MLB Notebook: Mariners Record-Setting Season Opening Home Run Streak Ends at 20
From the offices of Major League Baseball
The Seattle Mariners failed to homer in last night’s contest against Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians for the first time this season, ending their historic start to the 2019 campaign. The Mariners established an MLB record to begin a season, though, homering in the first 20 contests of the season. The previous record of 14 straight games was set by the Indians to begin the 2002 season.
Overall, the Mariners became the 21st Club in Major League history to post a streak of 20 such games over the course of any point of a season. The Los Angeles Dodgers were the last to accomplish the feat, clubbing a home run in 23 straight games from August 21st - September 15th of last season. The table below displays the streaks of all 23 teams, and their corresponding statistics.
Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians has made two road starts for the Indians thus far in 2019, earning the win in each outing. Across both starts, Bieber has tossed 13.0 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts, seven hits and four walks. Dating back to last season, Bieber is now 9-0 in 13 career starts on the road, and is the first pitcher since Earl Wilson (1962) of the Boston Red Sox to earn a win in their first nine career road decisions. In Indians lore, Bieber surpassed CC Sabathia (2001) and John Farrell (1987-88), who notched six victories in their first nine starts on the road.
In addition, Bieber’s streak of 13 consecutive starts is tied for seventh-most in Major League history. Dave LaPoint owns Baseball’s record, having not recorded a loss on the road in 20 consecutive outings to begin his career in 1980. The table below illustrates each hurler’s impressive start to their careers on the road.
Through the Nationals’ first 14 games of the season (March 30th - April 14th), third baseman Anthony Rendon notched an extra-base hit in 11 contests, totaling 14 extra-base hits. During his torrid start to the 2019 campaign, Rendon slashed .432/.480/1.023 with eight doubles, six home runs and 15 RBI. Washington’s slugger became just the ninth player in MLB history, and the first since Matt Kemp in 2012, to record at least one extra-base hit in 11 of his Club’s first 14 games of a season. Alex Rodriguez owns the Major League record, registering an extra-base hit in 13 games during the Yankees’ first 14 games of 2007. Below is a table with each player’s cumulative stats during their impressive start.
LINE DRIVES (Compiled from Club Game Notes)
MAGNIFICENT MANCINI: Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles is hitting .571 (8-for-14) with two home runs and seven runs scored in the first inning of play this year. During the first inning, he ranks first in runs scored (7), second in hits (8) and is tied for second in home runs (2). In addition, Mancini hit six home runs in the first 12 games of the season, tied for the most in Orioles history through the team’s first 12 games (since 1954) with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1969) and Chris Davis (2013).
IN THE BIG INNING, PHILLY CREATED RUNS: With a 10-run first inning on Tuesday night against the New York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies scored their most first-inning runs since a franchise-record 12 runs on April 8, 2017 against the Washington Nationals. It also marked just the eighth time that the Phillies scored double-digit runs in the first inning. The Phillies scored eight of those runs against starter Steven Matz, who left the game before recording an out. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time since the current mound distance was established in 1893 that the Phillies scored eight runs against a starter and forced a team to go to the bullpen without an out being recorded. Furthermore, it marked just the fourth time in NL history that any team has done so, and the first since the Los Angeles Dodgers, when they scored eight runs off Paul Wilson on May 6, 2005.
STREAK OVER: In yesterday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds popped up to first baseman Cody Bellinger during the top of the eighth inning. Across 6,289 career plate appearances, this marked the first time that Votto has popped up to the first baseman.
SAVIOR: German Márquez of the Colorado Rockies pitched his first career complete-game shutout Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants, allowing one hit with one hit batter and nine strikeouts. The outing was the first one-hit, complete game in franchise history. The only no-hitter in Rockies history was thrown by Ubaldo Jiménez on April 17, 2010 against the Atlanta Braves.
FIRST EVER LÓPEZ VS. LÓPEZ GOES SOUTH(SIDE): According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tuesday night marked the first ever meeting between two starting pitchers with the surname López. Chicago White Sox pitcher Reynaldo López outdueled Kansas City Royals pitcher Jorge López during the contest and handed the Royals a 5-1 defeat.
HIT MACHINE: Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets has collected multiple hits in a career-high six straight games dating to April 12th. McNeil’s 99 career hits are the most all-time through 80 games by a Met. Last night, he recorded his 29th career multi-hit game (ninth this season), the second-most by a Met in his first 80 career games. In his 68 career starts at varying positions, McNeil has reached base safely in 61 contests.
MILLER MASHERS: Through seven games this season, the St. Louis Cardinals have hit 15 home runs at Miller Park. The Cardinals are now just one home run shy of the Club record for single season home runs at the 19- year old ballpark, a record established during the 2003 season. The most by any opposing team for a single season at Miller Park was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who clubbed 20 home runs across nine games in 2010. The Cardinals have one more road trip to the ballpark, beginning on August 26th.
COMPLETE EFFORT: Mike Minor of the Texas Rangers registered his first career complete-game shutout on Tuesday night. He became the first Rangers pitcher to accomplish the feat since A.J. Griffin tossed a three-hit complete-game shutout on May 9, 2017 against the San Diego Padres. It was also the first complete-game shutout by a Texas southpaw since Derek Holland’s three-hitter on August 30, 2015 against the Baltimore Orioles.
JUST OUT HERE SAVIN’ RUNS: San Diego Padres infielder Fernando Tatis Jr. leads all Major League shortstops in defensive runs saved (five). Tatis and teammate Manny Machado match Mike Trout, Lorenzo Cain, Aaron Judge, Steven Duggar, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts for the most defensive runs saved in 2019. As a team, the Padres rank third in defensive runs saved (14), trailing only the Arizona Diamondbacks (17) and San Francisco Giants (30).
HOT WHEELS: Entering play today, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton currently owns a Club record, having 32 straight successful stolen bases. Buxton is now 38-for-his-last-39 stolen base attempts, which leads the Majors since 2017 (minimum 25 attempts). For his career, Buxton’s stolen base rate of 90.7% is tops amongst all active players (minimum 50 attempts).
THE OTHER MR. ANDERSON: Nick Anderson is off to an impressive start for the Miami Marlins, striking out 17 of his 37 batters faced since making his Major League debut on Opening Day. Since then, he has posted a 2.08 ERA. He retired the first six batters he faced in his career, five via strikeout. Anderson struck out multiple batters in seven consecutive outings earlier this season, the longest such streak by a reliever in Club history, surpassing the former record of six (done by three others).
BOYS IN BLUE: Cody Bellinger (9) and Joc Pederson (8) of the Los Angeles Dodgers combined for 17 home runs through the first 19 games this season. The teammates’ 17 combined homers are the most by any duo in Dodger history through 19 games, breaking a previous record of 15, achieved by Carl Furillo (8) and Duke Snider (7) during the 1955 season. The last duo in the Majors to crack at least 17 combined homers through 19 games prior to Bellinger and Pederson was Alex Rodriguez (14) and Jason Giambi (4) for the Yankees in 2007. The Major League record is 19, established in 2001, by Luis Gonzalez (11) and Reggie Sanders (8) of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
SALAMI SEASON: Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros hit a grand slam on Tuesday night. It marked the third grand slam for the team on their current road trip, as Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel both hit grand slams on Friday against the Seattle Mariners. The game Friday night was just the third time in Club history that the Astros hit two grand slams in the same game, previously accomplishing the feat on June 8, 2014 against the Minnesota Twins, and July 30, 1969 against the New York Mets. The three grand slams on the current road trip mark the most by the Astros on a single road trip in Club history.
STARLING AND THE AL: Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has reached base safely in 22 consecu- tive Interleague games, batting 32-for-82 (.390). In his career, he owns an average of .321 (133-for-414) with 14 home runs in 107 career games against AL Clubs. Last year, he hit .388 (26-for-67) in 18 games and his .343 (117-for-342) average in Interleague play since 2014 is the highest among National League players and sec- ond to Jose Altuve (.352) across the Majors.