Update – And David Ross makes it five by homering twice against the Padres in San Diego. That’s as many homers as he had in 135 at-bats since the beginning of 2010.
There had been just 22 multihomer games in the first 26 days of the 2011 season, but already Tuesday evening there have been four, including a couple by some pretty unusual names.
Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan homered twice off Luke Hochevar in a win over the Royals. He was the only one of the four players to have already hit at least two homers this season, and he had exactly two. The first homer gave him 100 RBI for his career. He now has 20 homers in 919 lifetime at-bats.
Washington’s Wilson Ramos hit his first two homers of the season. He entered with a fine .341 average in 41 at-bats this year, but he had hit just one homer in 120 at-bats as a major leaguer.
Todd Helton turned back the clock in Chicago, taking James Russell deep twice. The big games came as he was hitting third for the first time this year. He moved up because Carlos Gonzalez was given the day off. It was his first two-homer game since Aug. 7, 2007.
The remaining two-homer guy as of 10 p.m. EDT was Toronto’s Adam Lind. Lind turned in a big spring, but he had hit just one homer in 85 regular-season at-bats.
Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.
He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.
Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …
The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.
Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.
Pitcher wins are stupid, but players do seem to put some stock in them. And so Braves starter Shelby Miller can finish his 2015 season with some positive vibes.
The right-hander held the Cardinals scoreless over eight innings in the first half of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Turner Field, an eventual 6-0 victory for the host Braves. Miller struck out seven, gave up only three hits, and finally got some run support to snap a 24-start “winless” streak. (Atlanta was actually 3-21 in that stretch).
Miller’s last official “win” before Sunday came May 17 in Miami. He shut out the Marlins and flirted with a no-hitter in that start.
The 24-year-old will finish the 2015 season with a 6-17 record, 3.02 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 171/73 K/BB ratio in 205 1/3 innings. He was traded to Atlanta from St. Louis over the winter in the four-player Jason Heyward deal and will be under the Braves’ control through at least 2018.
Heyward is scheduled to become a free agent this winter.