Elias Says: May 29, 2017

Astros have a 10-game lead in the A.L. West

The Astros’ win over the Orioles coupled with the Angels loss to the Marlins gave the Astros a 10-game lead in the American League West Division. Houston is the sixth team in the division era to possess a lead of at least 10 games before June 1. The other teams to do that since 1969 were the Giants in 1971, Dodgers in 1977, Indians in 1999, Mariners in 2001 and Red Sox in 2007. Of those five teams, only the 2007 Red Sox won the World Series.

Correa raps out two more hits

Twenty-two year old Carlos Correa went 2-for-4 in the Astros’ win over the Orioles, his fourth consecutive game with at least two hits. Correa is one of three players under the age of 23 to have four consecutive multiple-hit games this season. The others are Nomar Mazara and Andrew Benintendi. Correa is 9-for-16 over his last four games raising his season batting average from .276 to .302

Morrison and Longoria go back-to-back in the 15th inning

Logan Morrison and Evan Longoria hit back-to-back home runs in the 15th inning to give the Rays an 8-6 win over the Twins. It’s the third time in major-league history that a pair of players hit back-to-back home runs in the 15th inning or later. Boston’s Frank Malzone and Dick (Dr. Strangeglove) Stuart did it in the 15th inning at Tiger Stadium on June 11, 1963, and Brian Hunter and Craig Biggio did it for the Astros at Shea Stadium on June 16, 1995.

Judge makes Yankee fans rise

Aaron Judge’s third-inning grand slam was the big blow in the Yankees’ 9-5 win over the A’s. Judge has hit 20 home runs in 72 games in his major-league career. Only five players reached 20 home runs with the Yankees in 72 or fewer games: Gary Sanchez (HR #20 came in his 51st game), Babe Ruth (55), Roger Maris (55), Mark Teixeira (57) and Bobby Bonds (72).

Bellinger: 8 HR, 26 RBI in May

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run off Jon Lester in the second inning, which gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in their eventual 9-4 victory over the Cubs. Bellinger has hit eight home runs and driven in 26 runs in May. The only other rookie in Dodgers history to hit at least eight homers and drive in at least 26 runs in a calendar month was James Loney in September 2007 (9 HR, 32 RBI).

Gallo is the opposite of Gwynn

Joey Gallo, who has only ten singles this season, hit his 15th home run of the season in the Rangers’ win over the Blue Jays. Four other players over the last 25 seasons had 10 or fewer singles at the time of their 15th home run of the season: Mark McGwire (ten, 2000), Barry Bonds (six, 2001), Albert Pujols (ten, 2006) and Ryan Schimpf (ten, 2016).

Bergman slays the monster

Christian Bergman did not allow a run in seven innings pitched in the Mariners’ win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Bergman became the first Mariners pitcher in ten years to pitch at least seven innings without allowing a run in a game in Fenway Park. The last Mariners pitcher prior to Bergman to do this was Felix Hernandez on April 11, 2007, when he threw a one-hit shutout in a 3-0 Seattle win.

Bergman was helped out by the Red Sox hitting into a double play in each of the first four innings of the game. It was the first time since June 14, 1994 that the Red Sox hit into a double play in each of the first four innings of a game.

Cashner finally wins on the road

Andrew Cashner earned a win by allowing only one run in seven innings in the Rangers’ victory in Toronto. Entering the game, Cashner had been 0-9 with a 6.91 ERA in his previous 18 starts on the road. It had been the longest current winless-starts streak on the road in the major leagues. Cashner was 0-4 in eight road starts with the Padres, 0-2 in six road starts for the Marlins and 0-3 in four road starts for the Rangers during the streak.

Kipnis and Tomlin carry Tribe

Jason Kipnis went 4-for-4 with a home run and Josh Tomlin threw a six-hit complete game as the Indians dominated the Royals on Sunday afternoon. It’s the first time in almost 22 years that the Indians had one player go 4-for-4 with a home run in the same game in which their pitcher threw a complete game. Tony Pena (4-for-4, HR) and Ken Hill (complete game) turned the trick for the Indians against the White Sox on Sept. 18, 1995.

Two Reds homer twice

Adam Duvall and Patrick Kivlehan both homered twice in the Reds’ 8-4 win in Philadelphia. It was the fifth time over the last ten seasons that two Reds players hit two home runs in the same game. However, each of the last four such games was played at home. The last time that two Reds players each hit multiple home runs in a road game was on June 22, 2007 at Seattle, when Brandon Phillips and David Ross each hit two homers in a 16-1 Reds win.

HR #10 for Davidson

Rookie Matt Davidson, playing in his 38th game of the season, hit his tenth home run in the White Sox’ win over the Tigers. Only three other White Sox rookies reached ten homers in their first 38 games of a season: Zeke Bonura in 1934 (tenth HR in game #25), Carlos May in 1969 (25th game) and Jose Abreu in 2014 (26th game).

Gonzalez perfect for six innings

Miguel Gonzalez retired the first 18 batters he faced Sunday afternoon before Andrew Romine led off the seventh inning with a single. It was the second time this season that a pitcher took a perfect game into the seventh inning. Michael Pineda retired the first 20 Rays batters he faced on April 10 before Evan Longoria’s two-out double in the seventh inning.

Nelson strikes out 10, walks none

Jimmy Nelson struck out ten batters and did not issue a walk in the Brewers’ win over the Diamondbacks. Nelson is the first Brewers pitcher with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks in a game since Yovani Gallardo did it against the Pirates on July 15, 2012 (14 strikeouts).

Homer or nothing for Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run home run in the first inning in the Padres’ win over the Nationals. Of Schimpf’s 24 hits this season 13 of them have been home runs (54.2%). That’s the highest such percentage among all major-league players with at least 20 hits this season, just ahead of Joey Gallo (15 of 32, 46.9%).

Marquez and Rockies rookie pitchers excel

German Marquez, who earned the win for the Rockies on Sunday afternoon, is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last four starts. The only other Rockies rookie to go 4-0 with an ERA under 1.50 over any four-start span was Jason Jennings in August 2002 (4-0, 1.35 ERA).

Rockies rookie starting pitchers are a combined 12-3 in May. Only one team over the last 80 seasons had 12 or more wins from rookie starting pitchers in a calendar month: the Marlins did it in July 2006, with 12 wins produced by Scott Olsen (3-0), Anibal Sanchez (3-1), Ricky Nolasco (3-2), Josh Johnson (2-1) and Yusmeiro Petit (1-0).

Cueto gets good pen support

Johnny Cueto earned the win with six solid innings for the Giants and the bullpen chipped in with three scoreless innings in the Giants’ win over the Braves. The Giants bullpen has a 0.51 ERA in games started by Cueto this season (two earned runs in 35 innings pitched). That’s the best bullpen support for any major-league pitcher with at least 10 starts this season.

Harvey bearing down with RISP

Matt Harvey threw six solid innings in the Mets’ win over the Pirates on Sunday Night Baseball. Harvey struck out all three Pirates batters he faced with runners in scoring position in the game and has now held opposing batters hitless in their last 22 at-bats in those situations. That’s the longest current streak of its kind in the major leagues and the third-longest for any pitcher this season, behind Yu Darvish (0-for-30) and German Marquez (0-for-25).