In a season where everything has been different this past week added another layer to the season. We had a few more games get postponed due to COVID-19. That’s not anything new. But the week had several games get postponed due to the racial uproar over the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As a result, the beginning of the week saw the home run pace fall off only to have a booming weekend to finish with a robust 234 bombs for the week. But still, this week in home runs had a lot of sizzle.
Walk Off Week
If you like to see walk-off home runs then you loved this week. Out of the 10 game winning homers, eight were of the walk-off variety. It started on Tuesday with Donovan Solano of the San Francisco Giants clubbing a walk-off three-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Two days later the San Diego Padres were at it again. Wil Myers hit a walk-off three-run home run leading the Padres to a victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Friday was truly a glorious day for walk-off homers with four players hitting walk-offs. Randall Grichuk of the Toronto Blue Jays hit a two-run walk-off homer against the Baltimore Orioles. Scott Kingery hit his walk-off three-run bomb leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a victory over the Atlanta Braves. Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run walk-off homer leading the Chicago White Sox to a victory over the Kansas City Royals.
But the strangest walk-off homer occurred in a battle of the two New York teams. Amed Rosario hit a two-run walk-off home run leading the New York Mets to a win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Yes, that’s right a road player hit a walk-off home run. Due to the shortened season and the number of games getting postponed, the Mets and Yankees were forced to play five games in three days with the Mets being the home team in two of them.
On Saturday Eric Sogard of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a walk-off two-run homer to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates. The week of the walk-off ended on Sunday with the White Sox making magic once again. Luis Robert continued his great rookie season with a three-run walk-off bomb defeating the Royals.
Game Winning Home Run
Michael Perez of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a game-winning home run against the Orioles. On Sunday Gary Sanchez of the Yankees hit a game-winning grand slam to defeat the Mets who were the home team in Yankee Stadium.
Cubs, Cubs, Cubs
Next, we have something very unusual that the Chicago Cubs accomplished on Saturday. The Cubs were playing on the road against the Cincinnati Reds. Three different Cubs players all had two-homer games. Now that is not the unusual part. What made this special was that all three players were the entire starting outfield for the Cubbies. Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Ian Happ all had two-homer games marking the first time in MLB history this has happened.
Multi Homer Games
While we are talking about multi-homer games there were another 13 players who had multi-homer games during this past week. The Cubs were the highlight of the week. Besides Heyward, Schwarber, and Happ there were two other players on the Cubs with a multi-homer game. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez were the other two Cubs players joining the home run barrage.
Rounding out the National League was Brandon Belt of the Giants, Manny Machado of the Padres, Jesse Winker of the Reds, and Jedd Gyorko of the Brewers. The American League had four players who had multi-home run games. Two of those players were Rowdy Tellez of the Blue Jays and Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox.
Welcome to the Show
We had four players hit their first career home runs. Two of those players’ homers were much more memorable. Either way, your first major league home run is always special.
Highly touted Los Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell has struggled early in his first season. In his first 17 games, Adell was batting under .200. But on Saturday night Adell gave Angels fans a glimpse into what he can do as a player. Not only did Adell crack his first big league bomb but he also hit a second one in the same game. Adell has continued to struggles as in the next four games he has gone hitless.
On the flip side, Baltimore Orioles super prospect Ryan Mountcastle has been hitting since he made his debut. In his first 11 career games, Mountcastle is batting .341. But in his eighth game, Mountcastle equaled Adell’s feet. One day after Adell’s two home run game, Mountcastle had his own two-homer game for his first major league home runs. Both players have huge upsides and could be All-Stars as this decade plays out.
The other two players who hit their first major league home runs are Leody Taveres of the Texas Rangers and Bobby Dalbec of the Red Sox. This brings the number of players who have hit their first major league home run this season to 21.
Milestone Home Runs
Several players are closing in on milestone home runs and are climbing the all-time lists. There are too many to mention so we will use 300 home runs as the benchmark.
Nelson Cruz hit career home run number 414. Cruz has tied Darrell Evans for 53rd on the all-time list. Evan Longoria hit his 301st career home run tying Hall-of-Famer Rogers Hornsby for 148th most home runs of all time.
Future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols is one home run away from tying Willie Mays for the fifth-most home runs of all time. Another future Hall-of-Famer, Miguel Cabrera is climbing the list as well. Miggy is now 11 home runs away from tying both Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff with 493 career home runs which is good for the 28th most in history.
Edwin Encarnacion with 421 home runs is just five away from Billy Williams for 51st all-time and six away from Mike Piazza for 50th all time. Ryan Braun is two homers away from tying George Foster with 348 career dingers. Mike Trout is two homers away from hitting his 300th career homer.
The Four Run Homerun
This week in home runs also had three Grand Slams. Gary Sanchez’s slam was a game-winning bomb against the Mets. Jonathan Schoop hit his grand slam helping the Detroit Tigers defeat the Cubs. Willy Adames clubbed his grand slam leading the Rays to a victory over the Miami Marlins.
Weekly Home Run Leaders
Kyle Schwarber and Jesse Winker each had four home runs this past week leading all players. Eight players were tied with three homers. Those players were Anthony Rizzo, Christian Walker, Eugenio Suarez, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, and Randall Grichuk.
The Cubs led all teams with 19 homers for the week. The Reds had 13 with the Royals and Padres each had 11. The Rays, Phillies, and Brewers had 10.
2020 Home Run Leaders
Nelson Cruz and Fernando Tatis Jr. were leading the league with 13 homers when the week ended. Luke Voit, Mike Trout, Jose Abreu, and Teoscar Hernandez have 12 homers. Manny Machado, Mookie Betts, and Eloy Jimenez each have 11.
The Dodgers lead the league with 68 team homers. The Padres are next with 66. The White Sox have 64 and are followed by the Blue Jays with 54 and the Reds with 53.
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