Ain't life grand for Steve Pearce? He's had a historic week, after all -- two walk-off grand slams in a span of four days.On Sunday, with the Blue Jays trailing the Angels by three after carving into a six-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth at Rogers Centre, Pearce
Ain't life grand for Steve Pearce? He's had a historic week, after all -- two walk-off grand slams in a span of four days.
On Sunday, with the Blue Jays trailing the Angels by three after carving into a six-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth at Rogers Centre, Pearce connected for a walk-off grand slam to give Toronto a dramatic 11-10 victory. It must have felt like deja vu for Blue Jays fans, because Pearce had just delivered a game-ending slam in the 10th inning on Thursday against the A's.
But just how rare was Pearce's feat? MLB.com takes a look.
Has this happened before?
Pearce is the third player in Major League history to hit two walk-off grand slams in a single season. It hadn't been done since 1986, when Jim Presley hit two for the Mariners. The first was the Phillies' Cy Williams, all the way back in 1926.
Who did it the quickest?
With a span of four days, Pearce's two walk-off grand slams are easily the closest together. Presley's in 1986 came a few months apart, on April 8 and July 17. In 1926, Williams' first walk-off slam came on April 15, and his second on Sept. 8.
Is there a connection among these players?
As a matter of fact, there is. Presley was Pearce's hitting coach with the Orioles for three seasons. And one more thing -- Presley's second slam came off Red Sox reliever Bob Stanley, who's now in the Blue Jays' organization as the Triple-A pitching coach.
What's the Blue Jays' history of hitting walk-off grand slams?
No Blue Jays players before Pearce had ever hit multiple walk-off grand slams -- and that's not just for a single season, that's for their entire career with Toronto. The only other Blue Jays players to hit one walk-off slam are Gregg Zaun on Sept. 6, 2008, against the Rays, and George Bell on Sept. 4, 1988, against the Rangers.
Forget about one season -- how many have hit two walk-off slams ever?
With his second slam on Sunday, Pearce became the 21st player in Major League history to notch two or more walk-off grand slams in a career. The most by any player is three, done by Alex Rodriguez, Vern Stephens and the aforementioned Williams, who had already hit one in 1924 before he added his two in 1926.
Who else has two?
That would be (in alphabetical order): Bob Aspromonte, Albert Belle, Bobby Bonds, Joe Crede, David Eckstein, Steve Finley, Nomar Garciaparra, Ruppert Jones, Ralph Kiner, Carlos Lee, Davey Lopes, Justin Maxwell, Mark McGwire, Giancarlo Stanton, Zaun and Ryan Zimmerman. That makes Pearce, Stanton and Zimmerman the only three active big leaguers with multiple walk-off grand slams.
Grand slams are grand, but when was the last time someone hit two walk-off homers of any kind in a four-day span?
The last player with two walk-off blasts in as short a timespan was the great Jose Pujols -- who was in the opposing dugout on Sunday. Back in his Cardinals days, "The Machine" hit walk-off homers on consecutive days, June 4-5, 2011. Between then and now, three players (Matt Kemp, Paul Goldschmidt and James Dozier) have hit two walk-off home runs in a five-day period, but none in four or fewer days.
• He did it again: Pearce clutch with bases loaded
Had anyone on the Blue Jays ever done it?
Only six Blue Jays before Pearce even had two or more walk-off homers of any kind in a single season. Those players: Kendrys Morales (this season), Josh Donaldson (three in 2015, his MVP season), Eric Hinske (2002), Jose Cruz Jr. (2001), franchise legend Joe Carter (1996) and Jesse Barfield (1987). Of all those other six, only Hinske hit two within a month-long span. His came on June 29 and July 14, 2002.
What about the guy who gave it up?
Just like Pearce, Angels closer Bud Norris has now been involved in two walk-off grand slams in the past week alone. Unfortunately, he's been on the receiving end for a pair of them. Before allowing Pearce's on Sunday, Norris also gave up a walk-off grand slam to the Indians' Edwin Encarnacion on Tuesday in Cleveland.
Had any pitchers ever done that before?
Only four other pitchers have ever allowed multiple walk-off grand slams in a single season, and one of them was also an Angel. The four: Francisco Rodriguez for the Mets in 2009, Lee Smith for the then-California Angels in 1995, Lindy McDaniel for the Cubs in 1963 and Satchel Paige for the St. Louis Browns in 1952. Smith, in fact, was the one with the previous shortest amount of time between the two slams -- he allowed the first on June 30, the second on July 18.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.