Elias Says: August 25, 2017

Stanton with 14 homers in last 20 games, Marlins storm back to victory

Giancarlo Stanton gave the Marlins an early lead on Thursday afternoon, hitting a solo home run in the third inning to put his team up, 2-1. Over his last 20 games, Stanton has 14 home runs. Only two other players have hit that many home runs over a 20-game span in the last 10 seasons (since 2008): Troy Tulowitzki (14 homers, several overlapping spans in August/September 2010) and J.D. Martinez in June/July 2015 (also with 14).

The Marlins would fall behind, 8-3, but went on to score six unanswered runs for the win, aided by home runs from A.J. Ellis, Christian Yelich, and J.T. Realmuto (whose homer was of the inside-the-park variety). Miami has won three games this season in which the team fell behind by at least five runs; the only team with more wins of this type in 2017 is the Astros (with four). The Marlins did not have any comeback wins when trailing by five-or-more runs in 2015 or 2016.

The Marlins and Phillies combined to hit 21 home runs over their four-game series, including six on Thursday. That is one shy of the most home runs for both teams combined in any series this season. The Cardinals and Orioles hit 22 home runs in a three-game set at Camden Yards from June 16 to 18, and the Mets and Dodgers combined for 22 at Dodger Stadium in a four-game series from June 19 to 22.

What a start for Hoskins!

Rhys Hoskins hit a solo home run and drove in three runs in the Phillies’ loss to the Marlins on Thursday. Hoskins has eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 15 major-league games. No other player in major-league history had that many homers and RBIs through 15 games in the majors (RBIs first became an official statistic in 1920).

Dodgers reach 90 wins in 126th game

Curtis Granderson’s fourth-inning home run gave the Dodgers a lead they would not relinquish as they downed the Pirates, 5-2, to earn their 90th win in their 126th game of the season. In seasons in which the World Series was played, 19 teams reached 90 wins in 130-or-fewer decisions prior to Los Angeles doing so in 2017. The 2001 Mariners were the last to accomplish this feat, with a 90-36 start. Of those 19 teams, 10 went on to win the World Series, with the 1998 Yankees being the last to do so (after a 90-30 start).

Sale struggles, Bruce adds another RBI in Indians’ win over Red Sox

Chris Sale allowed seven runs over three innings in the Red Sox’s loss to the Indians on Thursday night. That was just the second game in which Sale surrendered seven-or-more runs over the first three innings of a game, having previously done so on April 30, 2015 at Target Field against the Twins. Sale allowed nine runs over three innings in that game.

Jay Bruce’s solo home run extended the Indians’ lead to 9-4 over the Red Sox. Bruce has 13 RBIs in 15 games with Cleveland, the most RBIs over a player’s first 15 games with the Indians since Mark Reynolds had 17 RBIs over his first 15 in April 2013.

Ray comes back from injury with solid outing

Robbie Ray, returning from the disabled list, allowed just one run over five innings to earn his 10th win of the season, in a 3-2 Diamondbacks’ triumph at Citi Field. Ray is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA (two earned runs allowed over 22 innings) in four starts against the Mets in his career. Over the last 40 years, only four other pitchers had an ERA that low over their first four starts versus the Mets: Bert Blyleven in 1978 (0.80 ERA), Dontrelle Willis in 2003/2004 (0.64), Tommy Hanson in 2009/2010 (0.73), and Adam Conley in 2015/2016 (0.82).

Sanchez homers again, five players ejected in Detroit

Gary Sanchez homered in all three games of the series between the Yankees and Tigers at Comerica Park, including hitting a solo shot in a feisty, ejection-filled matchup on Thursday. Sanchez is the first Yankees player to homer in every game of a series at Comerica Park (minimum three-game series). The last visiting player to homer in every game of a series of at least three games at Comerica Park was the Royals’ Jose Guillen in April 2010 (three-game series).

Five players (three Yankees, two Tigers) were ejected in Thursday’s game, the most in any game since five players were ejected in a matchup between the Royals and White Sox on April 23, 2015.

Nats and Astros going in opposite directions once game goes to extras

The Nationals scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning, one on an Anthony Rendon sacrifice fly and another on a Matt Wieters RBI single, as they prevailed over the Astros, 5-4. Houston started the 2017 season with wins in each of its first four extra-inning games, but the team has lost each of its last four games that have gone to extras. That is the longest active extra-inning losing streak in the majors. The Nationals have won each of their last four extra-inning games, the second-longest active streak in the majors (behind the Mariners’ five-game winning streak).

Cubs blow late lead

Cubs reliever Pedro Strop entered with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning and proceeded to give up three runs as the Reds came out on top, 4-2. That is the third game this month in which the Cubs lost after leading in the eighth inning or later (losses on August 3 vs. Arizona and August 6 vs. Washington). The Cubs lost three games of this type over the first four months of the 2017 season. The last time Chicago lost three games in this fashion within one calendar month was in June 2013 (also three such losses).

Rookie duo leading the way

Padres rookies Carlos Asuaje and Manuel Margot each had three hits in the Padres’ win over the Cardinals on Thursday. Each collected his third hit in the ninth inning, with Asuaje driving in the run that put San Diego up for good. Margot has six games with at least three hits this season, while Asuaje has five. The only other team with a pair of rookies, each with at least five three-hit games this season, is the Mariners; Ben Gamel has eight such games and Guillermo Heredia has five. The last season in which a pair of Padres rookies did this was in 1987. Benito Santiago had 10 such games and Stan Jefferson had six. Santiago went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award that season.

Many hands make light work

Alex Cobb and four Rays relievers shut out the Blue Jays on Thursday in a 2-0 victory. That marks the second game this season in which Tampa Bay used at least five pitchers in a shutout of an opponent. On April 25, the Rays defeated the Orioles, 2-0, at Camden Yards, with the help of five pitchers who allowed just two hits. Two other American League teams have multiple shutouts wins using five-or-more pitchers in the 2017 campaign: the Blue Jays and the Indians (each with two).

Perez is strong in Rangers’ win

Martin Perez threw seven scoreless innings and earned the win in a Rangers’ 3-0 defeat of the Angels on Thursday night. Over the last six seasons (since 2012), only two other Rangers starters had outings of at least seven scoreless innings against the Angels and both did so this season. Yu Darvish did not allow a run over seven innings on April 13 at Angel Stadium and Cole Hamels threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings on July 7 in Arlington.

Valaika comes through late

Pat Valaika’s two-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning put the Rockies up for good in their 3-2 win over the Royals. Entering that at-bat, Valaika was just 7-for-36 (.194) with two outs and at least one runner on base this season. The MLB average in those situations in 2017 was .243 entering Thursday’s games.