Skenes dominance, grand slams everywhere and Santander

Skenes dominance, grand slams everywhere and Santander
Skenes dominance, grand slams everywhere and Santander

Here are 10 impressive facts from the week between June 28 and July 4.

By Orlando: On June 28, the Giants beat the Dodgers on a walk-off home run by Brett Wisely. It was the Giants’ 31st walk-off home run against their storied rivals. Among the others? One by Puerto Rican star Orlando Cepeda on Aug. 18, 1961. Cepeda’s death was announced mid-game at Oracle Park on Friday. Once again, the Giants had the perfect way to honor a departed legend.

Skenes Day: Through his ninth major league start Saturday, Paul Skenes has 70 strikeouts while issuing just 10 walks. He is the second pitcher with at least 70 strikeouts and 10 or fewer walks in his first nine career appearances since at least 1901. Skenes joins Masahiro Tanaka, who struck out 73 batters and walked eight in 2014. Overall, Skenes is the ninth pitcher with at least 70 strikeouts in his first nine career appearances in that span and the first since Tanaka.

Ten strikeouts again: Garrett Crochet’s start Sunday was the sixth time he has had at least 10 strikeouts in a game this season. The only pitchers with more 10-strikeout games in their first 18 career starts dating back to at least 1901 are Hideo Nomo (eight), Corbin Burnes (seven), Fernando Valenzuela (seven), Al Downing (seven) and Dwight Gooden (seven).

Grand slams everywhere: Between June 22 and Sunday, the Brewers hit five grand slams in an eight-game span. The grand slams came from Brice Turang (twice), Rhys Hoskins, Jake Bauers and Jackson Chourio. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Milwaukee became the second team in major league history to hit five grand slams in an eight-game stretch, joining the 2020 Padres.

Tony and his HR: Anthony Santander led the Orioles with 13 homers in the month of June, tied for third most in Orioles/Carmelitas history in a calendar month. The only players ahead of him on that list are Jim Gentile in August 1961 and Harlond Clift in August 1938, each with 15. Santander tied with Nelson Cruz in May 2014 and Frank Robinson in July 1966. As a team, the Orioles hit 60 homers, the third-most in a calendar month in Major League history, behind the Yankees in August 2019 (74) and the Braves in June 2023 (61).

Hello, Mr. DJ: On Tuesday, DJ Herz struck out 10 batters without issuing a walk in his sixth career start. It’s already his second outing with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks in his young career. Herz is one of only two pitchers since at least 1901 with two such games in his first six career appearances. He joined Stephen Strasburg in 2010 for the Nationals, as Herz did.

Elly the electric: Elly de la Cruz made his mark in his first game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. The Dominican recorded his fifth outing with at least one triple and one home run in his 183rd game as a major leaguer. In doing so, he tied Ted Williams for the most such outings in a player’s first 185 games since at least 1901.

Maintaining the 100: On Monday, Nolan Jones had a 101.3 mph outfield assist, the fastest in the majors this season. On Tuesday, he had a 100.8 mph assist, the second-fastest by any player in 2024. He’s the first player with a 100-plus mph outfield assist in back-to-back games in the Statcast era (since 2015), and the Rockies are the first team to have a 100-plus mph assist in back-to-back games by any player, per MLB’s Jason Bernard.

Like at home: Christian Walker hit his 18th and 19th homers at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, in just his 42nd game at the home of his division rival. That’s four more than any other player in his first 42 games at the park. His 19 homers there have all come since the start of 2018, eight more than any other visitor in that stretch.

A real “iron man”: Matt Olson has played in 542 consecutive games dating back to May 2, 2021. There have only been six other streaks of at least 500 consecutive games played since 2000, according to Elias. They belong to the Dominican Miguel Tejada 2000-2007 (1,152 consecutive games), Whit Merrifield 2018-2022 (553), Prince Fielder 2010-2014 (547), Alex Rodriguez 2000-2003 (546), Hideki Matsui 2003-06 (518) and Mark Teixeira 2004-2007 (507).

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