Elias Says: Aug. 28, 2017

Stanton hits 50th HR, sets team RBI record in the process

With one swing of his bat on Sunday afternoon, Giancarlo Stanton not only set a Marlins record for RBIs in one calendar month but also, more importantly, became the 28th different player in major-league history to hit 50 home runs in one season.

By hitting his 50th home run in Miami’s 129th game, Stanton reached that milestone faster than anyone since 2001, when Barry Bonds set the current record of 73 homers in a season after hitting #50 in the Giants’ 117th game. The only other players to hit 50 homers prior to their team’s 130th game of the season were Babe Ruth in 1921 (game #125), Roger Maris in 1961 (#125), Mark McGwire in 1998 (#125) and 1999 (#124), and Sammy Sosa in 1999 (#121).

Stanton has 17 home runs and 35 RBIs since August 1. That ties the second-highest home-run total in one calendar month in National League history. Sammy Sosa set the major-league record in that category with 20 homers for the Cubs in June 1998. The Marlins’ previous record for RBIs in one month was 33 by Hanley Ramirez in June 2009.

Stop it, Rhys Hoskins

Can it really be this easy? Rhys Hoskins homered again on Sunday, extending his home-run streak to five games, in Philadelphia’s 6–3 win over the Cubs. That tied not only the longest such streak in Phillies history, it matched the longest home-run streaks by a rookie in major-league history.

The Phillies record was set by Dick Allen in 1969, and previously tied by Mike Schmidt (1979), Bobby Abreu (2005), and Chase Utley (twice during the 2008 season). The MLB rookie record was set by Rudy York in 1937. Hoskins was the sixth player to tie York’s mark, including two active players: Caleb Joseph (2014) and Joc Pederson (2015).

So is there anything Hoskins can’t do? Of course ... let’s see him try to start a triple play. From the outfield. Oh wait, he did that on Sunday too. Hoskins was the first rookie outfielder to participate in a triple play since 1992, when Kenny Lofton did it.

Dodgers’ loss snaps team-record streak of unbeaten series

Kyle Farmer struck out with the potential tying and winning runs on base, sealing the Dodgers’ 3–2 loss to the Brewers in the rubber game of their three-game series. That ended LA’s streak of 22 consecutive series without losing one, which was the longest in team history. The last team with a streak of unbeaten series as long as the Dodgers’ was Atlanta in 2002 (22 series). Los Angeles was within sight of the modern NL record of 24, set by the Cardinals in 1942–43 and matched by the Reds in 1970. “Modern,” as always, refers to the period starting in 1900.

Indians sweep Royals without allowing a run

The Indians defeated the Royals, 12–0, on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep in which Cleveland outscored Kansas City, 20–0. It was only the second series of three or more games in Indians history in which they did not allow a run. The other was against the Washington Senators in September 1956, with complete-game shutouts by Herb Score (a 4-hitter), Mike Garcia (a 3-hitter), and Bob Lemon (a 5-hitter). By comparison, Cleveland’s starters against Kansas City—Ryan Merritt, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco—combined for only 19.2 innings.

O’s complete a dominant sweep at Fenway

The Orioles topped the Red Sox, 2–1, to complete a three-game sweep in which Baltimore outscored Boston, 27–4. That was the O’s largest margin of victory in a road sweep since 2004, when they outscored the Devil Rays, 31–8, over three games at Tropicana Field.

It was also the first time since the Orioles moved to Baltimore in 1954 that they allowed as few as four runs in a sweep of three or more games at Fenway Park. They did so once prior to that as the St. Louis Browns (Sept. 12–14, 1945).

It’s all about the home run

The Rays defeated the Cardinals, 3–2, in 10 innings in a battle of solo home runs. Tampa Bay scored on two homers by Logan Morrison and one by Brad Miller; Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter homered for St. Louis. It was only the 10th game in major-league history in which at least five runs were scored and all were produced by solo homers. Six have been played in the last six seasons, including the only one in which more than five runs were scored: a 5–3 win by Colorado at Miami last season.

The unlikeliest of game-winners

Brian McCann was the unlikely hero, hitting a bases-clearing triple in the top of the eighth that proved to be the game-winner in the Astros’ 7–5 victory at Anaheim. It was the 29th three-run triple in the majors this season, but only the second that turned a deficit into a lead. On April 19, Nicholas Castellanos had a go-ahead hit of that type against Jumbo Diaz, but the Rays came back to take an 8–7 walkoff win.

Prior to his game-winner, McCann hadn’t hit a triple is his last 1153 at-bats, a streak that began early in the 2015 season. And that’s nothing compared to the longest “triple drought” of McCann’s career: 2331 at-bats covering part or all of six different seasons (2009–14).

Mariners gift Yankees a win, Ellsbury & Castro contribute

The Yankees didn’t need anything more than the five unearned runs bequeathed to them via the Mariners’ five first-inning errors on Sunday. The Yankees rolled to a 10–1 victory, but it’s worth noting two individual performances:

- Jacoby Ellsbury increased the Yankees’ lead to 4–1 with a two-run double in the first inning. On Saturday, Ellsbury drove in four runs, including a three-run homer. That marked the first time that the Yankees’ highest-paid position player drove in two or more runs in consecutive games since August 25–26, 2014, during his first season with the team.

- Starlin Castro went 4-for-4 in his third game back after more than a month on the disabled list. That was only the third game of 4-for-4 or better in Castro’s eight seasons in the majors.

Incidentally, Seattle became the first American League team in the expansion era to commit as many as five errors in the first inning of a game. The only NL team to do so during that time was the Cubs (July 2, 1977 at St. Louis).

Keystone combo leads Mets to win with early and late home runs

Home runs by Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario helped the Mets to a 6–5 victory over the Nationals. Cabrera’s three-run blast in the first inning snapped the fourth-longest home-run drought of his career. For Rosario, who won’t turn 22 years old until November, it was his second game-winning home run in a Late-Inning Pressure Situation in this his first month in the majors. The only other 21-year-old to hit two such home runs this season is the Wunderkind himself, Cody Bellinger.

A bout of wildness costs the Mets

Things didn’t go as well for the Mets in the second game of the doubleheader at Nationals Park, as they lost to the Nats, 5–4. Michael Taylor and Andrew Stevenson drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks in the sixth inning, turning a 3–2 Washington deficit into a 4–3 lead. Over the last six seasons, there was only one other game in which the tying and winning runs were scored on consecutive bases-loaded walks. Marcell Ozuna and Jarrod Saltalamacchia did it for Miami against the Pirates in 2014. It was the first such win in the history of the Expos/Nationals franchise.

The Mets have thrown an MLB-high 18 walks with the bases filled this season. That’s one more than they issued in the two previous seasons combined, and two short of the team single-season high, set in 2009.

Young A’s making news

Three rookies at the bottom of the batting order—Matt Olson (3-for-4), Matt Chapman (3-for-4), and Bruce Maxwell (2-for-4)—fueled the offense in the Athletics’ 8–3 win over the Rangers. It was the sixth time this season that the A’s had at least three rookies with multiple hits in the same game. Boog Powell, Chad Pinder, Jaycob Brugman, and Franklin Barreto also participated in some of those.

The last time the A’s had at least six such games in one season was 40 years ago. Back in 1977, Oakland’s rookies included Mitchell Page, Tony Armas, Wayne Gross, and Rob Picciolo.

Buxton hits 3 HRs, adds some dash

Byron Buxton went 4-for-5 with three home runs and five RBIs in the Twins’ 7–2 win at Toronto. It was the 64th time since 2012 that a player hit as many as three homers in one game. But Buxton was only the second of those players to steal a base in the game. The other was Yoenis Cespedes for the Mets in 2015.

Martinez paying dividends after midseason arrival

J.D. Martinez, who joined the Diamondbacks in July, homered twice in their 11–0 victory over the Giants. Martinez, who hit two home runs in a victory over the Braves last month, is the first Arizona player with a pair of multiple-homer games after joining the team in mid-season. The only other player to do so for any team in 2017 is Matt Adams for Atlanta.

Rookie shows White Sox hurlers how it’s done

Lucas Giolito allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings to earn the first victory of his major-league career in the White Sox’ 7–1 win over the Tigers. It was only the fourth time this season that a White Sox starter held the opposition scoreless through seven innings. That ties Chicago for the third-lowest such total in the majors, behind Detroit (3) and Toronto (3).