When a member of the Cincinnati Reds becomes the first player in team history to do something, the achievement is probably pretty rare. The Reds have been around in some form since 1866. On Tuesday night, Scooter Gennett became the first Cincinnati player to hit four homers in a single game, finishing 5-for-5 with 10 RBIs in a rout of the Cardinals. Gennett is one of only 17 batters in MLB history to join the four-homer club. It’s a rarer feat than pitching a perfect game.
Gennett, you might recall, was actually waived by the Milwaukee Brewers just two months ago, and the move wasn’t a complete surprise at the time. He was a veteran who wasn’t going to start for Milwaukee, nor was he the team’s primary utility man. He’d hit a modest 35 home runs over four major league seasons.
Today, it can be reasonably argued that Gennett is the guy who produced the greatest single-day hitting performance in the very long history of his sport…
Only five other players have had games with at least 17 total bases. None of them had double-digit RBIs. Nor any as cool a name as Scooter.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 7, 2017
Crazy game. In the fantasy era, Gennett’s ridiculous day at the plate is rivaled only by these four individual performances:
Anthony Rendon, April 30, 2017 – 6-for-6, double, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs
Josh Hamilton, May 8, 2012 – 5-for-5, double, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs
Shawn Green, May 23, 2002 – 6-for-6, double, 4 HRs, 7 RBIs
Mark Whiten, September 7, 1993 – 4-for-5, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs
Take your pick; there’s no wrong answer.
Gennett entered Tuesday with a career slugging percentage of .422 and exited at .431. He raised his season slash from .270/.308/.450 to .302/.336/.578. Almost nobody owned Gennett in fantasy prior to his Tuesday binge, except a few randoms in deep N.L.-only leagues. Honestly, he might never again produce another multi-homer game. He isn’t guaranteed to start for Cincinnati on any given day. Gennett is a quality pro, a useful enough player in reality, but he’s not a guy you need to immediately add in fantasy. Let’s just try to appreciate one of the all-time individual games without feeling the need to spin it as an actionable event.
Baseball, man. The fun is in the randomness.
It’s worth mentioning that if Gennett had merely hit, say, three homers on Tuesday, there’s a decent chance we’d all be talking about the replay challenge won by Cards manager Mike Matheny, just ahead of Scooter’s third-inning grand slam. Matheny challenged a catch by one of his own fielders, Stephen Piscotty, on a play that would have resulted in a sac fly. The run was erased, but so was the inning’s second out. A walk followed, and soon Gennett began homering.
As always, you are encouraged to share Matheny #takes in comments.
• Save chasers, please note that Pat Neshek closed the door for the Phillies on Tuesday, after Hector Neris allowed a pair of ninth-inning singles. Might be nothing, could be something. Neshek has been Philadelphia’s most effective reliever this season, delivering a WHIP of 0.77 and ERA of 0.82 over 22.0 innings. He’s worth owning, even in a non-closing role.
• In other closing news, Tony Watson blew a save for the fourth time this season, coughing up a two-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore. Watson has given up multiple runs in four of his last nine appearances. Stay ready, Felipe Rivero. It sounds as if the Bucs are contemplating a change.
• This thing right here off the bat of Yolmer Sanchez has to be one of the softest, saddest home runs in big league history…
Apparently that ball, which had zero chance to leave the park, hit some invisible something that dangles from a catwalk at Tropicana Field. Chris Archer and his fantasy owners were not amused.
• Felix Hernandez was roughed up in his minor league rehab start for Tacoma on Tuesday, but he claimed to be pain-free after his abbreviated outing. He’s coming back from shoulder issues. Felix’s velocity reportedly reached 90-92, which is basically where he’s been over the past three seasons.
• Carlos Rodon (biceps) was hit hard in a Single-A rehab start, but he too claimed to feel just fine. Rodon reached 96 on the gun and struck out six batters over 3.1 innings. Consider adding him if you’re desperate for Ks in a deep league.
• The Rays have called up right-handed pitching prospect Jacob Faria from Triple-A Durham, and fantasy owners need to pay attention to his Wednesday start. Faria leads all International League pitchers in strikeouts (by a mile), having K’d 84 hitters over 58.2 innings. He’s 6-1 with a 1.13 WHIP. These are good numbers, people. Faria has been a walk machine in the past, but not so much this season (3.38 BB/9). He’s worth a look in any format, because that K-rate is obscene.