (17-8).

It’s the first time the Tribe had three such pitchers in one season since 1956 when they had three pitchers win 20 games: Bob Lemon (20-14), Herb Score (20-9) and Early Wynn (20-9).

Rockies hit four two-out, two-strike homers

Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story all homered for the Rockies on Friday night, all with two strikes and two outs in the inning. The Rockies became the first team in 13 years to hit four two-out, two-strike home runs in one game. The Rangers had four home runs like that on July 4, 2004 at Houston. Alfonso Soriano, Hank Blalock, Kevin Mench and Mark Teixeira hit those homers.

Mark Reynolds’ homer was his 30th of the season. Reynolds has now hit 30 homers in a season for three different teams: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Rockies. Two other active players have hit 30-or-more homers for three different teams: Nelson Cruz (Rangers, Orioles, Mariners) and Curtis Granderson (Tigers, Yankees, Mets).

Strasburg entering postseason on a high note

Stephen Strasburg threw 7⅔ scoreless innings in the Nationals’ win over the Pirates. Strasburg went 6-1 with a 0.86 ERA in 10 starts after the All-Star break. It was the second-lowest post-All Star break ERA in MLB history for any pitcher with at least 10 starts after the break. The Cubs’ Jake Arrieta had a 0.75 ERA after the break in 2015. Two other pitchers had an ERA under 1.00 and at least 10 starts after the All-Star break: Kris Medlen of the Braves in 2012 (0.94 ERA) and Roger Clemens for the Red Sox in 1990 (0.97).

Big game for Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman went 4-for-4 with two homers, two doubles and four RBIs in the Nationals’ win over the Pirates on Friday night. Zimmerman is the third player this season to 4-for-4 or better with at least four extra-base hits and four RBIs in a game. Scooter Gennett, who did it in his four-homer game on June 6 (5-for-5, 4 XBH, 10 RBI), and Anthony Rendon did it for the Nationals against the Mets on April 30 (6-for-6, 4 XBH, 10 RBI). Prior to 2017, no other player in Expos/Nationals history had a game like that.

A gem for Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka struck out 15 batters and did not walk any in seven innings of work in the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon. Tanaka is the third pitcher in major league history to record 15 strikeouts without a walk in a game with seven or fewer innings pitched. The other two pitchers to do this were Mike Mussina for the Orioles at Fenway Park on September 24, 2000 (15 SO, 0 BB, 7 IP) and Michael Pineda for the Yankees against the Orioles on May 10, 2015 (16 SO, 0 BB, 7 IP).

Tanaka improved his career record to 52-28 with the win. Only two other active pitchers won 52 or more of their first 80 decisions in the major leagues: Jon Lester (56-24 in his first 80 career decisions in the majors) and Adam Wainwright (53-27).

Another 90-win season for the Bronx Bombers

The Yankees win over the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon was their 90th of the season. It’s the 61st time in franchise history that the Yankees registered at least 90 wins, 19 more than any other team. The Giants are next with 42. The next closest American League team is the Red Sox with 31 seasons of at least 90 wins.

Happ-y ending for the Cubs

Ian Happ’s three-run home run in the eighth inning off Mike Lorenzen turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead in the Cubs’ win over the Reds. Happ is the first Cubs rookie to hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later with at least two men on base since Derrick May hit a three-run homer off Pittsburgh’s Bob Patterson on September 7, 1992.

Trout 200 homers, 1000 hits

Mike Trout hit the 200th home run of his major league career for the Angels on Friday night. Trout, who also has 1039 hits in his MLB career, became the sixth youngest player in major league history to reach the 200-homer and 1000-hit plateaus. The five younger players than Trout, who was 26 years, 53 days on Friday night, were Mel Ott (25 years, 144 days), Jimmie Foxx (25, 266), Mickey Mantle (25, 279), Alex Rodriguez (25, 289) and Andruw Jones (26, 45).

Win #100 for the Astros

Alex Bregman (3-for-4, HR) and Charlie Morton (win #14) led the Astros to their 100th win of the season on Friday night. The Astros became the third team to reach 100 wins this season, following the Dodgers and Indians. It’s the sixth time in MLB history that three teams won 100 or more games in the same season. It also happened in 1942 (Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees), 1977 (Royals, Phillies, Yankees), 1998 (Yankees, Braves, Astros), 2002 (Yankees, A’s, Braves) and 2003 (Yankees, Braves, Giants).

Longoria ends slump with a homer

Evan Longoria snapped an 0-for-21 slump with his 20th home run of the season in the Rays’ win over the Orioles. It was the longest hitless streak of Longoria’s career. His previous long hitless streak was 20 at-bats in August 2013.

Anderson joins Vuckovich and Moose

Chase Anderson seven solid innings to keep the Brewers alive in the N.L. Wild Card race on Friday night. Anderson finished the season with a 12-4 record and a 2.74 ERA. Anderson is the third pitcher in Brewer’s franchise history to finish a season with a winning percentage of at least .750 and 15 or more decisions. Pete Vuckovich did it in 1981 (14-4, .778) and 1982 (18-6, .750) and Moose Haas did it in 1983 (13-3, .813).

Perez ends losing streaks

Martin Perez earned the win for the Rangers on Friday night, which snapped the team’s seven-game losing streak. Perez went 10-7 in 19 starts that immediately followed a Rangers loss this season. Five other pitchers won 10 games in starts that immediately followed a team loss: Jose Urena (12-5), Jacob deGrom (12-5), Clayton Kershaw (11-3), Marcus Stroman (11-5) and Jason Vargas (10-7).

Whit making the Royals merry

Whit Merrifield’s solo home run in the third inning supplied the game-winning run in the Royals’ victory over the Diamondbacks. Merrifield has hit 14 homers and driven in 65 runs from the top spot in the Royals’ batting order this season. Only one other player in Royals history hit that many homers and drove in that many runs in a season from the first spot in the batting order: Johnny Damon in 2000 (16 HR, 88 RBI from the #1 spot in the batting order).