Yelich's 8 hits in twin bill is 1 shy of MLB mark
PHILADELPHIA -- Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich nearly had a doubleheader for the ages. The 23-year-old finished Saturday one hit shy of matching a Major League record for most hits in the same day -- nine, shared by nine players, the last being Lee Thomas of the Los Angeles Angels in 1961.
Instead, after Miami beat the Phillies, 5-2, in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park, Yelich ended up settling for matching a franchise mark with hits in eight successive plate appearances.
Preston Wilson initially did it in May 2001.
"I would have liked to know how big that ball looked coming across the plate to him," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "We've said it many times, I think one day he has a chance to be a batting champ himself. He's a pure hitter. When he gets locked in like he is right now, he's a lot of fun because he can spray the ball line to line, and have productive at-bats."
Yelich ran his streak to eight consecutive plate appearances with a hit after collecting an infield single in the fifth inning of Game 2. Yelich grounded out in his fourth at-bat, ending his streak. He walked in his final at-bat to finish the day with eight hits.
In MLB history, eight of the nine players with nine hits in a day did it in doubleheaders -- George Case (Washington) 1940, Ray Morehart (Chicago White Sox) 1926, Pete Runnels (Boston) 1960, Thomas (Los Angeles Angels) 1961, Joe Kelley (Baltimore) 1894, Wilbert Robinson (Baltimore) 1892, Freddie Lindstrom (New York Giants) 1928 and Bill Terry (New York Giants) 1929.
In 1932, Johnny Burnett (Cleveland) had nine hits in an 18-inning game.
After reaching on an infield single in the fifth inning, Yelich couldn't help but laugh. Neither could Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf and Miami first-base coach Perry Hill, nicknamed "Bone."
"It was comical at that point," Yelich said. "Everybody was laughing. The first baseman was laughing. I was laughing. Bone was laughing. It was pretty cool. It's something that will probably never happen again. Or I'll never do it again. It will happen again."
Yelich opened the month going 0-for-3 with a walk at Tampa Bay on Thursday. The 23-year-old certainly heated up during the blustery and damp doubleheader.
In a 7-6 win in Game 1, he set a personal game high with his five hits, including one double. In the ninth inning, he singled off closer Ken Giles and scored the tying run on Martin Prado's triple.
"They just found holes today," Yelich said. "There's a lot of luck involved in that."