With a .216 batting average and 31 strikeouts in 18 games it may be a while before Cubs rookie Javier Baez figures out how to control the strike zone, but the 21-year-old middle infielder has definitely already figured out how to hit the ball really, really far off major-league pitchers.
His latest, a solo shot off Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman:
That gives Baez six homers, which is the second-most in Cubs history through 18 career games behind a guy named Mandy Brooks who went deep eight times through 18 games in 1925. Brooks finished his career with 15 total home runs.
Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.
A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.
The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.
David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.
The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.