Baby Yaz Drills Three Homers

Nick Doran
Rotoworld

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Yastrzemski Completes Trifecta

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Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski whacked  three home runs to power his squad to a 10-9 victory over the Diamondbacks in an 11-inning barn-burner in Phoenix. Yastrzemski was batting in the leadoff slot for just the third time this year but looked more like a cleanup batter as the game unfolded. He cracked a solo shot off Mike Leake in the third inning and then added a two-run dinger off reliever T.J. McFarland in the seventh. Yaz delivered the game-winner with another solo dong in the top of the 11th inning against tough set-up man Yoan Lopez.

This was the rookie's first career three-homer game and he now has the same number of three-homer games as his Hall of Fame grandfather Carl Yastrzemski, who finished his career with 452 home runs in 23 seasons. The two teams combined to hit 12 home runs in the ballgame, which is only the second time in major league history that has happened. The first time was earlier this year when the Diamondbacks and Phillies belted 13 bombs in a game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.  The Giants play in a ballpark that suppresses home runs more than any other stadium in the league. The last time a Giant hit three homers in a game was in 2015 when Jarrett Parker accomplished the feat against the Athletics in Oakland. 

Yastrzemski didn't make his debut in the majors until the last week of May, which means he missed the first two months of the season yet he still has 16 home runs, which is the most for a Giants rookie since the 2010 season when Buster Posey belted 18 longballs. Yastrzemski also hit 12 homers in the minors this year before getting his promotion and has a combined total of 28 bombs on the year. He will turn 29 years old next week and is old for a rookie. He had not hit for much power throughout his minor league career prior to this season. He hit just 10 home runs across two levels last year and his career high in the minors was 15 homers in 2017. He adjusted his swing last offseason "in an effort to be a little more impactful" and those changes have paid off in spades. The new baseball has also helped without a doubt, but all teams are using the same baseball yet few players have boosted their production to the same degree that Yastrzemski has. Kevin Pillar, who hit two homers in Friday's game, has 17 longballs and is the only Giant with more jacks than Yastrzemski this year and he's played in 123 games compared to 70 for Yaz.

For the season, Yastrzemski is slashing .272/.324/.548 with 16 homers, 45 RBI, 44 runs and one stolen base. He has an .820 OPS with six homers at home and a .918 OPS with 10 homers on the road. A good chunk of that difference is the result of last night's game in Arizona. He's clearly hit his way into everyday playing time for the rest of the season and should be used in fantasy starting lineups moving forward, especially when the Giants are playing on the road.

Two-Homer Hammers

Wilmer Flores homered twice in the Diamondbacks’ loss to the Giants in extra-innings. He was one of three players who hit multiple home runs in this game. He took Giants closer Will Smith deep with the bases empty in the eighth inning as the Diamondbacks scored five times in the frame to tie up the game. He homered again with the bases empty in the 10th inning to draw his team within a run, then Nick Ahmed followed with another solo shot to tie the game again. The Giants ultimately prevailed in the 11th inning. The power display was out of character for Flores, who now has just five longballs on the season. He is slashing .295/.342/.443 with 20 RBI, 19 runs and zero stolen bases. He doesn't get enough playing time to deliver much in the way of fantasy value. He's played in 64 games and has just 176 at-bats.

Kevin Pillar drilled a pair of home runs in the Giants' win over the Diamondbacks. He smoked a two-run missile against Mike Leake in the fourth inning. He came up with a runner aboard in the top of the 10th inning and blasted a clutch two-run shot off Yoshihisa Hirano. The Diamondbacks were able to tie the game in the bottom of the inning, setting up Mike Yastrzemski's heroics in the 11th. The two bombs for Pillar enabled him to set a new career high, topping the 16 taters he pounded in 2017. Pillar generates his fantasy value by contributing mid-range stats in all five categories. He is slashing .255/.285/.441 with 17 bombs, 67 RBI, 63 runs and 10 stolen bases. That on-base percentage is tough to swallow in OBP leagues. He is not the type of player who will be found in the starting lineups of too many league-winning fantasy rosters, but he can be a valuable contributor in a backup or fill-in role.

Hot-Shot Rookie Update

Aristides Aquino went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in Friday’s loss to the Cardinals. He set yet another major league record by becoming the faster player to reach 10 home runs in his career, reaching double figures in just his 16th game. He had one plate appearance in a game last year and has played in 15 games this year. He launched an Adam Wainwright pitch well beyond the left field wall with a runner aboard in the sixth inning as the Reds tried and failed to climb out of a deep hole. Aquino is mashing to the tune of .353/.400/.961 with 19 RBI and a 1.361 OPS in 55 plate appearances. He hit 28 home runs in just 78 games at Triple-A Louisville (which has a pitcher-friendly ballpark) before getting his promotion to the big leagues. Before Aquino came along, the record for homers in the first 16 games of a career belonged to Rhys Hoskins, who slugged nine homers in his first 16 contests as a rookie in 2017. 

Tatis Suffers Stress-Reaction in Back

Padres manager Andy Green told reporters that Fernando Tatis Jr. (back) is most likely done for the season. This is a major blow to fantasy owners considering Tatis' .317/.379/.590 slash line with 22 homers and 16 stolen bases in 84 games. It clears the way for Pete Alonso to take the National League Rookie of the Year Award without any other serious challengers. This new injury to Tatis will be his second long stint on the injured list this year, following a hamstring injury that cost him a month earlier in the season. 

National League Quick Hits: Will Smith coughed up a pair of solo home runs in a blown save against the Diamondbacks... Mike Leake was battered for four runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Giants... Luis Castillo was roughed up for a season-high eight runs over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Cardinals. He hadn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his previous 24 starts this season... Dexter Fowler enjoyed a big night at the dish against the Reds, going 3-for-6 with a homer, four RBI, and two runs scored... Kolten Wong stayed hot against the Reds by going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and three runs scored... Paul Goldschmidt finished 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in a win over the Reds... Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-6 with a solo homer and a pair of runs scored in the Diamondbacks’ loss to the Giants... Noah Syndergaard took the loss after allowing two runs over six innings against the Royals... Chris Paddack gave up five runs — four earned — over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Phillies... Bryce Harper homered in his third straight game in Friday’s 8-4 victory over the Padres. He’s slugged seven homers in his last nine games... J.T. Realmuto went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI against the Padres... Adrian Houser allowed just one run over his seven innings of work agaisnt the Nationals and did not get a decision... Patrick Corbin was handed a no-decision after tossing six innings of one-run ball against the Brewers... Christian Yelich went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against the Nationals... Eugenio Suarez is considered day-to-day after being diagnosed with a left thumb sprain... Cody Bellinger clubbed his league-leading 41st home run, helping to power the Dodgers to an 8-3 victory over the Braves... Sandy Alcantara allowed two runs over seven innings in a loss to the Rockies... Jon Gray fired eight scoreless innings in a win over the Marlins, striking out seven batters without issuing a walk... Kenta Maeda struck out nine over 4 2/3 innings of three-run ball in a no-decision against the Braves... Ryan McMahon launched a two-run homer to propel the Rockies’ to a 3-0 victory over the Marlins... Mike Soroka logged a quality start in a no-decision against the Dodgers, allowing three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings... Kyle Hendricks allowed just one run on three hits over seven strong frames against the Pirates.

American League Quick Hits: Tanner Roark allowed two runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Astros... Justin Verlander recorded 11 strikeouts and allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Athletics... Lucas Giolito struck out 11 batters and allowed two runs over six innings in a win over the Angels... Mike Trout clobbered his major league-leading 41st home run in the Angels’ loss to the White Sox... James McCann went 3-for-4 with a grand slam to lead the White Sox to a 7-2 victory over the Angels... Mike Montgomery allowed just an unearned run over six innings in a win over the Mets... Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI in the Rangers’ loss to the Twins... Rick Porcello spun six innings of one-run ball in a 9-1 victory over the Orioles... Mookie Betts went 2-for-5 with a solo homer, a double, and two runs scored in a win over the Orioles... Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored as the Red Sox defeated the Orioles... Jose Ramirez finished 3-for-4 with a solo homer Friday against the Yankees... Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in a 7-3 victory over the Mariners... Wade LeBlanc was tagged for seven runs in seven innings in a loss to the Blue Jays... Charlie Morton took a loss despite allowing just an unearned run while striking out 10 batters in seven innings against the Tigers.

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