Elias Says: Sept. 4, 2017

Ramirez is extra special

Jose Ramirez made history on Sunday, going 5-for-5 with three doubles and two home runs in the Indians’ 11–1 victory at Detroit. Ramirez became the 13th player in major-league history with five extra-base hits in one game, tying a record that has stood for 132 years.

Ramirez had never before had five hits in one game, but this wasn’t the first time he made headlines with his extra-base hitting. Earlier this season, he became the first player in modern major-league history with as many as 14 XBH over a span of seven games (June 14–19).

Royals take series from Twins despite big loss in Game 2

The Royals defeated the Twins, 5–4, to take the rubber match of their weekend series at Minnesota. Kansas City sandwiched Saturday’s 17–0 loss with a pair of one-run victories to win the series despite being outscored, 27–12. The Royals were the first road team since 1899 to win a series of any length in which they were outscored by that wide a margin.

One hundred eighteen years ago, Washington won two of three games at Louisville despite being outscored by the Colonels, 34–16. After losing the first two games of the series, 7–6 and 5–3, Louisville routed Washington, 25–4, in what would be the final home game ever played by the Colonels. On the day of that big win, fire damaged Eclipse Park. Louisville, which featured Honus Wagner as a young superstar, played its final 38 games of the season on the road, and the National League voted to drop the club following that season.

Yankees blast Sale in win over Red Sox

Chase Headley homered in the third inning and Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier went back-to-back in the fourth as the Yankees defeated Chris Sale and the Red Sox, 9-2. Sale hadn’t allowed three homers in any of his last 41 starts, and had never before allowed back-to-back homers.

Of particular note, all three of the Yankees’ home runs off Sale came on two-strike counts. Over the last five seasons, the Yankees hit three two-strike homers in a game off only one other pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie with the Royals in 2015.

Astros succeed even when their starters don’t

The Astros survived a shaky start by Mike Fiers to manage an 8–6 victory over the Mets. New York knocked out Fiers in the fifth inning, but Houston’s bullpen didn’t allow a run as the Astros improved to 16–16 in games in which their starter failed to complete the fifth inning. No team has finished a season at or above .500 in such games since the Mariners in 2001 (13–10).

Arizona finds a simple formula for victory: don’t fall behind

The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies, 5–1, for their 10th straight win and Arizona never trailed in the last eight of those victories. That matches the longest streaks of wins without trailing over the last 15 seasons. Since 2003, three others teams had eight consecutive wins in which they never fell behind: the Mariners in 2003, Cardinals in 2004, and Indians earlier this season (July 22–29).

Pujols ties Aaron’s record, but fizzles in the clutch

Albert Pujols drove in his 90th run of the season with a fifth-inning single, but failed twice later in the game as the Angels lost, 7–6, to the Rangers. With his lone RBI on Sunday, Pujols tied Hank Aaron’s record of 16 seasons with at least 90 RBIs. But Pujols flied out in the seventh inning and popped out in the ninth, both times with runners in scoring position. He has a .296 batting average with runners in scoring position in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since joining the Angels in 2012.

Trumbo ties Baltimore’s walkoff mark

Mark Trumbo’s two-out single in the bottom of the 12th plated Jonathan Schoop to give the Orioles a 5–4 win over the Blue Jays. It was Trumbo’s fourth walkoff RBI this season, tying the single-season high since the Orioles moved to Baltimore. Dick Kryhoski set that mark in 1954, the O’s first season in Charm City, and it was previously tied by Nick Markakis in 2007.

Brewers find Santana’s comfort zone

Domingo Santana went 2-for-2, hitting a pair of home runs and drawing two walks in the Brewers’ 7–2 win over the Nationals. Santana has started at least five games from each of the top five slots in the batting order this season, but the fifth spot has been his most frequent and most productive position. Although he has started fewer than half of Milwaukee’s games batting fifth (66 of 137), he ranks second in the National League in home runs (17) and third in RBIs (47) from the fifth slot.

Braves rookie top the champs

Max Fried allowed one run over five innings to earn the victory in the Braves’ 5–1 win at Wrigley Field. Fried was the second pitcher this season to defeat the Cubs in his first major-league start. Jackson Stephens of the Reds also did it (July 1). Over the previous six seasons, only two other pitchers were credited with a win over the defending World Series champion in their first major-league start: Gerrit Cole against the Giants in 2013 and Ryan Merritt against the Royals in 2016.

Phillies’ Williams finds his clutch stroke

Nick Williams’ two-out, two-run single in the 12th inning gave the Phillies a 3–1 victory at Miami. Williams had only one hit in his previous 19 at-bats in Late-Inning Pressure Situations, dating back to July 29. Prior to Sunday’s game-winner, Williams had 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position in LIPS and drove in none of them.

Pirates’ rookie pitcher merits attention

Trevor Williams turned in another strong performance on Sunday, pitching seven scoreless innings in Pittsburgh’s 3–1 win over Cincinnati. It was the third time since the All-Star break that Williams pitched at least seven innings and didn’t allow a run. The only other pitchers with at least three such starts during that time are Chris Sale (4) and Zach Davies (3).

Anderson steps forward for White Sox

Tim Anderson went 3-for-4 and drove in runs in the third, fifth, and seventh innings, leading the White Sox to a 6–2 win over the Rays. It was only the second time in 221 major-league games that Anderson had at least three hits and three RBIs, and it was only the third time this season that a White Sox player drove in runs on three consecutive plate appearances. Leury Garcia did it in a 15–5 loss at Detroit on June 2; Avisail Garcia did it in a 16–1 win over the Mariners on May 20.

Rookie Weaver on a roll

Luke Weaver improved his record to 4–1, allowing two runs and striking out nine batters over seven innings in the Cardinals’ 7–3 win at San Francisco. Since losing his first start of the 2017 season, Weaver is 4–0 with a 1.93 ERA, becoming the first Cardinals rookie to win four consecutive starts since Matt Morris did it 20 years ago.