Elias Says: Sept. 28, 2017

Indians’ magical September continues

The Indians defeated the Twins by a score of 4-2 on Wednesday, improving their record to 23-3 since September 1. Those are the most wins in a calendar month by the Indians since they produced 23 victories in June of 1963. The last major-league team to win at least 23 games in the month of September was the 1979 Montreal Expos (23 wins).

MLB sets strikeout record for tenth straight season

There were 242 strikeouts recorded on Wednesday bringing the season total to 39,168. Those are the most strikeouts in one season in major-league history, besting the previous mark of 38,982 in 2016. This is the tenth straight season in which major league baseball set the strikeout record.

Verlander finishes the season in grand fashion

Justin Verlander allowed two runs in six innings and earned the victory in the Astros’ 12-2 win over the Rangers on Wednesday. Verlander, who was acquired by the Astros from the Tigers at the end of August, finished the month of September with a 5-0 record and a 1.06 ERA. Since 1913, the first year earned runs were kept in both leagues, only four other pitchers went 5-0 or better with an ERA below two in the month of September after being acquired from another team: Art Nehf in 1919 (5-0, 1.36 ERA for the Giants), Doyle Alexander in 1987 (5-0, 0.71 ERA for the Tigers), Randy Johnson in 1998 (5-0, 1.41 ERA for the Astros) and Doug Fister in 2011 (5-0, 0.53 ERA for the Tigers).

Another 200-hit season for Altuve

Jose Altuve singled in the first inning to record his 200th hit of the season in the Astros’ win over the Rangers on Wednesday. Altuve has now produced 200 or more hits in each season since 2014, becoming just the fifth player in the last 80 years to register at least four consecutive 200-hit seasons, joining Wade Boggs (seven straight from 1983 to 1989), Kirby Puckett (four straight from 1986 to 1989), Michael Young (five straight from 2003 to 2007) and Ichiro Suzuki (10 straight from 2001 to 2010).

Martinez ties N.L. home run record for September

J.D. Martinez hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to start the winning rally for the Diamondbacks in the team’s 4-3 win over the Giants on Wednesday. Martinez’s blast was his 16th in the month of September, tying the National League record for the most longballs in a season in that month, a mark that was set by Pittsburgh’s Ralph Kiner in 1949. Martinez is now one shy of the major-league record for homers in a single September, which is shared by Babe Ruth (1927) and Albert Belle (1995).

Severino puts himself in elite company

Luis Severino allowed one run in six innings in the Yankees’ win over the Rays on Wednesday. It marked the 16th time Severino allowed one or fewer runs this season, the most such starts for any major-league pitcher. Over the last 100 years, only four other Yankees pitchers have allowed one or fewer runs in at least 16 starts in a season: Spud Chandler in 1943 (16), Whitey Ford in 1964 (18), Ron Guidry in 1978 (18) and Mike Mussina in 2001 (16).

Judge sets another mark

Aaron Judge delivered a two-run double in the fifth inning giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead in a game they would go on to win by a score of 6-1 over the Rays on Wednesday. Judge has now produced at least one extra-base hit in each of his last seven games which is the longest such streak for any rookie in Yankees history, besting the previous mark of six straight games with an extra-base hit by Dixie Walker (1933), Charlie Keller (1939) and Gary Sanchez (2016).

Canha sends Oakland fans home happy

Mark Canha hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the A’s victory over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. Canha has hit three home runs in just 11 at bats in the ninth inning or later this season after entering 2017 with no homers in 56 career at bats that late in the game. Canha’s 1.273 slugging percentage in the ninth inning or later is the highest for any major-league player this season (minimum: 10 at bats). Canha’s slugging percentage in innings one through eight is just .336 this season.

Desmond’s homer sparks Rockies’ 15-run outburst

Ian Desmond’s three-run home run was the big blow in the Rockies’ six-run second inning in the team’s 15-9 win over the Marlins on Wednesday. Desmond entered the contest with just four homers in 249 career at bats at Coors Field. His ratio of one homer for every 62.2 at bats at Coors was the fourth worst among active position players with at least 200 at bats in Colorado’s home ballpark, behind Eric Young Jr. (one HR every 146.7 AB), Tony Wolters (one HR every 103.0 AB) and DJ LeMahieu (one HR every 84.7 AB).

Bell cracks his 25th homer

Josh Bell cracked a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning, his 25th of the season, giving the Pirates a 4-3 lead in a game they would go on to win over the Orioles on Wednesday. Bell is the second Pirates rookie to hit 25 homers in a season, joining Jason Bay, who went deep 26 times for Pittsburgh in 2004.

Bell is the fifth rookie to hit 25 home runs this season, joining Cody Bellinger, Matt Davidson, Aaron Judge and Hunter Renfroe. Prior to 2017, no season had seen more than three rookies hit at least 25 homers. Three rookies went deep 25 times in 1964 (Dick Allen, Jim Ray Hart and Tony Oliva), 1986 (Jose Canseco, Pete Incaviglia and Danny Tartabull) and 2006 (Prince Fielder, Dan Uggla and Josh Willingham).

Lackey still feels at home in St. Louis

John Lackey allowed one run in six innings and earned the victory in the Cubs’ 5-1 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis on Wednesday. The performance lowered Lackey’s career ERA at Busch Stadium to 2.08. That’s the lowest ERA for any of the 40 pitchers who have pitched at least 60 innings at the Cardinals’ current home.

d’Arnaud is putting together a strong month of September

Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs leading the Mets to a 7-1 win over the Braves on Wednesday. D’Arnaud has produced 19 RBIs in just 65 plate appearances since September 1. His ratio of one RBI for every 3.4 plate appearances is the second best in the major leagues among players with at least 50 plate appearances this month, behind J.D. Martinez (one RBI every 2.8 PA). D’Arnaud averaged one RBI for every 8.1 plate appearances from opening day through August 31 this season.

Votto continues his success at Miller Park

Joey Votto’s solo home run in the first inning got the Reds off on the right foot and the team coasted to a 6-0 win in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Votto now has 33 RBIs in the first inning this season, the highest total for any player. Votto raised his career slugging percentage to .628 in 253 career at bats at Miller Park. That’s by far the highest mark for any player with 200 or more at bats in that ballpark, ahead of Albert Pujols (.592).

Red Sox produce another comeback victory

The Red Sox allowed three runs in the top of the first inning but rallied back to beat the Blue Jays by a score of 10-7 on Wednesday. It’s the 14th time this season Boston has won after trailing by three-or-more runs, the most such wins in a single season by the team since it won 16 games in that fashion in 1959. Five of the Red Sox’ wins when trailing by three or more runs have come since September 15. No other major-league team has more than two such wins since that date.

Orlando busts out of his season-long slumber

Paulo Orlando’s two-run home run in the seventh inning proved to be the decisive blow in the Royals’ win over the Tigers on Wednesday. Orlando entered the contest with just one extra-base hit, a double, in 76 at bats this season and his .171 slugging percentage was the lowest among the 492 position players with at least 50 at bats.

Padres have a dismal night in Los Angeles

The Padres were held to only three hits and committed two errors in their 10-0 loss to the Dodgers. It marked the first time in over 40 years that San Diego was shut out on three or fewer hits while committing multiple errors and allowing 10 or more runs in a game. The last time that happened was on September 17, 1977 when the Padres produced only three hits and had two errors in an 11-0 defeat at the hands of the Astros.

White Sox rookie blasts Angels in extra innings

Nicky Delmonico blasted a two-run game-winning home run in the 10th inning in the White Sox’ win over the Angels on Wednesday. Delmonico became the first White Sox’ rookie to hit a walkoff homer in extra innings in over 15 years, since Joe Crede hit a game-ending home run in the 10th inning against the Blue Jays on August 27, 2002.

Delmonico is the second White Sox rookie to hit a walkoff home run this season, joining Matt Davidson who hit one in the ninth inning against the Indians on July 30. This marks the first time in team history the White Sox had multiple rookies hit a game-ending home run in the same season.