Shannon Drayer points out on Twitter that Paul Konerko made it nine in a row tonight. He’s taken Mariners pitching deep that last nine times he’s faced the team in home games at U.S. Cellular.
The streak dates back to April of last year. The Mariners and White Sox played seven times in Chicago last year and Konerko homered in all seven games. Now he’s started this year 2-for-2 with homers the last two days.
Of course, it’s a pretty exclusive set of conditions, but it’s still a very notable streak, especially considering that no major leaguer has ever homered in more than eight games in a row. Only Dale Long (PIT, 1956), Don Mattingly (NYY, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 1993) have ever made it that far.
Also interesting is that Konerko has done nothing else at all during the streak. Tonight’s game is just in the third inning as of this writing, so we’ll ignore it for now. But in the first eight games, he had a total of 10 hits and nine RBI. Tonight’s homer, just like all of the others, was a solo shot.
ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.
A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.
Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.