¿Será Yordan Álvarez el protagonista del jonrón 6000 para Cuba en Grandes Ligas? Foto: EFE.

MLB in the seventh: waiting for the 6000 Cuban home runs

On August 1, 1912, Armando Marsans hit the first Cuban home run in the Major Leagues. More than a century later, the island’s players are about to reach 6,000 homers in the best baseball in the world, a figure that has only been reached by three foreign countries in history: the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

So far, the West Indians have hit 5,997 homers in the Majors, including the 477 hit by 89 players exclusively in the Negro Leagues, recently considered part of MLB. Only three homers need the Cubans to complete the mark, which could happen this Saturday.

The great protagonists in the history of Cuban home runs in the Major Leagues are Rafael Palmeiro (569), José Canseco (462) and Tany Pérez (379), who have led the island’s list in this section for decades. José Abreu (231) is fourth in the count and leader among active players.

Many more details about this individual will emerge in the coming days and, while that moment of glory arrives, from OnCuba We propose you to analyze some of the most outstanding events of the last week in MLB.

Néstor Cortés, Cy Young contender?

The last time a pitcher from the new york yankees he struck out at least 40 and did not allow more than seven runs in his first seven starts of a season, won the “Cy Young” award as the best pitcher in the Majors.

That happened in 1958, when the right Bob Turley started the campaign, precisely, with 40 batters retired by way of the strikes and only seven runs allowed in 63 innings of work, for an ERA of 0.86. In the end, that contest achieved 21 victories and his clean average was 2.97, enough to beat Warren Spahn the race for the “Cy Young”.

More than half a century later, another pitcher from the yankees He has started this season with records very similar to the Turleys. We are talking about Cuban Néstor Cortés Jr., who has 49 strikeouts and only seven runs allowed in his first seven starts, with an ERA of 1.35. absolute leader of the American League.

Last Sunday he scored his second win of the campaign after completing eight innings with seven strikeouts, one earned and three hits allowed vs. White Sox at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field, where the hosts escaped a shutout on Adam Engel’s solo home run in the eighth.

This was Cortés’ second consecutive outing with at least seven innings of work, three hits or less, one run or less and seven or more strikeouts. The only Cubans in history who had registered two games in a row with these characteristics were Luis Tiant (three times in 1965, 1968 and 1976) and José Fernández (2014), while in the yankees Gerrit Cole (2020), CC Sabathia (2009), David Cone (1997), Al Downing (1963) and Vic Raschi (1950) had done it.

As we said, the West Indian left-hander is the leader in earned run average (1.35) in the American League, slightly ahead of Houston ace Justin Verlander, with whom he fights for the title of best pitcher on the young circuit. Opponents have a .432 OPS against Verlander, who has struck out 41 (8.08 per nine innings) and posted five wins, with a 0.68 WHIP in 45.2 innings of work For its part, the OPS of the rivals against Cortés is .504, with 49 structured (11.03 for every nine innings), a couple of wins and a WHIP of 0.85 in 40 innings worked.

Chapman is already eternal

Diego Segui (Holguín, 1937) was in the Majors for 15 seasons and pitched until he was 40 years old. When he decided to hang the spikes in 1977, he was the Cuban pitcher with the most appearances (639) on the Major League mounds, a record that seemed to last forever. However, nothing is forever and his mark has already fallen, curiously, at the hands of another Holguin resident.

Everything has been left between countrymen, after Aroldis Chapman reached 640 games pitched in MLB this week. The closer of new york yankees He made three appearances between May 14 and 17, which were enough for him to beat Seguí in the all time cuban listin which only the two of them have passed the threshold of 600 exits.

The following in the count are Pedro Ramos (582), Luis Tiant (573), Tony Fossas (567), Adolfo Luque (550), Danys Báez (533), Camilo Pascual (529) and Liván Hernández (519), the only ones that have passed 500 games released. Among the assets, in addition to Chapman, only the pinero Raisel Iglesias seems destined to continue climbing the list and put historical figures.

But let’s go back to Chapman, who celebrated his rise to the top of the major league games worked list with a save last Tuesday, his ninth of the current season and the 315th of his career. Much attention must be paid to his performance this season, because if he adds 26 more saves he could get into the Top-15 pitchers with the most saved games in MLB history.

Of course, if you want to meet that goal, you would have to reach at least 35 rescues, a figure that has not been reached since the 2019 contest.

After a blazing start to the season, Chapman is not having a good time, in fact, he has allowed runs in each of his last four starts. Only on two other occasions in his career had the left-hander accepted annotations in four consecutive duels: in May 2011 and in August 2017.

The Holguín player had an immaculate ERA (0.00) after his first 12 relief appearances until May 9, but in his last four appearances he has a disastrous 10.80 ERA, with a rival offensive line of .438/.474/.750 ( Average/On-Base Average/slugging).

The Houston Rockets

Last Wednesday, May 17, a rumor spread that the Houston Astros could change their name and be baptized as the Houston Rockets. The reason? Well, very simple: they hit five home runs in a single inning of their game against Boston, something that had only happened seven times in the history of the Majors.

The party was opened by Cuban Yordan Álvarez, with a 360-foot bombing over the “Green Monster” of Fenway Park, where he has hit as he wanted since his emergence in MLB. Counting the postseason duels, the man from Las Tunas is averaging .393, with three doubles, three home runs and ten RBIs in nine visits to the Los Angeles stronghold. Red Sox.

After Yordan’s rocket, number 12 of the current season, came the home runs of Kyle Tucker (413 feet), Jeremy Peña (411), Michael Brantley (405) and Yulieski Gurriel (381), who sealed a rally nine runs in the second inning.

As we have already mentioned, only seven times in history a team had hit five home runs in the same inning:

* June 6, 1939: New York Giants (Jo-Jo Moore, Harry Danning, Frank Demaree, Burgess Whitehead, and Manny Salvo) vs. Cincinnati Reds in the room inning.

* June 2, 1949: Philadelphia Phillies (two from Andy Seminick and one from Del Ennis, Willie Jones and Schoolboy Rowe) vs. Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning.

* August 23, 1961: San Francisco Giants (Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou, Jim Davenport, Willie Mays and John Orsino) vs. Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning.

* June 9, 1966: minnesota twins (Harmon Killebrew, Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva and Don Mincher) vs. Kansas City Athletics in the seventh inning.

* April 22, 2006: Milwaukee Brewers (Bill Hall, Damian Miller, Brady Clark, JJ Hardy and Prince Fielder) vs. Cincinnati Reds in the room inning.

* July 27, 2017: Washington Nationals (Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon) vs. Milwaukee Brewers in third inning.

* September 17, 2020: new york yankees (Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres) vs. Toronto Blue Jays in the room inning.

One of the curious points in this story is that of the eight times a team has hit five homers in one inning, half of the time has been against Cincinnati. On the other hand, Cubans have been protagonists in two of these meetings: Versalles and Oliva with the twins in 1966, and Yordan and Yulieski in this 2022.

A “Panther” on the loose in Chicago

Since Cuban Luis Robert Moirán debuted in MLB two years ago, no team has suffered as much from his power as the Kansas City Royals. Before the franchise of Missouri, the patrolman of the Chicago White Sox he has seven home runs, 17 RBIs, 24 hits and a .293/.359/.585 offensive line (Average/On-Base Average/slugging).

His last home run against Kansas was achieved precisely this week, last Thursday, May 19, when for the first time in his career he drove in four runs in a Major League game. “La Pantera” achieved that deployment after failing in 11 of the 12 shifts he consumed between Wednesday and Thursday.

The West Indian is the “hottest” bat in Chicago right now. From April 30 to May 16, he linked a chain of 14 games hitting hit, the most of any Cuban player this season. In addition, he is the second player with the most hits (27) in all of the Major Leagues since the beginning of May, only surpassed by JD Martínez (29).

Cincinnati or the thousand ways to lose

The Cincinnati Reds accumulate 27 losses with 11 wins in this 2022, which represents their third worst historical mark in the start of a season, equaling the records of 1950, 1997 and 2018. Before, they had only lost more in 1931 and 1934, when they fell in 30 and 29 of their first 38 games, respectively.

Still, the outlook for the current contest is particularly bleak, especially as manager David Bell’s charges have found many and varied ways to lose. To give you an idea, last Sunday, May 15, the Reds did not allow hits to the Pittsburgh offense and ended with a 1×0 loss.

It sounds incredible, even strange, but it was real. Cincinnati pitchers Hunter Greene and Art Warren left the Pirates undisputed, but in the eighth inning the lack of control hit them and cost them. After one out, Greene gave away a pair of walks and exploded, while Warren scrambled in and threw four straight balls to load the bases. In that scenario, he allowed an infield ground ball that served to drive in the only run of the game.

Only five times in Major League history has a team lost a game without allowing hits to its rivals. The first time it happened was on April 23, 1964, when the Reds precisely defeated Houston despite not activating their hit box.

History repeated itself later on April 30, 1967 (Detroit beat Baltimore), July 1, 1990 (White Sox beat Yankees), April 12, 1992 (Cleveland beat Boston) and April 28, 1992. June 2008 (Dodgers beat Anaheim).

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