With the Twins’ 7-3 victory over the Indians on Saturday afternoon, Ron Gardenhire became the 60th manager in baseball history to join the 1,000-win club. As MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger notes, Gardenhire is only the eighth manager to join the 1,000-win club having compiled all of those victories with the same club.
Gardenhire, 56, has been at the helm of some ugly Twins teams in recent years, but also helped manage them to some of the organization’s best seasons, winning the AL Central with 90-plus victories in three consecutive seasons. Overall, Gardenhire is 1,000-950 in 13 seasons as manager of the Twins, dating back to 2002.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, with 782 career wins, is now the closest to the 1,000-win milestone. He is followed by Ned Yost at 742, Bob Melvin at 732, and Joe Maddon at 707. Bruce Bochy leads active managers with 1,534 wins.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.