Stats & Info: Justin Maxwell

Kernels: Saving the best for last

September, 22, 2013
9/22/13
9:59
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As we head into the final week of the regular season, we look back on a week where a few teams did big things in their final inning.

• The Oakland Athletics were scoreboard-watching the Texas Rangers' game in Kansas City on Sunday, but there wasn't much to watch. Those two teams put up 19 straight zeroes, going scoreless into the bottom of the 10th before the Royals loaded the bases and Justin Maxwell unloaded them. That "0" on Oakland's out-of-town scoreboard changed to a "4" and clinched the AL West for the A's.

Maxwell's blast was the fifth walk-off slam this year, but the first for the Royals since Joe Randa hit one off Esteban Yan of the Rays on May 16, 2001. The other two in franchise history belong to Rey Palacios (1990) and Cookie Rojas (1974). The Rangers hadn't surrendered one since Franklin Stubbs of the Brewers went deep off Kenny Rogers on May 15, 1992.

Maxwell has only two career walk-off homers, and they're both with the bases loaded. The other was with the Nationals in 2009.

The last walk-off slam to break a scoreless tie was by the Braves' Dwight Smith against the Marlins on May 19, 1995, and the last one in extras belongs to Don Buford of the White Sox on September 14, 1967. Carroll Hardy of the Red Sox, in 1962, has the only other extra-inning one in history.

• The Washington Nationals put together a three-run ninth to walk off against the Atlanta Braves. Denard Span's ground ball was already destined to tie the game, but it got past Andrelton Simmons and also allowed the winning run to score. It was the 10th "walk-off error" this season, but the first in favor of the franchise in Washington. The last for the franchise was on June 20, 2002 in Montreal Jose Macias, attempting a sacrifice, reached base (and the winning run scored) when pitcher Scott Mullen of the Royals overthrew first base.

• The Detroit Tigers tied for the biggest "B9" of the season with a six-run outburst to send their game with the Chicago White Sox to extra innings. They eventually won in the 12th on Omar Infante's deflected single.

The Red Sox had the only other six-run B9 this season. The Tigers did have a seven-run 9th earlier this year, but it was in a road game. They hadn't scored six in the bottom of the 9th since June 21, 1994, when another walk-off slam (by Lou Whitaker) gave them a 7-5 win over the Indians. According to Elias, it was the Tigers' first victory in a game where they trailed by six in the 9th since August 22, 1947, when Hoot Evers' single completed a seven-run frame for a win over the Senators.

• The Colorado Rockies had been the only team not to play at least 13 innings yet this season. That changed on Thursday when they walked off against the St. Louis Cardinals on a Corey Dickerson triple in the 15th. It was the third 15-inning game at Coors Field and only the second walk-off triple in franchise history. Dexter Fowler had the other one last year.

Walk-off triples are rare because the batter is supposedly required to run out all three bases. There have been only five all year, and that's the most in a season since 1993. No active player has more than one. The Cardinals last allowed one on September 7, 1993, when Reggie Sanders of the Reds drove in two runs against Todd Burns.

• The Milwaukee Brewers won their game with the Chicago Cubs when Logan Schafer successfully executed a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the 9th. Jeff Bianchi dove home with the winning run.

There's been only one other game-ending bunt this season, and the runner in that game started on second and scored on a throwing error. There was also only one last season (by Wilson Valdez of the Reds). The only other walk-off suicide squeeze in Brewers history came on September 4, 2005, when Brady Clark laid one down against the Padres and Corey Hart raced home from third for the win.

Cruz crushes the ball to earn June HR award

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
5:12
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Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty ImagesNelson Cruz headlines the June awards with his 484-foot homer against the Angels.

ESPN's Home Run Tracker analyzes video of each home run hit this season and as far back as 2006. Each month, the tracker will detail the best and worst home runs, as well as some other interesting statistics pertaining to the long ball. Below are the notable home runs for the month of June (games through June 30).

No Doubter (Longest true distance)
May Winner: Justin Maxwell (471 feet)
June Winner: Nelson Cruz (484 feet)
Nelson Cruz’s 484-foot blast in Angel Stadium off Bobby Cassevah on June 3 is the longest home run hit this season. It is also Cruz’s longest home run of his career and the longest home run hit at Angel Stadium since the beginning of the ESPN Home Run Tracker in 2006.

Wall-Scraper (Shortest true distance)
May Winner: Jed Lowrie (330 feet)
June Winner: Adrian Beltre (329 feet)
Adrian Beltre drove a Brad Brach pitch off the bottom of the right field foul pole 329 feet in PETCO Park on June 19, giving the Rangers the first two June awards. The 329-foot homer is only the third home run to have a true distance of less than 330 feet this year.

Moonshot (Highest apex - maximum vertical height a ball reaches)
May Winner: Josh Hamilton (153 feet)
June Winner: Jay Bruce (152 feet)
Jay Bruce’s 392-foot home run off Joe Smith on June 18 had an apex of 152 feet, taking the award by one foot over Mark Trumbo, who hit a 364-foot homer on June 10 that had an apex of 151 feet.

Liner (Lowest apex)
May Winner: Adam Dunn (47 feet)
June Winner: Adam Jones (43 feet)
On June 23, Adam Jones hit a 354-foot home run off Edwin Jackson that had an apex of 43 feet and left Camden Yards in 3.06 seconds. It is the lowest apex of the season and lowest apex by an Oriole since the beginning of ESPN Home Run Tracker in 2006.

Fastball (Fastest speed off bat)
May Winner: Giancarlo Stanton (122.4 mph)
June Winner: Giancarlo Stanton (120.0 mph)
For the second month in a row, Giancarlo Stanton takes home the award for the homer with the fastest speed off the bat.

Server (Pitcher who allowed the greatest cumulative distance)
May Winner: Mike Minor
June Winner: Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas gave up 11 home runs in June, including a 457-foot bomb to Justin Upton on June 20. The 11 home runs allowed did not exactly help Vargas’ 7.34 June ERA.

Masher (Greatest average home run distance, min. five home runs)
May Winner: Mark Trumbo
June Winner: Miguel Montero
Miguel Montero’s five June home runs had an average distance of 425.8 feet, edging out Torii Hunter by 1.2 feet. Montero hit a 458-foot home run off Jarrod Parker on June 9 and a 447-foot home run off Yoshinori Tateyama on June 14, helping his cause.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
Rangers OF Josh Hamilton paced the American League with 12 home runs in May.

ESPN's Home Run Tracker analyzes video of each home run hit this season and as far back as 2006. Each month, the tracker will detail the best and worst home runs, as well as some other interesting statistics pertaining to the long ball. Below are the notable home runs for the month of May (games through May 30).

No Doubter (Longest true distance)
March/April Winner: Travis Hafner (481 feet)
May Winner: Justin Maxwell (471 feet)
Maxwell is an extremely unlikely winner. The Astro has just 12 career homers, only four of which went more than 400 feet. But on May 28, Maxwell hit an Alex White slider 471 feet to left at Coors Field.

Wall-Scraper (Shortest true distance)
March/April Winner: B.J. Upton (323 feet)
May Winner: Jed Lowrie (330 feet)
The Astros may be six games out of first place in the NL Central, but they claim the first two awards. Lowrie’s 330-foot home run off J.C. Romero on May 5 was originally ruled a double, but upon further review it indeed snuck over the left-field wall.

Moonshot (Highest apex - maximum vertical height a ball reaches)
March/April Winner: Todd Helton (162 feet)
May Winner: Josh Hamilton (153 feet)
When you hit as many home runs as Hamilton, you’re bound to find yourself winning an award. Hamilton hit a 385-foot home run off Jerome Williams on May 11 that had an apex of 153 feet. It is his highest apex home run since July 30, 2008 - a 407-foot blast off Miguel Batista that had an apex of 155 feet.

Liner (Lowest apex)
Note: There was an adjustment made late from last month which gives Carlos Gonzalez the award for March/April, not Luke Scott/Curtis Granderson.
March/April Winner: Carlos Gonzalez (46 feet)
May Winner: Adam Dunn (47 feet)
Dunn hit a 363-foot home run off Rick Porcello on May 6 that had an apex of 47 feet. It is Dunn’s lowest apex homer since June 13, 2008 - a 400-foot shot off Justin Masterson that had an apex of 45 feet.

Fastball (Fastest speed off bat)
March/April Winner: Travis Hafner (117.2 mph)
May Winner: Giancarlo Stanton (122.4 mph)
Stanton had a superb month of May, hitting 12 home runs. One of those was a 462-foot mammoth shot off the recently demoted Jamie Moyer on May 21 – it had a speed off bat of 122.4 mph. It is the fastest speed off bat since ESPN HR Tracker began tracking home runs in 2006.

Server (Pitcher who allowed the greatest cumulative distance)
March/April Winner: Ervin Santana
May Winner: Mike Minor
Minor and Colby Lewis each gave up 10 home runs in May, but Minor wins the tiebreaker by giving up an average home run distance of 406.2 feet to Lewis’ 383.6 feet. Minor gave up six home runs of 400-plus feet, including a 453-foot blast to Wilin Rosario on May 5.

Masher (Greatest average home run distance, min. five home runs)
March/April Winner: Josh Hamilton
May Winner: Mark Trumbo
Trumbo averaged 424.9 feet per homer in May, best in baseball. For the season, Trumbo has averaged 422.3 feet per homer, has five shots of 430-plus feet and has only hit one less than 400 feet.

Tulowitzki heats up

September, 16, 2010
9/16/10
12:01
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Troy Tulowitzki Troy Tulowitzki knocked in seven of the Colorado Rockies nine runs Wednesday in their 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tulowitzki is the second player in MLB history with more than 10 home runs and more than 25 RBI in any 14 games of September/October (Hank Greenberg did it in 1940 with 12 HR and 31 RBI). He also tied Ralph Kiner (1949) for the most home runs through the first 15 games of September with 11 (hit two on Wednesday). The Rockies’ club record for homers in a month is 12, accomplished most recently by Matt Holliday in 2007.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays moved back into first place in the American League East after posting a 4-3 win over the New York Yankees Wednesday. This was the fifth time in the last six meetings the game was decided by one run, including all three games in this series in Tampa (they play a four-game set in New York beginning Monday, September 20). Dan Johnson’s go-ahead HR in the bottom of the seventh inning – his second HR of the game – was the game-winner. Four of his five HR this season have come against the Yankees and Red Sox.

    While the Rays own the edge in victories in their season series against the Yankees this season these two teams have battled each other extremely close. The Rays have outscored the Yankees by just two runs, while both teams have 19 home runs, and 121 hits in the 14 games they have played against each other.
  • In the Los Angeles Angels 7-0 win over the Cleveland Indians, Bobby Abreu stole his 20th base of the season. Abreu now has 20 SB in 12 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the majors.
    • Justin Maxwell of the hit his third career grand slam in the Nationals’ 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Maxwell has nine career home runs, three of them are slams. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to hit three slams in his first 9 career homers was David Eckstein (2001-02).
  • Tyler Colvin hit his 20th HR for the Chicago Cubs against the St. Louis Cardinals. Colvin is just the 4th Cubs rookie all-time to hit 20+ home runs.

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