MLB Notes and Quotes: Alfonso Becoming a Big Hit with the Mets and Their Fans

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Mets first baseman Pete Alfonso hit his 16th home run against the Nationals at Citi Field on Tuesday night, establishing a Mets record for home runs before the All-Star Break, which had been set in 1965 by Ron Swoboda with 15. He also is now sixth on the Mets all-time list for home runs by a rookie in a single season, 10 shy of the record Darryl Strawberry set in 1983, when he was the NL rookie of the year.

Alonso's home run came in his 47th game, which according to Elias Sports Bureau, makes him the seventh player since at least 1908 to reach 16 home runs that early in his career.

In Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, rookie Michael Chavis clubbed the game-winning home run in the 13th inning, his 10th round-tripper of the season. The 23-year-old became the 11th player in Major League history to reach the mark within his first 28 career games, and the first since Hoskins established the record with 12 home runs in 2017. The table below illustrates each player’s stats through 28 career contests.

In Tuesday night’s outing against the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith tossed five innings of two-run ball while logging seven strikeouts. Following the start, the left-hander is 3-1 with 71 strikeouts, 14 walks and a 2.38 ERA in nine starts. In addition, Smith’s outing was his ninth in a row this season in which he had at least six punchouts while not permitting more than three runs. Smith became the fourth different pitcher (sixth time) since at least 1908 to post a streak of at least eight such starts to begin a season, joining Hall of Famers Pedro Martínez and Randy Johnson, as well as Curt Schilling. The chart below details each hurler’s dominant start to their respective seasons.

In addition, Smith, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees in 2017, has tossed at least five innings while not allowing more than five hits or three walks in each of his nine outings thus far in 2019. Caleb is the first hurler in Major League history to post more than seven such starts to begin a campaign, and is just the seventh pitcher to record a streak of at least six such outings. See below for a table depicting starters who have posted at least six straight starts to begin a season, as well as their corresponding statistics.

Five-time All-Star Zack Greinke of the D-backs worked seven innings with five strikeouts against the Padres on Tuesday night, giving him 2,502 career strikeouts. HE is the 37th pitcher in MLB history to reach 2k5000, and joins four otheractive pitchers in the club -- CC Sabathia (3,013), Justin Verlander (2,795), Max Scherzer (2,536) and Felíx Hernandez (2,501).

In addition, Greinke's 67 strikeouts and just nine walks this season -- a 7.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which ranks second in MLB behind Hyun-Jin Ryu (14.75. With a career SO/BB rate of 3.87, the 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner is on pace to become just the fifth pitcher in Baseball history to reach the 2,500-strikeout plateau with a SO/BB rate greater than 3.5, joining Curt Schilling and Max Scherzer, and Hall of Famers Pedro Martínez and Mike Mussina. The table below depicts each hurlers’ career statistics, sorted by SO/BB.

Relief pitcher Ryan Pressly of the Houston Astros delivered his 19th scoreless outing of the season on Monday against the Chicago White Sox.The 30-year-old veteran went into Thursdaty with 21.0 scoreless innings to go along with 22 strikeouts while not issuing a walk. Ryan’s scoreless streak of a franchise-record 39 innings dates back to August 15th of last season, surpassing Roy Oswalt’s 32.1 innings streak set in 2008. His streak of 40 consecutive games is also a franchise record, eclipsing the previous mark of 26 appearances set by his bullpen-mate Will Harris in 2016.

Pressly’s streak of 40 consecutive scoreless outings surpassed Craig Kimbrel for the Major League record. Kimbrel posted a streak of 38 such appearances during his All-Star and Rookie of the Year-winning 2011 season. Below is a table displaying each reliever’s dominant streak.

In addition, Pressly entered play Thursdaty in the midst of a 19-outing streak in which he has not allowed a run or walk. Ryan broke the Major League record of Paul Quantrill, who posted a streak of 17 outings during his 2001 All-Star campaign.

KB MAKES THREE: Last Friday, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs hit a home run in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. He became just the second Cubs player in franchise history to hit a home run in three straight frames, joining Sammy Sosa, who accomplished the feat on August 10, 2002 in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings. Additionally, Bryant became the 12th player in Major League history to hit a home run in three straight innings, and the second to do so in the 7th, 8th and 9th (also J.D. Martinez on September 4, 2017).

LEFT-SIDE LUMBER: Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies became the first pair of Rockies teammates to each have at least 10 home runs, 30 runs scored and 30 RBI within the team’s first 45 games of a season since Jeromy Burnitz and Vinny Castilla during the 2004 campaign.

SENSATIONAL: On Saturday, Mike Trout hit his 250th career home run and became the 13th player all-time to reach the mark prior to their age-28 season. At 27 years and 284 days old, Trout became the 12th youngest player-ever to reach the mark, with the youngest being his teammate Albert Pujols (26 years, 258 days). Trout needs five more stolen bases to reach the 250 home runs/200 stolen bases plateau, a feat no other player in Major League history has reached before their age-28 season.

GAINING SEPARATION: Through the first 47 games of the season, the Minnesota Twins owned a run differential of +81, trailing only the Houston Astros (+99). In those games, they scored 265 runs, their highest total through their first 47 games of any season in franchise history (includes time as Washington Senators). The previous high was 254 set by the 1925 Senators, who were also shutout just once in their first 47 games.

BOMBS AWAY: So far this season, Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees has hit 10 home runs against the Baltimore Orioles, while his teammate Gary Sánchez has nine. The duo has accounted for 18.0% of the Orioles’ Major League-high 105 home runs allowed in 2019, and they are the first pair of Yankees teammates in the divisional era (since 1969) to each hit at least eight home runs vs. one opponent in the same season.

SLUGGER: On Saturday night in a game against the San Diego Padres, Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates recorded his third career multi-home run game, all occurring in a two-week stretch this season. Bell’s first multi-home run game came on May 4th against the Oakland Athletics, while the performance Saturday night was the most recent. Bell is the first Pirates player since Brian Giles (August 1999) to record three multi-home run games in one month. The only player in franchise history to record four multi-home run games in one month is Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who accomplished the feat in September 1949.

GIVE THAT BAT A SMOOCH: Prior to Tuesday’s contest, Franmil Reyes logged five home runs, three walks and eight RBI in his previous eight games. His 15 home runs matched Greg Vaughn (1998) for the third-most home runs by a Padre through the first 48 games of a season, behind Adrián González (18) in 2009 and Nate Colbert (16) in 1970.

EXTRA BASE PACE: Through the first 47 games of the season, Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals had at least one extra base hit in 22 games, tied for fifth-best in the Majors at the time. The last Cardinal to post at least 22 extra-base hits in the team’s first 47 games of a season was his teammate Matt Carpenter in 2015.

MAJOR MINOR: Mike Minor of the Texas Rangers pitched five scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the sixth inning of his win on Monday night, ending his home scoreless streak at 29.0 innings. The 29.0- scoreless innings marked the longest scoreless streak in the history of Globe Life Park in Arlington (since 1994), surpassing the previous mark by C.J. Wilson (25.2 innings from July 27, 2009 - April 27, 2010).

ROWDY ROOKIE: Rowdy Tellez of the Toronto Blue Jays hit his first career extra-inning home run as he tied the game in the 12th inning during yesterday’s loss to the Boston Red Sox. The hit was his team-leading ninth home run of the season. Tellez became the first player in franchise history to hit 13 home runs in his first 65 Major League games. Furthermore, he tied Tony Fernandez (July 3, 1988 vs. Oakland) for the latest game-tying home run in franchise history.

SOROKA’S HISTORICAL START: Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka carried a perfect game into the sixth inning Monday night, finishing with eight innings of one-run ball, seven strikeouts and zero walks. Soroka has held opponents to one earned run-or-fewer in each of his seven starts this season, and has allowed one earned run-or-fewer in 10 of his 12 career starts. Since earned runs became an official statistic in both leagues in 1913, no other pitcher in Major League history had as many such starts among his first 12 career games. Furthermore, Soroka is the first Braves starter since 1920 to open his season with seven consecutive starts of one earned run-or-less.

BOW DOWN TO BIEBER: In Sunday afternoon’s tilt against the Baltimore Orioles, Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out 15 batters without issuing a walk in the process. Bieber, at the age of 23 years and 323 days, became the fourth-youngest pitcher since 1908 to record at least 15 strikeouts with zero walks in a complete-game shutout. The only pitchers to achieve the feat at a younger age are Dwight Gooden (19 years, 301days), Kerry Wood (20, 324) and Vince Velasquez (23, 312).

IN THE NICK OF TIME: Since making his Major League debut on Opening Day, Nick Anderson of the Miami Marlins has struck out 38 of the 87 batters (44%) he has faced this season in 20.0 innings of relief. He ranks second among all Major League relievers with a 17.10 K/9.0 rate, behind Milwaukee’s Josh Hader (17.64). He set a Club record for relievers with 24 strikeouts in the month of April, and matched Matt Mantei (May, 1999) and Kyle Barraclough (August, 2016) for the Club record for any month.

VOGEY HOAGIE: Daniel Vogelbach of the Seattle Mariners hit 14 home runs in his first 126 at-bats this season. Vogelbach’s 14 home runs matched Ken Phelps (1987) for third-most by a Mariners player in their first 126 at- bats in a season, while trailing only Nelson Cruz (15, 2015) and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (15, 1997).

QUALITY START STREAK: Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd posted seven consecutive quality starts from April 3rd-May 8th. During the seven-game stretch, Boyd compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.58 ERA and 53 strikeouts. The streak was the longest of his career and the longest by a Tigers left-handed pitcher since Justin Thompson logged 10 straight quality starts from April 24-June 14, 1997.

DOMINANT STRETCH: Last night, the Oakland Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians, 7-1. The team collected three doubles and two home runs during the contest. Over the last seven games, Oakland has collectively hit .295 (74-for-251) with 16 home runs and 51 runs scored after batting .216 with 11 home runs and 32 runs scored over the previous 10 contests.

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