Skenes' b-day bash, Giants' comebacks among stats of the week

May 31st, 2024

Here’s our weekly look at 10 mind-blowing notes from the past week in baseball (May 24-30).

Wheeeee: In a streak through Sunday, the Giants played six straight games featuring late comebacks, losing the first and last, with four wins in the middle. They became the second team in MLB history to play six consecutive games in which the winning team trailed in the 8th inning or later, joining the Reds, who did it from July 30-Aug. 4, 1957 (3 games vs. Phillies, then 3 games vs. Giants), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That’s right, this has happened twice in more than 145 years of baseball and both instances involved the Giants.

JULIOOOO: On Sunday and Monday, Julio Rodríguez had consecutive games with multiple hits and multiple stolen bases. Two straight such games tied a Mariners record. Ichiro Suzuki did it on Sept. 8-9, 2011, May 18-19, 2007, Sept. 25-26, 2001 and May 17-18, 2001. Harold Reynolds did it on June 1-3, 1986 and Julio Cruz did it on April 11-12, 1981.

Birthdays are important: Paul Skenes had nine strikeouts on Wednesday, his 22nd birthday. That marked the most strikeouts by a Pirates pitcher on his birthday (since at least 1901). It was also the most by a pitcher on his birthday at age 22 or younger (since at least 1901). Skenes is one of six pitchers with 30-plus strikeouts and five or fewer walks in his first four career outings since at least 1901, along with teammate Jared Jones (2024), Masahiro Tanaka (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2010), Félix Hernández (2005) and Gary Nolan (1967).

No. 50: Gunnar Henderson hit the 50th home run of his career on Wednesday, and he’s still just 22 years old. Henderson is the fourth player in Orioles/Browns franchise history to reach the 50-homer mark before turning 23, joining Manny Machado, Hall of Famer Eddie Murray and Boog Powell. It was Henderson's 18th of the season, tying Bryce Harper (2015) for the fourth-most homers in a team’s first 54 games of a season at age 22 or younger. Henderson trails only Alex Rodriguez (20 in 1998), Harmon Killebrew (19 in 1959) and Eddie Mathews (19 in 1953).

King of the Gil: Luis Gil wrapped up a stellar May on Wednesday, posting his sixth straight start of at least six innings with one or no runs allowed. That’s tied for the most consecutive such outings in Yankees history with Steve Kline (1972). Gil allowed three runs in May, tied with Lefty Gomez in September 1937 for the second-fewest runs allowed in a calendar month with at least 35 innings in franchise history, behind only Hank Thormahlen’s one-run month in May 1918.

What a May: Aaron Judge had 24 extra-base hits this month entering Friday, the most by a Yankee in a calendar month since Joe DiMaggio had a franchise-record 31 extra-base hits in July 1937. Judge also has 31 barrels -- batted balls with the ideal combination of launch angle and exit velocity. That’s seven more barrels than anyone else has had in a calendar month under Statcast (since 2015).

What a May, Pt. 2: With one game left in the month, José Ramírez has 11 homers and 32 RBIs. The home runs are tied for his most in a calendar month in his career, along with May 2018. The last Cleveland player with more homers in one month was Travis Hafner, with 13 in August 2006. Ramírez’s 32 RBIs are the most for a Cleveland player in a calendar month since Jim Thome had 39 in July 2001.

13 in a row: Jeremiah Estrada enters the weekend on quite the streak, having struck out each of the last 13 batters he’s faced. That’s the longest streak in at least the expansion era (since 1961), per Elias. The prior longest streak was 11 straight, by Jose Alvarado in 2023.

Just keep hitting: J.T. Realmuto brings a 17-game hit streak into the weekend. That’s the longest by a Phillies primary-position catcher since 1900, per Elias. That mark had previously been held at 16 by Stan Lopata (1956) and Jimmie Wilson (1934).

Current Ironman: Matt Olson has played 512 consecutive games entering the weekend, dating back to May 2, 2021. There have been only six other streaks of at least 500 games since 2000, per Elias. They belong to Miguel Tejada (1,152 consecutive games from 2000-07), Whit Merrifield (553 games from 2018-22), Prince Fielder (547 from 2010-14), Alex Rodriguez (546 from 2000-03), Hideki Matsui (518 from 2003-06) and Mark Teixeira (507 from 2004-07).