J-Ram continues epic season with 35th homer

Third baseman sets club mark for most home runs by a switch-hitter

August 13th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Given 's torrid pace this season, records were bound to start falling. During Monday night's 10-3 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park, the Indians' powerful third baseman's latest home run rewrote a section of the franchise's history book.

With his two-run shot off Reds right-hander Homer Bailey in the third inning, Ramirez reached 35 homers on the season, setting a club mark for home runs in a single campaign by a switch-hitter. held claim to that record for parts of only two seasons, having launched 34 during his 2016 tour with the Tribe.

"How he kept the ball fair, I don't know," Bailey said. "That guy is having a great season. When you're having that kind of a season, that's the stuff you do."

Manager Terry Francona gave Ramirez -- the MLB leader in WAR (7.9 per Fangraphs) -- a day off on Sunday, but the All-Star third baseman did not miss a beat. His home run on Monday was his second in as many games, following a solo shot on Saturday against the White Sox.

The blast off Bailey came on an inside offering, which Ramirez pulled down the right-field line with an exit velocity of 89.7 mph, per Statcast™. Combined with the 37-degree launch angle, the ball in play only had a 3-percent hit probability.

Reds right fielder drifted back into the corner, where he jumped at the wall, losing his glove upon impact as the ball dropped just over the fence.

"It just got enough," Francona said. "In fact, I thought the kid caught the ball."

Through 116 games this season, Ramirez is now batting .301/.412/.631 with 27 steals, 30 doubles, 81 runs scored and 87 RBIs to go along with the 35 home runs. He has 79 walks, including 13 intentional, compared to 56 strikeouts. Against the Reds, he finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs and one intentional free pass.

In the ninth inning, though, Ramirez -- who has a swinging-strike rate of only 4.7 percent this season -- went down swinging at a 67-mph pitch against Reds outfielder in his first career pitching appearance.

"I think they might have finally found his weakness," Francona quipped.