A lot happened on a night with a short schedule: The Tampa Bay Rays snapped their 11-game losing streak (and the Boston Red Sox sent Eduardo Rodriguez to Triple-A after he got shelled again); Jake Arrieta gave up five runs and five walks in five innings but still got the win; Aledmys Diaz visited the hospital after fouling a ball off his face; the final All-Star voting results were released before the starters are announced; and Troy Tulowitzki returned to Colorado. Here are our top five:
1. Kris Bryant has a day for the ages. What kind of game did Bryant have? Well, he became the first player in MLB history to hit three home runs and two doubles in a game, which is kind of cool. His 16 total bases were a Chicago Cubs record, or at least the most since 1900, breaking the previous mark of 14 shared by Aramis Ramirez, George Mitterwald and Ernie Banks. Yes, that's George Mitterwald, part-time starting catcher in the mid-'70s. He had three home runs and a double against the Pirates on April 17, 1974. I'm guessing the wind was blowing out at Wrigley that day. But check out the box score: Cubs starter Burt Hooton pitched a 16-hit complete game in the 18-9 victory. How awesome were the '70s?
I digress. In one day, Bryant raised his batting average 13 points, his OBP 10 points and his slugging percentage 47 points. All three of his home runs went 400-plus feet, in case you thought Bryant was the beneficiary of the cozy dimensions at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark:
Bryant became just the ninth player with five extra-base hits in a game:
Shawn Green's game rates at the top because he got that extra single. Others have had more RBIs in a game, but with four home runs and the record for total bases, I rank Green's as the single best individual batting game in MLB history.
2. Nationals light up Noah Syndergaard. The first game of the anticipated New York Mets-Washington Nationals series was a dud. The Nationals juiced an erratic Syndergaard for seven hits and five runs in three innings as he labored through 71 pitches. The Nationals also stole five bases off Syndergaard, and he has now allowed 28 stolen bases -- 14 more than the next guy, Ubaldo Jimenez. Until tonight, Syndergaard had mostly managed to avoid letting the steals haunt him, but it's obviously a problem the Mets will have to address in the future. Only eight pitchers have allowed 50 steals in a season, and none has done so since Hideo Nomo in 2001.
The bigger issue, however: Is he pitching with bone spurs in his elbow?
Sources: Noah Syndergaard also pitching with bone spur. Matz and Syndergaard trying to avoid in-season surgery. #Mets— Kristie Ackert (@Ackert_NYDN) June 28, 2016
The series gets even more interesting on Tuesday when Lucas Giolito, regarded as the top pitching prospect in the minors, makes his major league debut for the Nationals and faces Matt Harvey.
3. Mike Trout did WHAT?! You know, we don't get enough Trout mentions here. Probably because the Los Angeles Angels are usually losing. Check out this home run, the location of the pitch and the angle of his bat. Oh, it went 407 feet. Yes, Trout is a good low-ball hitter.
Statcast expert Daren Wilman reported that it was the lowest pitch hit for a home run since a Freddy Galvis homer on April 28, 2013.
4. Vincent Velasquez returns for the Philadelphia Phillies. The young right-hander who impressed so much in April returned from his DL stint and had a good outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his first start since June 8. He struck out seven and walked nobody in five scoreless innings. Velasquez's ultimate upside is still a question, especially in regard to pitch efficiency and his health history. With Aaron Nola struggling of late, this was a nice lift for the Phillies rotation.
5. I'm going to keep writing about the Cleveland Indians until they lose. They beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 as Mike Napoli had three hits, Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer and Tyler Naquin continued to rake (.328/.380/.605 in 119 at-bats; his BABIP is an insane .458).