Tag: Records & Milestones

Russell Becomes 1st Shortstop to Hit Grand Slam in World Series

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell smacked a bases-clearing long ball in the third inning of Tuesday’s Game 6 of the 2016 World Series, becoming the first-ever player at his position to hit a grand slam on baseball’s largest stage, per MLB Stat of the Day.

With the Cubs already nursing a 3-0 lead on the strength of a three-run first inning, Russell stepped up to the plate against Cleveland Indians reliever Dan Otero with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third.

Russell was the first batter Otero faced upon replacing ineffective starting pitcher Josh Tomlin, who was charged with six runs on six hits and a walk while only lasting 2.1 innings.

The 22-year-old shortstop worked the count to 2-0 before driving an Otero sinker over the center field fence to open up a commanding 7-0 lead for Chicago.

Russell had already more than done his part in the contest, plating a pair of runs on a double in the first inning to cap off the aforementioned three-run rally.

While he made outs in his final three at-bats of the night, it was still one of the more memorable performances in recent World Series history, propelling the Cubs into Wednesday’s Game 7 in Cleveland.

Indians starter Corey Kluber will square off against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks with the entire 2016 MLB season on the line.

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Roberto Perez Becomes 5th Catcher with Multi-Homer Game in World Series

When Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez clubbed his second home run of the night—off Chicago Cubs pitcher Hector Rondonduring the eighth inning of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series, he became just the fifth catcher with a multi-homer game in the Fall Classic, per MLB Stat of the Day.

The backstop amassed four RBI in the game on the two shots, accounting for two-thirds of the run production for the Indians. In the process of doing so, he entered rare territory, joining Yogi Berra, Gene Tenace, Johnny Bench and Gary Carter as the only catchers with multi-homer games in the World Series.

Interestingly enough, Perez isn’t known as much of a power hitter. His multi-homer performance Tuesday was his first at any professional level, and Perez had collected just three home runs over 153 at-bats during the 2016 regular season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

He returned to his light-hitting way in Wednesday’s Game 2 defeat, recording one walk and three outs in four plate appearances.

Prior to the trade deadline, Cleveland felt the need to address the catcher position, which was considered a point of weakness. The team worked out a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers for catcher Jonathan Lucroy just prior to the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but he vetoed the trade and was ultimately dealt to another playoff contender in the Texas Rangers.

While Perez didn’t make much of an impact for Cleveland in the regular season or during the first two rounds of the playoffs offensively, his presence was surely felt in a 6-0 Cleveland win that gave the Indians a 1-0 series lead.

He’s also caught every game of the postseason thus far, including a record-tying four shutouts. Should the team manage to record another shutout during the World Series, Cleveland would become the first squad ever with five in a single postseason.

With Yan Gomes set to rejoin the club next season, the catcher position is in pretty good hands. While Perez is on a one-year deal, he’s still under team control through 2021. Although the Tribe didn’t get Lucroy, Cleveland fans are probably happy just where they are.

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Indians’ Andrew Miller Ties All-Time Record for Strikeouts in an LCS

Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller tossed 2.2 scoreless frames against the Toronto Blue Jays in Wednesday’s series-clinching Game 5, striking out one to give him a record-tying 14 in a League Championship Series, per MLB Stat of the Day.

His effort during the series played a major role in Cleveland’s victories and earned him MVP honors. Although Miller has been one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball over the last couple seasons, it took a long time for him to get there.

Miller began his major league career in 2006 with the Detroit Tigers and was on four different teams from 2007 to 2014. He began his career as a starting pitcher with the Tigers, the Florida Marlins and for one season with the Boston Red Sox.

The southpaw didn’t fare well in that role and made the permanent transition to the bullpen 2012. The move turned out to be a good one, as he managed to post a respectable 3.35 ERA in his first season out of the ‘pen. He’s only improved since then, posting four straight seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA and his best campaign in 2016.

Miller started the season with the New York Yankees, owning a 1.39 ERA over 70 appearances with the team before they dealt him to Cleveland prior to the trade deadline. His mark with the Indians during the regular season was 1.55, but that remains in elite status.

He’s been even more impressive in the postseason, having pitched 11.2 scoreless frames while striking out 21 and allowing just seven baserunners. While Cody Allen remains the team’s closer, Miller will be a key member of the team’s bullpen in getting it to the ninth inning as the Indians search for their first World Series victory since 1948.

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Ortiz Ties Jeter for 4th-Most Playoff RBI in MLB History

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz may not have quite gotten the finish he was looking for, but he did manage to tie former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter for fourth place on the all-time playoff RBI list at 61, per ESPN Stats & Info.

With the Red Sox down 2-0 in the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians and facing elimination Monday night at Fenway Park, the 40-year-old Ortiz came up to the plate with one out and runners on second and third base in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With his team already trailing 4-1 in the game, Ortiz hit a rocket to straightaway center field, but it was fielded without much incident by Indians outfielder Rajai Davis.

Although he couldn’t come through with the big hit, Ortiz’s line shot turned into a sacrifice fly, driving in second baseman Dustin Pedroia to narrow the lead to 4-2.

Ortiz later drew a walk that helped the Red Sox score a run in the eighth inning, but the team ultimately came up just one run short, losing 4-3 in heartbreaking fashion.

Assuming he keeps with his retirement intentions, Ortiz will finish his career trailing only Bernie Williams (80 RBI), former teammate Manny Ramirez (78) and David Justice (68) on the all-time playoff RBI list.

Each of those players had at least 100 more playoff plate appearances than Ortiz, further demonstrating why he is widely viewed as one of the greatest clutch hitters in MLB history.

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Ramirez, Ortiz, Betts Each Record 30+ Home Runs, 100+ RBI

Although the season didn’t end as planned, the Boston Red Sox enjoyed a fantastic 2016 campaign, with one of the highlights being a high-powered offense that provided three players with 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI for the first time in franchise history, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Doing the honors were outfielder Mookie Betts, designated hitter David Ortiz and first baseman Hanley Ramirez, all of whom enjoyed fascinating season for entirely different reasons.

The 24-year-old Betts had a breakout campaign that places him among the American League MVP favorites, finishing with a .318 batting average, 31 homers, 26 stolen bases, 113 RBI and 122 runs—one of the more well-rounded stat lines you’ll ever see, in addition to play solid defense.

Ortiz, 40 years old and on the opposite end of the career spectrum, announced his impending retirement prior to the season and then proved that he’s still good enough to play a couple more years, though he made it clear he has no such intention.

Then there was 32-year-old Ramirez, who disappointed tremendously last year in his first season with the Red Sox but finally came on strong in the second half of 2016, ultimately having a fantastic campaign while successfully making a position switch to first base.

Of course, the ultimate goal was a World Series, and on that account the Red Sox fell short, getting swept in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians.

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Votto Posts .408 Batting Average After All-Star Break

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto finished the second half of the season posting a .408 batting average, becoming the first player with at least 200 plate appearances to hit over .400 after the All-Star break since Ichiro Suzuki in 2004, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Votto’s .252/.386/.446 batting line prior to the All-Star break put him in position for the worst season of his career, but a hot second half pushed his season average to .326, well above his career .313 mark.

Despite a horrendous 68-94 record for the Reds this season, Votto managed to drive in the third-most runs (97 RBI) in his career and tied for the second-most home runs (29) he’s collected in a campaign.

Votto remains under contract with Cincinnati through 2024, which will put him in his age-41 season. The contract was the richest in franchise history for the Reds, and he’s proved himself worth it early on. With eight years remaining on the deal, it’s still tough to speculate how well Votto will be playing toward the end of the 10-year contract.

The biggest drawback of age sometimes arrives in the field, but even a slight decline for Votto would keep him at a respectable level of defense for the first base position.

Votto also has one of MLB’s best eyes at the plate, having led the majors in walks four times while posting the highest on-base percentage five times (including in 2016). Likely one of the most unheralded hitters in baseball, he could find himself in Cooperstown one day should he avoid a dramatic drop in play.

The youth movement may have begun in Cincinnati with the shipping of Johnny Cueto to the Royals last season and Jay Bruce to the Mets in 2016, but Votto figures to be a mainstay in the lineup for years to come.

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Trevor Story Falls Just Shy of Shortstop Rookie Record for Home Runs

Boasting a National League-best 27 home runs at the end of July, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story was on pace to decimate Nomar Garciaparra’s rookie shortstop record of 30 home runs, which was set in 1997 for a Boston Red Sox team that finished 78-84, per MLB.com.

Entering the season, the Rockies were awaiting punishment for Jose Reyes’ offseason issues, leaving the door open for Story at shortstop to begin the season. Reyes was eventually handed a suspension for 51 games, allowing the 23-year-old an extended audition for the starting role.

Any detractors of his were quickly silenced, as Story opened his major league career with a bang. In his first six games, Story collected seven home runs, including two in his major league debut on Opening Day against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Many may point to Coors Field (known as the league’s friendliest ballpark for hitters) as the main source of Story’s power, but he surprisingly tallied 11 of his 27 home runs on the road.

He played well enough for the Rockies to designate Reyes for assignment when he was eligible to return from the suspension, permanently handing Story the shortstop job.

Unfortunately for both team and player alike, Story was diagnosed with a torn ligament in this thumb in early August, bringing an end to a spectacular rookie season. Despite missing the final two months, he should garner serious consideration for National League Rookie of the Year honors.

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Giants’ Posey Goes Deep for 1,000th Hit of MLB Career

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey reached the 1,000 career hit milestone in impressive fashion, doing the deed with a solo home run in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s 12-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Posey thus became the first player since Rich Aurilia in 2003 to record 1,000 career hits with each and every one coming in a Giants uniform.

Aurilia would later go on to have brief spells with the Settle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds, before eventually finishing out his career with the Giants from 2007 to 2009.

While nothing can be ruled out, it would just be odd to see Posey in any other uniform, as he’s already been at the center of three World Series victories in San Francisco and is currently signed to a contract that runs through 2021, with a club option for 2022.

Well on his way to the Hall of Fame, the 29-year-old catcher should have a very long career, as he’s one of the few players at his position who hits well enough to serve as an everyday corner infielder once his knees are no longer capable of handling the workload behind home plate.

For the time being, durability hasn’t been an issue, with Posey recently eclipsing the 140-game barrier for a fifth consecutive season.

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Gary Sanchez Ties Record for Fastest to Reach 20 Career Home Runs

New York Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez hit his 20th home run of the season (and his career) in Tuesday’s 6-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, tying Wally Berger’s record for fastest player to reach 20 career long balls, needing only 50 major league appearances to accomplish the feat, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The 23-year-old Dominican phenom did the deed in the first inning, launching a two-run shot to left field off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price.

While no longer a realistic part of the wild-card chase, the Yankees did bring Boston’s impressive winning streak to an end at 11 games, putting a dent in their archrival’s bid to earn the No. 1 or 2 seed in the American League playoffs.

However, the Red Sox still enter Wednesday just one-half game behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers for the top spot, with a one-game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the No. 2 seed.

In any case, Sanchez has been the leader of the Yankees’ impressive second-half youth movement, with the team’s combination of young talent and deep pockets providing hope for a quick return to playoff glory.

Prorated to a 150-game season, Sanchez’s incredible numbers work out to 60 home runs, 96 runs and 126 RBI, though it is worth noting that catchers rarely make 150-plus appearances in a single season these days.

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Cabrera Reaches 30 Home Runs, 100 RBI for 10th Time

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera recorded his 100th RBI of the season in Tuesday’s 12-0 win over the Cleveland Indians, becoming one of 11 players in major league history to have 10 seasons with both 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Unsurprisingly, the 33-year-old slugger reached the milestone in rather spectacular fashion, recording three hits, a home run and five RBI in three at-bats to bring his totals up to 35 homers and 102 RBI for the season.

Only six players have recorded 11 or more seasons with 30 homers and 100 RBI, with Cabrera almost certain to join that group in the coming years, seeing as he’s still going strong in his 14th MLB campaign.

He has already recorded 12 100-RBI seasons through his age-33 campaign, trailing only Jimmie Foxx and Alex Rodriguez (13 apiece) in that measure, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Best of all, Cabrera has been at the center of Detroit’s surprising recovery from a slow start, playing a massive role in the team’s 69-52 record since it fell to six games below .500 on May 14.

With just five games left in the season, Cabrera and Co. badly need a victory in Wednesday’s favorable matchup against Indians starter Zach McAllister.

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