Monster Ohtani, Stanton homers highlight week's top stats

May 10th, 2024

Here’s our weekly look at 10 mind-blowing notes from the last week in baseball (May 3-9).

Keeping up with Jared Jones: After his latest start Saturday, now has 122 swings and misses this season. That’s the most by a pitcher in his first seven career starts in the pitch-tracking era (2008), surpassing Masahiro Tanaka’s 113, per MLB’s Jason Bernard. Jones has 52 strikeouts and just five walks. He’s the 17th pitcher since at least 1901 with at least 50 strikeouts in his first seven career outings. He’s the first of those with at least 50 strikeouts and five or fewer walks.

Third inning’s the charm: had quite a third inning on Saturday, hitting home runs at 110.5 mph and 110.6 mph. He became the first player with two 110+ mph homers in an inning under Statcast (2015, including playoffs). The only others with even two 110+ mph batted balls in an inning: 2023 NLDS Game 1 top first Ketel Marte (2B, groundout) and 8/20/19 bottom eighth Nelson Cruz (two 2B). Rooker became the second player in A’s franchise history with two home runs in an inning, joining 9/22/96 fifth inning Mark McGwire.

Arraez on the move: Last season, became the second player to win a batting title in consecutive seasons with different teams, joining Benny Kauff in 1914-15 in the Federal League for the Indianapolis Hoosiers and Brooklyn Tip-Tops, per Elias. Nobody has won a batting title in three straight seasons for three different teams … yet. Arraez got off to a good start with San Diego on Saturday, becoming the first player with a four-hit game in his Padres debut.

10th pitch, no problem: José Ramírez’s home run on Sunday was the fifth of his career in a plate appearance of at least 10 pitches. Only one other Cleveland player has even two such homers since pitch counts have been tracked (1988): Casey Blake. Only three MLB players have more such homers in that span: Todd Helton (eight), Paul Konerko (seven) and Paul Goldschmidt (six).

The Sho goes on: With his 441-ft homer on Monday, has three 440+ ft home runs so far this season. Only three Dodgers have had more in a season under Statcast (2015): 2015 Joc Pederson (seven), 2017 Yasiel Puig (six) and 2016 Yasmani Grandal (four). It's early May. Dodger Stadium has had 49 440+ ft homers under Statcast (2015), third-fewest of any current MLB park in that span (Petco 48, Oracle 40). Ohtani already has two this season. The most 440+ ft HR by any player at Dodger Stadium is four, by Pederson, and most in a season is three, by him in ’15, ’16 Grandal and ’17 Puig. Again, it’s early May.

Spectacular Shota: Through his latest start Tuesday, now has a 1.08 ERA and just five walks. No other pitcher has had an ERA that low and that few walks in his first seven career starts since earned runs became official in both leagues (1913) excluding openers. The only other Cubs since earned runs became official in the NL (1912) with a sub-1.15 ERA and five walks or fewer in any single-season seven-start span? 2015 Jake Arrieta, 1952 Warren Hacker and 1920 Grover Alexander.

Mile-high: had no problems in his first career start at the notorious hitter’s haven that is Coors Field, going seven scoreless innings on Tuesday. He became the sixth Giants pitcher with a scoreless start of at least seven innings at Coors Field. He joined 4/9/12 Barry Zito (SHO), 6/11/08 Tim Lincecum, 4/17/07 Matt Cain, 7/17/04 Jason Schmidt (8 IP) and 8/28/02 Russ Ortiz (8 IP).

Speedy: Through Wednesday, each of the Dodgers’ last five games have been under 2:25. This is the first time the Dodgers have played five straight games of 2:25 or shorter since they had two separate five-game streaks in 1980 (July 29-Aug 3, June 6-11). The last time they had a longer streak was six straight from July 25-29, 1977. At 1:55, Wednesday was the Dodgers’ shortest 9-inning game since May 4, 2003, which was also 1:55. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hit leadoff for L.A. in that game.

Classic Stanton: With a 118.8 mph homer on Tuesday and one at 119.9 mph on Wednesday, is the second player with multiple 118+ mph home runs in a calendar month. The other player also did it on back-to-back days: Aaron Judge on June 10-11, 2017. Stanton has six 119+ mph homers tracked by Statcast. The rest of MLB has six total in that span, including the postseason.

And still unswept: Teams enter each series trying to win the series, but even just avoiding being swept is worth noting. To that end, the Orioles have now gone 103 straight series without being swept, entering the weekend. That’s the third-most consecutive series of multiple games without being swept, per Elias. They trail only the 1942-44 Cardinals (125) and 1903-05 Giants (106).