1st Pitch: More nuggets on 600 HR

Today’s Trivia: Jonathan Sanchez struck out seven consecutive Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, something that only Francisco Liriano and Stephen Strasburg have done this season. What’s the MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game and who holds it? (Hint: a San Diego Padres lineup featuring Cito Gaston batting third was the opponent in that game)

Bonus: It’s Roger Clemens’ birthday today – what is Clemens’ personal record for consecutive strikeouts in a game and against which team?

Quick Hits: On the other No. 600 home runs now that Alex Rodriguez has launched his...

Like Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr.’s 600th came in the first inning. But Griffey went 0-3 with a strikeout in the rest of his at-bats in that game.

Sammy Sosa’s 600th not only came against his former team (the Cubs), it was the first of back-to-back home runs. Frank Catalanotto followed Sosa with a blast off Jason Marquis. But neither Sosa, Catalanotto nor Marquis are still with their teams from that game.

Barry Bonds’ milestone bomb also came against his former team, the Pirates. It was served up by Kip Wells, whom Bonds batted .500 against (5-10) with 2 HR in his career.

Hank Aaron chose a Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Gaylord Perry, to hit his 600th against. Guess who batted third and fourth for Perry’s teammates on the Giants that day? Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. McCovey homered in that game too, the 353rd of his career.

Speaking of Mays, it was good that he hit his home run when he did. Mays didn’t homer for the rest of the season (granted there were only six games left), and batted .167 the rest of the way.

Babe Ruth’s 600th home run came against the St. Louis Browns at Sportsmans Park, and at a good time for the Yankees. That game was the second of a seven-game win streak, in the midst of a (not a typo) 20-game road trip for the Yanks.

Today’s Leaderboard: Mike Lowell was welcomed back to the Boston Red Sox lineup on Tuesday with a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd and then promptly hit a first-pitch home run. It’s the first first-pitch HR of the season for Lowell, who only swings at the first pitch 21 percent of the time (in limited action) this season.

So let’s take a look at the guys who usually go up hacking on the first offering. You can probably guess No. 1 on this list.


This Season

Guerrero’s seven HR on the first pitch lead MLB, but he’s tied with several other sluggers – Vernon Wells, Geovany Soto, Colby Rasmus and MLB home run leader Jose Bautista.

Key Matchups: Edwin Jackson starts tonight against his former team (one of several former teams), and he’ll be happy to see Johnny Damon in the Tigers lineup. Damon is batting .154 (4-26) in his career against Jackson and slugging just .192. Damon’s only career extra-base hit against Jackson actually came this season in interleague play when Jackson was a Diamondback.

Aaron Rowand has 33 career PA against Ubaldo Jimenez – only two players have more – but familiarity hasn’t bred success. Rowand is batting .200 against Jimenez with more strikeouts (nine) than hits (six). Jimenez figures to attack Rowand rather than Pablo Sandoval, who is batting .400 (10-25) and slugging .680 in his career against Jimenez.

Carlos Lee is batting .189 in his career against Chris Carpenter, including 11 strikeouts. Lee is Carpenter’s 2nd-most popular strikeout victim; only Jason Bay (13 K) has more whiffs against Carpenter.

Trivia Answer: Tom Seaver is the record holder, striking out 10 straight in April 1970. Seaver struck out the final 10 Padres batters of the game. Clemens’ personal record is eight straight, done in his record 20-K game against the Seattle Mariners in April of 1986. Clemens victimized Phil Bradley four times in that game.