MLB Notebook: Mike Trout Keeps Adding to his Legacy and He's Still in His 20s

Mike Trout© Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

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In Wednesday night’s road contest against the Toronto Blue Jays, All-Star outfielder Mike Trout of the Angels recorded his second multi-homer game of the season (also April 5th) to go along with a career-high seven RBI. Trout became the 10th player in franchise history to log at least two homers and seven RBI in a single game -- the first since Torii Hunter on July 4, 2010. Since the calendar flipped to June, the two-time MVP is tied with Edwin Encarnación, who was recently traded to the New York Yankees, for the most home runs (9) in the Majors, and paces the AL in runs scored (20), extra-base hits (13), total bases (54), on-base percentage (.476), slugging percentage (.831) and OPS (1.306).

Trout has eclipsed the 20-homer mark for the eighth consecutive season (2012-19) and entered play Thursday with 22 home runs, the fourth time in his career in which he has 20-or-more home runs before the All-Star break. The New Jersey native is the seventh player in Major League history to post eight seasons of 20-or-more home runs prior to turning 28 years old. He joined Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Rodriguez, as well as Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Eddie Mathews, Mickey Mantle and Mel Ott.

The table below depicts each of the above player’s statistics during their age 20-27 seasons.

Bronx Bombers

On Wednesday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees homered in their 22nd consecutive game dating back to May 26th . This year’s rendition of the Bronx Bombers became the 15th Club since at least 1908 to homer in 22-or-more straight games in a single season, and the first since last year’s Dodgers clubbed a round-tripper in 23 consecutive contests. In addition, the 2019 Yankees are three games shy of tying the franchise record for consecutive games with a home run, set by the 1941 Yankees, who went on to win the World Series that year.

In addition, Wednesday’s game was the Yankees’ 73rd game of the 2019 season and the 62nd in which they hit at least one home run. Since 1908, the 2019 Yankees tied the 1994 Detroit Tigers for the most games with a home run over the Club’s first 73 games of a season. This year’s Seattle Mariners tied for third after hitting a home run in 61 of its first 73 games, and the 2019 Minnesota Twins are tied for seventh with 60 games with at least one home run. The table below details Club statistics for teams that have recorded 60-or-more games with at least home run in their first 73 games of a season.

MAD MAX

In Wednesday night’s home game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park, All-Star starting pitcher Max Scherzer earned his fourth win in as many decisions after tossing 7.0 innings of shutout ball with 10 strikeouts, while allowing just four hits and two walks. In his last six starts dating back to May 22nd the three-time Cy Young Award winner has gone 4-0 with 59 strikeouts, eight walks, 27 hits and a 0.88 ERA across 41.0 innings of work. Following his recent torrid stretch, Scherzer has lowered his 2019 ERA to 2.62, his lowest mark since April 2nd.

The dominant performance Wednesday night was the first this season in which he logged at least 10 strikeouts without permitting a run scored, and was the 20th such outing of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the right-hander became the eighth pitcher since 1893 to post 20-or-more such starts in his career, joining Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and Tom Seaver, as well as Roger Clemens, Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw. Thus far in 2019, Sale has recorded two such games (May 3rd and June 5th), while Kershaw’s last outing was on July 4, 2017. The table below details this group of pitchers’ cumulative statistics in games in which they logged 10-or-more strikeouts in a shutout performance.

LINE DRIVES (Compiled from Club Game Notes)

AND THE WORLD TURNS: Between June 13th and June 18th, Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon recorded five consecutive games with at least three hits, becoming the first player in Rockies history to accomplish the feat. Blackmon’s 18 hits over those five games were tied for the second-most over a five-game span since 1900, and the most since Marcus Giles (18) in 2003.

PICK YOUR POISON: The Boston Red Sox are the only team with as many as five qualifying players with an on-base percentage of .350-or-higher: Xander Bogaerts (.392), Mookie Betts (.385), J.D. Martinez (.378), Rafael Devers (.357) and Andrew Benintendi (.351).

OFF TO A GOOD START: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton made his season debut on Monday night in Toronto. He homered on the first pitch he saw in the second inning and added a single in his next at-bat, which was still in the second frame. Upton became the first player with five-or-more total bases in his first inning at the plate in a season since Jose Valentin in 1996.

ALOHA, OLD FRIEND: Miami Marlins rookie starting pitcher Jordan Yamamoto shut out the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night to become the first pitcher since Nick Maddox in 1907 to beat the Cardinals twice in a seven-day span when the first game was his MLB debut.

HERE COMES THE BOOM!: On Tuesday night, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson clubbed his 19th homer of the season and his 15th career lead-off homer in the bottom of the first. The outfielder surpassed Rafael Furcal (14) for second all-time in franchise history for lead-off homers and trails Davey Lopes (28) for the Club record. Since 2018, Pederson has clubbed 12 homers from the leadoff spot, tied with Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor for the most in the Majors.

THE LONG BALL: The Oakland Athletics hit six home runs on Tuesday night against Baltimore to match the Coliseum single-game home run record, previously reached on September 11, 2003 vs. Anaheim. The home runs tied for the fourth-highest single-game total in Athletics history, and were the most since June 17, 2008 at Arizona (6).

THE KID CAN PLAY: Toronto Blue Jays rookie Cavan Biggio hit two home runs in Monday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Angels. It marked his second multi-homer game of the season (also June 13th), and he joined J.P. Arencibia as the only batters in Club history with two multi-homer efforts within their first 19 career contests.

LOTS OF RUNS: The Braves scored 90 runs while going 10-1 over 11 games from June 7th-17th. It was the most runs they have scored over an 11-game stretch in more than a decade. The last time the Braves scored more in an 11-game span was 2006.

THEY STAND ALONE: Anthony Rizzo (19 homers), Javier Báez (17 homers), Kyle Schwarber (16 homers) and Kris Bryant (15 homers) of the Chicago Cubs are the lone quartet of teammates in the Majors to reach 15 homers so far this year. The Cubs haven’t had four players reach 15 homers prior to the All-Star Break, let alone by mid-June, since 2008 when Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano accomplished the feat.

KING COLE: Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole struck out eight batters on Wednesday night against Cincinnati and leads the Majors in strikeouts with 148 across 96.2 innings pitched. His Major League-best

13.85 SO/9.0 IP ratio would be the highest in Baseball history among starting pitchers.

OSCAR’S NOT A GROUCH: Cleveland Indians rookie Oscar Mercado collected 30 hits through his first 26 career games, the most by a Cleveland batter through 26 contests since Michael Brantley (32) in 2009. Mercado joins Brantley, Asdrúbal Cabrera (30 in 2007), Mark Lewis (38 in 1991) and Alex Cole (34 in 1990) as the only members of the Tribe to record 30 hits through 26 career games since 1980.

SOLER’S RECORD-SETTING PACE: Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler matched the franchise record for home runs in the first 72 games of a season by hitting his 19th on Monday night. He matched Mike Moustakas (2017) and Jermaine Dye (2000), and is on a pace to hit 43 home runs this year, which would break Moose’s club record of 38.

A LONG NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK: The Minnesota Twins won 4-3 over Boston in 17 innings on Tuesday, marking the longest game by innings in Target Field history. At 5:45, the game was tied for the fourth-longest in Minnesota history, matching a 14-inning contest on May 17, 2002 against the Yankees.

HERE’S A SWITCH: After homering on Tuesday night against Detroit, Josh Bell’s 20 home runs are the most in team history by a Pirates switch-hitter prior to the All-Star break. Bell broke the previous high of 19 by Bobby Bonilla in 1990.

SERIESLY?: In the four-game set in Colorado, the Rockies and San Diego Padres combined for 92 runs, the most in a four-game series in the modern era (since 1900). The Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies combined for 88 runs in four games from May 16-18, 1929. The 131 combined hits were the second-most in a four-game series in the modern era. For San Diego alone, the Padres’ 44 runs scored were their most in a four- game series in Club history, and their 62 hits were tied for the most.

FO, FO, FO: The Phillies are 35-7 this season when scoring four-or-more runs in a game, and they have won 16 of their last 19 games when doing so, since April 16th. Among all Clubs, Philadelphia’s .833 winning percentage in games they plate four-or-more runs ranks third-best.

PITCHERS WHO RAKE: Entering action today, the Mets pitching staff is batting .208 (31-for-149) with five doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI. Their .208 batting average ranks third in the Majors and tops in the NL. Their 10 extra-base hits paces the Majors as well. No other staff in the Majors has more than 21 hits.

MASA-HERO: New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (9.0IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 10K) threw the first two-hitter of his Major League career in a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay on Monday. It was the Yankees’ first two- hitter with at least 10 strikeouts since 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Mike Mussina on September 24, 2002 vs. Tampa Bay (9.0IP, 2H, 2BB, 12K).

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