The Nationals hit six home runs last night. They also did it on Tuesday night. That’s only the third time a team has hit six homers on consecutive nights ever. The previous two: the Angels did it against the Expos in 2003 and the Dodgers in Colorado in 1996.
Caveat: the former did it in Hiram Bithorn stadium in Puerto Rico, which was very homer friendly, and the Dodgers did it when Coors Field was at the height of crazy. But for as bad as the Cubs are, I don’t think they justify the same sort of asterisky treatment those band boxes should get.
The specific number of homers in these games inspired this post, but the significance of it is that for as much as we’ve talked about the Nationals pitching this year, the offense is really asserting itself now. Bryce Harper is waking up after a somnambulistic July and August. And Adam LaRoche has been insane. They have power threats in every position except catcher and right field, and even then Jayson Werth has been getting on base at an all-star clip since returning.
The Nats are the most complete team in baseball right now.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.