Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
STANTON THE SLUGGER
When the pitcher immediately puts his head down, it’s not good news… pic.twitter.com/tGwoJuuaaf
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) August 9, 2017
Giancarlo Stanton is well on his way to the first 40-home run season of his illustrious career, but first he needed to stop and set a personal best along the way.
The Miami Marlins right-fielder slugged his 38th home run of the season in last night’s 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals, topping his previous season high of 37, which he accomplished in both 2012 and 2014.
Stanton’s latest laser, which was his fifth home run in the past five days, traveled 438 feet and had an exit velocity of 113.8 mph, according to Statcast. Stanton’s 12 home runs since the All-Star break leads all MLB hitters.
K’s FOR SALE
With 13 strikeouts in eight masterful innings during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Tampa Bay, Boston Red Sox lefthander Chris Sale has 15 starts with double-digit strikeouts this season—the most such outings since Randy Johnson had 15 in 2002.
For the season, Sale, who allowed only two hits against the Rays, has 229 strikeouts in 161.1 innings. He recently became just the fourth pitcher in MLB history with 200 or more strikeouts in 20 or fewer starts when he eclipsed the mark back on July 26.
Nolan Ryan (1973) and Randy Johnson (1999, 2000 and 2001) hold the MLB record for most double-digit strikeout games in a single season with 23, while Pedro Martinez holds the Red Sox record with 19 such games in 1999.
GOING, GOING, GOMES
A stellar nine-inning, 11-strikeout start from Corey Kluber paved the way a three-run, walk-off home run from Yan Gomes, giving the Cleveland Indians a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies at Progressive Field.
Gomes’ game-winning homer, which came just one batter after Austin Jackson tied the game with an RBI single into right field, came off a 95 mph fastball from Rockies closer Greg Holland, who has blown saves in each of the past two games.
For Kluber, it was his second straight complete game and 13th consecutive start with at least eight strikeouts.
BRINGING THE RAIN
Oh, the rain has been brought. 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/S22pGA9ZnR
— MLB (@MLB) August 9, 2017
Josh Donaldson hit multiple home runs in the same game for the 12th time in his career Tuesday night, including an 111.4 mph homer in the third inning that was his hardest extra-base hit of the season, according to Statcast.
Both of Donaldson’s home runs came off of Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia, who is heading back to New York with a right knee injury after lasting only three innings in his team’s 4-2 loss.
Known for his speed, Billy Hamilton showed off both his wheels and his leaping ability when he robbed Carlos Asuaje of an extra-base hit in the third inning of the San Diego Padres’ 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
According to Statcast, Hamilton covered 106 feet while tracking back toward the centerfield wall, contorting his body just in time to make the highlight-reel catch and secure the first out of the inning.
HAPPENINGS AT BA
Meanwhile, Carlos Collazo broke down the standouts from Day 2 of the Area Code Games and Josh Norris took a look at the effect Tim Tebow is having on attendance numbers in the Florida State League.