The MLB is back in action for the 2018 season, and it’s been a wild start. The Red Sox are on top of the standings after winning their first game since 2013, while the Yankees have lost three in a row.
Even the All-Star break’s four days without games couldn’t stop a crazy July that was packed with home runs, some of them grand slams, some of them by relievers, as well as an absurd amount of hit batters, wild pitches, and strikeouts. So, with the help of the Elias Sports Bureau’s statistics, here are The Quirkjians for July.
1st of July Kyle Schwarber, a National at the time, hit a double. He had 18 home runs and no other extra-base hits in his previous 35 games. Roger Maris, who hit 61 home runs in 1961, was the only other player in big league history to hit as many home runs in a 35-game span with no other extra base hits.
The Reds defeated the Padres 5-4, becoming the first club to win a nine-inning game while leaving 18 runners on base since the Tigers on April 11, 2010.
This season, Cardinals pitchers have walked 20 hitters with the bases loaded, five batters who were hit with the bases loaded, and five batters who were hit with the bases loaded. The last club to score 30 runs in those three ways in a season was the Baltimore Orioles in 2008. By July, the Cardinals had amassed a total of 30.
Enrique Hernandez drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning of the Red Sox’s 2-1 victory against the A’s on July 2, then threw out the possible tying run at the plate in the bottom of the 10th. The last time this occurred was in a 4-3 win against the Braves in 2008, when Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino did it.
3rd of July Despite Mets batters striking out 15 times, the Mets defeated the Yankees 8-3. It was the 34th occasion this season that a club won a game while striking out at least 15 batters. It occurred 22 times between 1900 and 1960. In 2019, the record is 67 times. That was the only season with a score of 50 or higher.
In a win against the Pirates, Brewers pitcher Eric Lauer struck out four hitters in 61/3 innings, and he struck out four times. On July 2, 2019, the Giants’ Tyler Beede struck out at least four hitters in a game while failing to strike out more batters than he struck out at the plate.
4th of July Pete Alonso of the Mets hit two home runs in the doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, giving him 15 for the season, 14 of which have come on the road. Jesus Aguilar of the Marlins also hit a home run at Atlanta’s Truist Park. He now has 13 home runs, all of which have come on the road (he has since homered in Miami). Goose Goslin set the record for most home runs hit in a season while on the road with 17 in 1926.
5th of July In their game against the Twins, the White Sox’s four pitchers — Dylan Cease, Jace Fry, Ryan Burr, and Garrett Crochet — all tossed a wild pitch. It was just the fourth occasion in baseball history that all four pitchers threw a wild pitch in the same game, and the first since the Angels’ Jason Bulger, Rich Thompson, Rafael Rodriguez, and Matt Palmer did it on June 22, 2009.
Eric Sogard, a Cubs infielder, pitched for the sixth time this season. When Twins catcher Chris Gimenez threw six times before the All-Star break in 2017, he joked, “Who needs Ohtani when they have me?”
6th of July Now that Giants pitcher Sammy Long and Tigers shortstop Zack Short have both made it to the big leagues, the potential of the first Long-Short at-bat in major league history exists (albeit not this year). Pitcher Chris Short and first baseman Dale Long had a five-year career overlap, although they were in separate leagues for 312 years. They never looked each other in the eyes.
Magneuris Sierra of the Marlins has 114 plate appearances this season and has yet to get an RBI. Caleb Joseph of Baltimore was the previous player to go that many plate appearances without an RBI in a season, with zero RBIs in 141 plate appearances in 2016. Sierra finally got his first RBI on July 25th, in his 141st bat appearance.
7th of July Dodgers pitcher Jake Reed, 28, began against the Marlins the day after making his big league debut. He is the only pitcher to start a game the day after making his big league debut since Sam Dailey of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1929. On July 4, Dailey got the last three outs in a doubleheader before starting the next day and pitching five innings. Reed just lasted one inning in his start and was intentionally pulled out.
On July 8, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto joined Padres catcher Victor Caratini on the list of stolen bases. Francisco Arcia and Chance Sisco stole two bases in 2018, the most recent season in which two catchers did it.
Off then-Nationals ace Max Scherzer, Padres reliever Daniel Camarena blasted a grand slam. Camarena joined two other Pirates, Enrique Romo in 1980 and Don Robinson in 1985, as the third reliever to hit a grand slam in the last 70 years. It was the first time Scherzer has ever given up a home run to a pitcher, not just a grand slam. It was Camarena’s first hit in his professional career. He is the only pitcher to smash a grand slam in his first at-bat since 1900. Brandon Crawford of the Giants was the latest position player to accomplish this feat in 2011.
Austin Adams, a reliever for the Padres, hit another batter on July 9. In all, 14 runs were scored in 31 innings. Otto Hess of the 1907 Indians was the first pitcher in baseball history to hit 14 batters in a season of less than 100 innings. Adams hit C.J. Cron of the Rockies for the third game in a row (for a total of four times).
10th of July The Diamondbacks were defeated 22-1 by the Dodgers. They hit two grand slams this season, giving them a total of nine. The A’s of 2000 and the Indians of 2006 hold the record with 14. Since 2018, the Diamondbacks (six), Royals (eight), and Pirates (eight) have not had nine grand slams. Arizona reliever Matt Peacock lost the game after pitching three scoreless innings. He is the only reliever since George Zuverink on Aug. 14, 1955, to throw at least three scoreless innings in a game in which his club allowed 22 runs.
11th of July Pablo Lopez of the Marlins struck out the first nine hitters of the game, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish so since 1900. Lopez, Jacob deGrom, and Aaron Nola were three of the eight pitchers in history to strike out nine batters in a row at any point during a game (who had 10). Lopez is the only one of the eight pitchers to strike out nine batters in a row while striking out no one else.
Jon Gray and Ryan Weathers were the starting pitchers in the Rockies-Padres game in San Diego. For Colorado, Gray was victorious.
Despite walking 14 hitters, the Astros defeated the Yankees 8-7. The Astros became the first team to walk 14 hitters in a nine-inning game since the White Sox walked 15 batters in a win against the Red Sox in 1972.
For the second game in a row, Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach struck out four times, becoming the first player to do it since Dexter Fowler on Sept. 23-24, 2019.
Is it possible that games are too long? How can baseball make the most of its new crop of superstars? We go into the issues that will have a long-term impact on the game. Baseball’s Current Situation «
On July 16, Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth became just the third player in club history to bat for the cycle. There are just three for the Blue Jays, two for the Rays, and none for the Marlins. Wil Myers hit a grand slam in the Padres’ 24-8 win against the Nationals (the only 24-8 game ever played). The Giants had a cycle and a grand slam in the same game 11 years ago, when Bengie Molina hit both. So Molina had more cycles than Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds combined, as well as as many grand slams as Derek Jeter and Pete Rose in a single game.
In the White Sox-Astros game, the cleanup hitters (Brian Goodwin and Yordan Alvarez) both went hitless and struck out four times. The last time two starting cleanup hitters accomplished it in the same game was on April 12, 2014, when Chris Johnson of the Braves and Adam LaRoche of the Nationals did it.
17th of July Robbie Grossman’s leadoff home run gave the Tigers a 1-0 victory against the Twins. It was the first time in the Tigers’ illustrious history that they won a game 1-0 thanks to a home run in the first inning. The last time it occurred to a club was in 2014, when Nick Markakis accomplished it in a 1-0 victory against the Mariners for the Orioles.
18th of July Austin Meadows had a 1-0-0-2 hitting line for the Rays. He was in possession of two sacrificial flies. He became the first player to have two sacrifice flies in a game he didn’t start since Bobby Kielty in 2007.
Willy Adames, the shortstop, blasted his 16th home run. When he hits a home run for the Rays or Brewers this season, they are 16-0. Brandon Phillips of the Reds was the latest player to lead his club to an undefeated season when he homered in at least 16 games throughout the course of a complete season in 2012. (17-0).
On July 19, then-Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios allowed Gavin Sheets of the White Sox to smash a walk-off home run. Although it was just a seven-inning game, it was the first time a starting pitcher has allowed a walk-off home run since Josh Harrison of the Pirates blasted one off of Rich Hill of the Dodgers in the 10th inning on Aug. 23, 2017, ending Hill’s no-hitter.
Tyler Naquin got five hits for the Reds in a 15-11 defeat to the Mets, but he did not drive in a run. Lonnie Chisenhall of the Indians was the latest player to collect five hits in a game but not score a run when his team scored at least 11 runs on May 14, 2014. In a 15-4 victory against the Blue Jays, he posted a 6-0-5-1 line.
With the bases loaded on July 20, Cardinals pitchers issued two additional walks, bringing their season total to 22. The last club to have more in a season was the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009, who had 23. With 28 during the expansion period, which began in 1969, the 1999 Mariners were the club with the most.
In a 3-2 win against the Cubs on July 21, Cardinals pitchers hit five hitters, but Anthony Rizzo, who has been hit more times in his career than Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Tony Gwynn combined, received no HBP. Since the Astros hit seven batters in a 4-3 victory against the Rangers on June 9, 2018, the Cardinals became the first club to win a game despite hitting five hitters. The Cardinals became the first club since the Yankees hit three Rangers in the ninth inning on June 27, 2016, all by reliever Kirby Yates. The unifying denominator among the three games listed above is that all three featured catcher Robinson Chirinos.
Brooks Kriske of the New York Yankees threw four wild pitches in the 10th inning on July 22, matching a big league record (done five times) for most wild pitches in a single inning. Dick Hall, an outstanding reliever who pitched for many teams, including the Orioles, had just one wild pitch in 1,259 innings. Dan Quisenberry, the Royals’ outstanding closer, threw four wild pitches in 1,04313 innings.
23rd of July Zac Gallen (Diamondbacks), Zach Davies (Cubs), Zack Wheeler (Phillies), Zach Pop (Marlins), Zach Plesac (Indians), and Zach Thompson (Phillies) were among the six pitchers called Zack (or Zach or Zac) (Marlins). Gallen, Davies, Wheeler, and Thompson were all record-setting pitchers. Gallen and Davies were first pitted against one another. Pop and Thompson were teammates on the mound.
The MLB season of 2021 will be broadcast on ESPN and the ESPN App.
All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
Sunday, August 1st, 7 p.m. on ESPN, Red Sox vs. Rays
Monday, August 2nd, 7 p.m. on ESPN, Phillies-Nationals
24th of July The Blue Jays’ No. 99 Hyun Jin Ryu faced the Mets’ No. 99 Taijuan Walker in what has to be the greatest combined statistics among starting pitchers in major league history.
The Rockies were shut out for the 12th time in the majors, all on the road. Cincinnati was shut out ten times in 1880, all on the road. The Twins were shut out 12 times in 2011, all of them on the road. There has never been a club in the major leagues that has been shut out 13 times in a season, all on the road.
Ryan Weathers, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres, hit a home run. David Weathers, his father, a former pitcher, hit two big league home runs. Jim Bagby Sr. and Jr., Thornton and Don Lee, Clyde and Jared Wright, and Mel Stottlemyre Sr. and his son Todd are the only other father-son pitching duos to hit a home run.
Freddie Freeman of the Braves had a 138-pitch run without a swing and miss. Tyler O’Neill of the Cardinals had the most swings and misses within that time period (July 11-24). Nick Madrigal saw 176 pitches without a swing and miss earlier this year.
25th of July Three pitchers named Gray began on the same day: Jon Gray of the Rockies, Josiah Gray of the Dodgers (same game), and Sonny Gray of the Reds. Three pitchers with the same last name began on the same day for the second time this season: the Andersons (Brett, Tyler, and Ian) did it in May. It occurred three times in 2019 with the same three pitchers, Pablo Lopez of the Marlins, Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox, and Jorge Lopez of the Royals.
26th of July Shohei Ohtani, a pitcher, struck out his 100th batter of the season. As a hitter, he blasted 35 home runs on his way there. Wes Ferrell set the previous mark for most home runs by a pitcher in a 100-strikeout season with nine in 1931. Ferrell is one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He hit walk-off home runs in consecutive games with the Red Sox in 1935, one as a pinch hitter and the next as a starter.
Joe Jimenez of the Tigers became the first pitcher in the modern period (since 1900) to pitch fewer than two innings in a game, allow a hit, walk a hitter, strike out a batter, throw three wild pitches, and not allow a run.
27th of July Mitch Garver and Eric Haase both hit grand homers in the Tigers-Twins game, marking the first time in major league history that opposing catchers hit grand slams in the same game. Garver’s home run was hit in the first inning. Haase’s came in eighth place. Each was a grand slam for the first time in their careers.
The Astros’ Abraham Toro blasted a home run against the Mariners on Monday night. On Tuesday, he was dealt to the Mariners. On Tuesday night, he blasted a home run against the Astros. On back-to-back days, he became the first player in major league history to hit a home run for and against the same club.
28th of July In a 17-14 defeat to the Tigers, the Twins produced two six-run innings but never led. In a 17-13 defeat to the Yankees on June 29, 2019, the Red Sox experienced the same scenario. The Tigers were the first team to win despite being outscored 7-0 in a game. Ryan Jeffers of the Twins hit a grand slam one day after Mitch Garver of the Twins hit a grand slam, marking the first occasion in big league history that two catchers hit grand slams in the same game. And the Twins lost both games, becoming the only club since the 2003 Brewers to lose consecutive games despite hitting a grand slam in both.
On July 29, Gerrit Cole became the only pitcher in Yankees history to allow seven earned runs in fewer than six innings while striking out at least ten batters.
30th of July Jon Gray and Ryan Weathers started the Rockies-Padres game in San Diego, much as they did on July 11. For Colorado, Gray was victorious.