9/1/19: Weekend in Review: Bombas, Records, and a Big Fat No-No
Can you believe it’s already September? There’s just one month left of the regular season, and even though the post season is all but set, things are still pretty damn exciting in the Majors right now. Here are the best stories to come out of baseball this weekend.
The Bomba Squad Makes History
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) September 1, 2019
Remember way back in 2018, when the New York Yankees broke the 21-year-old record for home runs hit by a team in a single season? The 1997 Seattle Mariners held the previous record, and while some teams had come close (2005 Rangers with 260, 2010 Blue Jays with 257), the Mariners’ 264 was the bar set for over two decades until the Yankees hit 267 last year. The Minnesota Twins came into Saturday night’s game 5 homers behind the record with 262 , and managed to not only tie the Yankee’s 2018 record.. they broke it. IN. AUGUST.
Mitch Garver hit the record breaker on Saturday night as Minnesota’s Bomba Squad hit SIX home runs against the 40-94 (!!) Tigers. Despite their impressive hitting, they still managed to lose the game 10-7. The Twins now have EIGHT players with 20 or more home runs, which also broke a long standing MLB record. Six teams had been tied with seven 20+ HR hitters until now:
- 1996 Orioles
- 2000 Blue Jays
- 2005 Rangers
- 2009 Yankees
- 2010 Blue Jays
- 2017 Orioles
The Minnesota players with 20 or more home runs this season:
- Max Kepler (36)
- Nelson Cruz (34)
- Eddie Rosario (27)
- Miguel Sano (26)
- Mitch Garver (26)
- CJ Cron (24)
- Jonathan Schoop (21)
- Jorge Polanco (20)
Marwin Gonzalez is sitting at 15 homers, and could very well be the 9th batter on that list by the end of September. There have been twelve teams in MLB history that have had 4 players with over 30 home runs in a season, the last being the 2009 Phillies: Ryan Howard, Jason Werth, Raul Ibanez, and Chase Utley. There was a slew during the Steroid Era, and the Dodgers were the first to do it in 1977. The Twins will likely have 5, possibly 6 players to hit 30 bombs this season if they stay on track, smashing yet another record.
Minnesota is on pace to hit over 320 home runs with one month left in the season. The Yankees are also on pace to smash their old record, sitting at 254 home runs already this year, and the way they’re hitting they could easily hit close to 300 as well.
Oh, and Saturday also marked the 11th 5+ home run game for the Twins this season. The previous record for 5+ home runs in a season for one team was eight. It’s getting hard to keep all the records straight, you guys.
Fun fact: The Twins’ 1987 and 1991 World Series champion teams only hit 196 and 140 home runs, respectively, and the abysmal 2016 Minnesota team that only managed to win 59 games hit 200 home runs. Go figure.
No-No No. 3 for Verlander
I JUST wrote about Justin Verlander last week, what with getting tossed from a game and barring reporters from the clubhouse and all of his whining in general. I also said how much I really like him, because he’s one of the best pitchers in our time. I’ve liked him despite beating up on my team for years and despite his belly aching, and on Sunday he showed us why he’s so GD worthy of our respect.
I was at a family function when my phone flashed a notification from ESPN: “No-Hitter Watch: Astros P Justin Verlander has not allowed a hit through seven innings vs. Blue Jays; 10 K, BB, 93 pitches.” I turned to my husband, told him that Verlander had a no-no going and that ESPN had just probably jinxed it, as I have always complained they tend to do (evidenced by this tweet I sent last year about them ruining Big Sexy’s perfect game):
— Marea Anderson (@Mareacheche) April 16, 2018
But lo and behold.. 15 minutes later, another notification from ESPN: “No Hitter Watch: Astros P Justin Verlander has not allowed a hit through eight innings in scoreless game vs. Blue Jays; 13 K, BB, 106 pitches.” This time, I said to nobody in particular that Verlander still had a no-no going in the 8th. And then 46 minutes later, my phone lit up with news that Verlander had managed to come the 3rd pitcher in MLB history with multiple no-hitters against the same team. (Sorry Jays!)
This was Verlander’s 3rd career no-hitter, joining the ranks of just five other pitchers in history to have thrown three or more. He’s now tied with the great Cy Young, Bob Feller, and Larry Corcoran for 3, Sandy Koufax had 4, and Nolan Ryan leads with 7. Let’s not forget my favorite, Roy Halladay, may he rest in peace, with a perfect game and two post-season no-hitters. Technically that doesn’t equal 3 no-hitters from a stats standpoint, but in my opinion is better than 3 no-no’s. But I digress.
36-year-old Verlander’s impressive game on Sunday was done in 120 pitches, 14 strike outs, and just one walk. It was his ninth career shutout win. He also managed to pass 250 K’s on the season, which is the fifth time he’s done so in his 15 seasons in the majors. This game followed up a 6-inning domination over Tampa last Tuesday, where he was on fire until he was tossed for sassing an umpire. Congratulations, Justin!
Don’t Forget to Enter to Win a Pair of Twins Tickets!
Friends, don’t forget! I’m running a contest through Wednesday to win a pair of Twins/Indians tickets for Saturday, September 7th. The two teams are in a heated (though cooling??) battle for first place in the AL Central, and the Twins are also giving away a Joe Mauer bobblehead. All you have to do to win is like/follow/subscribe to Moonshots and Mustard on social media and share it with a friend or two.. or ten.
Find/Follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The more platforms you like/share on, the more entries you have to win. I’ll have a live drawing on Wednesday to announce the winner. Good luck!