Elias Says: July 18, 2017

Zimmerman passes Guerrero to become sole franchise home run leader

Ryan Zimmerman’s first-inning home run on Monday was his 235th homer in the majors (all have come as a member of the Nationals). With that homer, Zimmerman passed Vladimir Guerrero for the most home runs in Expos/Nationals history. Zimmerman is one of four active players who are the all-time leader in home runs for a franchise; the others are Ryan Braun (Brewers), Evan Longoria (Rays), and Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins).

Zimmerman was selected #4 overall by the Nationals in the 2005 first-year player draft. He is one of five players selected top-five overall to currently lead the team that drafted them in home runs. The others are Darryl Strawberry (Mets, selected #1 in 1980), Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners, #1 in 1987), Ryan Braun (Brewers, #5 in 2005), and Evan Longoria (Rays, #3 in 2006).

Nationals hit 13 home runs in four-game sweep of Reds

The Nationals hit three home runs (one each from Brian Goodwin, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman) to complete a four-game sweep of the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday. Washington totaled 13 homers in this series, the second highest total for a team in a series this season. The Dodgers hit a franchise-record 15 home runs in a four-game series against the Mets at Dodger Stadium in June.

DeJong meets the Mets…and beats up the Mets

Paul DeJong’s two-run home run turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Cardinals’ lead, and the Cards went on to defeat the Mets, 6-3. DeJong has homered in each of his first four games against the Mets; no other player has ever done so against that franchise.

DeJong is the third rookie in the modern era (since 1900) to homer in each of his first four games against a particular team, joining Jay Gibbons of the Orioles versus the Blue Jays in 2001 (first five games) and the Rockies’ Trevor Story versus the Diamondbacks in 2016 (first four games).

Zimmermann’s on point as he ends winless streak on the road

Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to earn the win for the Tigers over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Entering Monday, Zimmermann was winless in 12 consecutive road starts (dating back to last June), tied with Trevor Cahill and Blake Snell for the second-longest current streak of this type in the majors (James Shields has an active streak of 14).

Zimmermann threw 97 pitches on Monday night, with 79 of them being strikes. He is the first pitcher to throw 18-or-fewer balls in an outing of longer than six innings this season.

Cruz hits 20-homer mark for ninth straight season

Nelson Cruz’s 20th homer of the season tied the game in the seventh inning, and the Mariners went on to down the Astros in extra innings, 9-7. That marks the ninth consecutive season in which Cruz hit 20-or-more home runs, dating back to 2009. Only two other players had at least 20 homers in the previous eight seasons (2009 to 2016): David Ortiz (he did so in 15 consecutive seasons, 2002 to 2016) and Brian McCann (nine straight, 2008 to 2016). McCann has 11 home runs thus far this season.

Teheran’s 2017 struggles at home

Julio Teheran allowed just two runs over six innings, but he was charged with the loss, as the Braves could only muster one run versus the Cubs at SunTrust Park. In 10 starts at home this season, Teheran is 1-7 with a 7.05 ERA. Over the last 15 seasons (since 2003), three other players had at least seven losses and an ERA over 7.00 through their first 10 home starts of a season: Ryan Vogelsong of the Pirates in 2004 (1-7, 8.87 ERA), Pittsburgh’s Kevin Correia in 2011 (2-7, 7.86), and the Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller last season (0-8, 7.39). The only other Braves pitcher to do so through his first 10 home starts of a season was Pascual Perez in 1985 (1-7, 7.36).

Polanco with his third 4-for-4 game in 2017

Gregory Polanco went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Pirates’ 4-2 win over the Brewers on Monday. That is Polanco’s third game in which he went 4-for-4 for this season, tied with Bryce Harper for the most games going 4-for-4 or better. Over the last 30 seasons (since 1988), only two other Pirates had that many games of this type within one season: Jeff King in 1996 (three such games) and Andrew McCutchen in 2012 (three).

Stanton seeing double

Giancarlo Stanton hit a pair of home runs in the Marlins’ extra-inning victory over the Phillies on Monday night. Stanton has hit two homers in three of his last nine games. Since the start of the 2016 season, the only other player with at least three multi-homer games over a nine-game span is Cody Bellinger, who had three two-homer games over an eight-game span last month.

No other Marlins player ever had three multi-homer games over a nine-game span in the 25-season history of the franchise.

Parra with an RBI in seven straight games

Gerardo Parra’s solo home run in the seventh inning provided the Rockies with some extra insurance in their 9-6 win over the Padres on Monday. Parra has had at least one RBI in each of his last seven games, the longest current streak in the majors. The only other Rockies player with such a streak of this length over the last six seasons (since 2012) was Nolan Arenado in 2015 (streak of seven in June and eight-game streak in August/September).

Twins get one by the Yankees at home

Eduardo Escobar’s go-ahead single in the eighth inning put the Twins up for good, as they defeated the Yankees, 4-2, at Target Field. Since Target Field opened in 2010, Minnesota has a 7-19 (.269) home record against the Bronx Bombers. Over that span, only two teams have that low of a home winning percentage against a particular opponent (minimum 10 games): Reds vs. Mets (6-17, .261) and Mariners vs. Yankees (7-19, 269).

Pearce withstands the pressure

Steve Pearce hit a game-winning single in the eighth inning to give the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead over the Red Sox, and they went on to win by that same score. Entering Monday’s games, Pearce was 2-for-26 (.077) in late-inning pressure situations this season, tied with Trevor Plouffe for the lowest batting average in those situations (minimum 25 AB).

Low scoring win for the Orioles

Jonathan Schoop tied the game in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly, and the Orioles scored two more in the following inning (on a Seth Smith solo homer and Ruben Tejada RBI single) as they went on to down the Rangers, 3-1. Baltimore has won 11 games in which the team scored three-or-fewer runs this season, tied with the Nationals for the most wins of this type in the majors.