This past week Major League Baseball had the most home runs hit in this shortened season. We saw two different streaks of four homers. There were multiple grand slams and game-winning homers with one being an inside the park homer. Two more players hit their first career home runs and one player is slowly carving out a place in baseball history.
With the league settling in and hopefully the COVID-19 slowly becomes a thing of the past we can finally enjoy the season-long stretch run as the league is heading towards the trade deadline. The homers are starting to come in bunches with some new names and faces stepping onto the scene.
Streaks were the theme of the week with three very different long ball streaks. Dominic Smith of the New York Mets and Anthony Rendon of the Los Angeles Angels both homered in four consecutive games. It’s no surprise that Rendon got on a run like this. He did finish third in the NL MVP voting last season when he hit 34 homers. As for Smith, he didn’t start off this season as an everyday player. When Yoenis Cespedes decided to opt-out, Smith stepped in and has not looked back.
The Chicago White Sox accomplished a feat this past Sunday when they hit four straight dingers off St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitcher Roel Ramirez. Ramirez who was making his major league debut faced Yoan Moncada with two runners on. Moncada hit a three-run home run to get things started. Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu, and Eloy Jimenez all followed with solo homers.
Matt Olson had a streak of his own. The Oakland Athletics first baseman hit three home runs in the week. But more amazing was that it capped a streak where the last seven hits that Olson had were long balls. The streak ran across two weeks and ended at seven homers.
Three Homer Game
Mookie Betts is certainly living up to the big contract extension the Los Angeles Dodgers gave him. During an 11-2 drubbing of the San Diego Padres, Betts slugged three home runs for the sixth time in his career. Betts tied both Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize for the most career three-homer games. Betts has accomplished this in far fewer games than either player.
Multi Homer Games
The previous two weeks saw 12 players have two-homer games. This week the total was upped to 16 with some repeat offenders. Mike Trout of the Angels and Hunter Renfroe of the Tampa Bay Rays both had their second two-homer games of the season. Teoscar Hernandez of the Toronto Blue Jays had his third two-homer game of the year.
Seven other National League players had multi-homer games. They are Asdrubal Cabrera and Juan Soto of Washington Nationals, Manny Pina of the Milwaukee Brewers, Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, Tomas Nido of the Mets, Jesse Winker of the Cincinnati Reds and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers.
In the American League, there were six more players rounding out the 16. Those players are Matt Chapman of the Athletics, Eddie Rosario, and Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins, Travis Shaw of the Toronto Blue Jays, Anthony Santander of the Baltimore Orioles, and Franmil Reyes of the Cleveland Indians.
Get Out the Mustard and the Rye Bread
The Grand Slam is the most exciting offensive play in all of baseball. After all, it scores four runs and can turn a close game into a rout or erase a large lead. Seven total grand slams were hit in the week. That’s a whole lot of mustard.
Didi Gregorius, Manny Machado, and Mets backup catcher Tomas Nido had the three National League salamis for the week. In the American League Eddie Rosario, Kyle Seager, and J.D. Martinez had their slams.
The Athletics seem to hit grand slams every day. Stephen Piscotty hit his second slam of the season. The previous week Piscotty’s slam was a game-winner. This time Piscotty only tied the game.
Game Winning Homeruns
The game-winning home run is the best way to send the crowd home happy. Well, this year there are no crowds to send home happy but the games go on. However, sometimes the game winners are hit by the visiting teams. The true definition of a game-winning home run is when the homer is hit in your team’s last time at-bat. This past week there were nine game-winning home runs with only one being a walk-off home run.
On Monday Mike Trout hit his big home run in the eighth inning giving the Angels the victory over the Athletics. The next day Jedd Gyorko had his game-winning home run in the eighth inning leading the Brewers to a win over the Twins. Austin Hays of the Orioles hit a two run inside the park homer in the top of the 10th inning to defeat the Phillies.
On Saturday we had two game-winning homers. Mark Canha hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lead the A’s over the San Francisco Giants. Adam Duvall’s home run led the Atlanta Braves to a victory over the Miami Marlins.
The week closed with four big blasts. In a game that started on Saturday, Brandon Lowe hit a ninth-inning homer leading the Rays to a victory over the Blue Jays. Eduardo Escobar hit an eight-inning home run leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a victory over the Padres. Willy Adames hit a ninth-inning home run for the Rays who defeated the Blue Jays for the second straight game with a home run in the ninth inning. Kyle Tucker hit the only walk-off home run of the week leading the Houston Astros to a victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Welcome to the Show
We also had two more players hit their first career home runs. Monte Harrison of the Marlins hit his first career dinger against the Braves. Keibert Ruiz hit his home run in his first career major league at-bat against the Angels.
Weekly Home Run Leaders
Two former teammates shared the weekly home run high for the week. Anthony Rendon and former Nationals teammate Juan Soto each slugged five homers. Soto just returned to the team after missing the beginning of the season due to testing positive for COVID-19. Seven other players hit four home runs and some of the names are surprises.
Anthony Santander of the Orioles, Brandon Lowe of the Rays, and Jesse Winker of the Reds all joined Dominic Smith with four round-trippers. The other three are names we all expect to see on this list. Mike Trout of the Angels, J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies, and Mookie Betts of the Dodgers rounded out the seven.
The Toronto Blue Jays slugged 17 team home runs to lead all of baseball for the week. Four other teams hit 14 homers. Those teams were the Angels, Athletics, Dodgers, and Rays.
For the season we have a three-way tie for the top spot. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, San Diego Padre Fernando Tatis Jr., and Trout all lead the majors with nine home runs. Next, there is a four-way tie with eight homers. Nicholas Castellanos of the Reds is joined by Betts, Olson, and Realmuto all tied for second place.
The Dodgers have hit a major league-high 43 homers on the season. The Angels have hit 38, the Padres 37, The Yankees 36, and the Twins and A’s are tied with 35.
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