Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez making more history with huge hot streak
Aug 19, 2023, 7:41 PM | Updated: Aug 20, 2023, 9:36 pm
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez made an out on Saturday in his second plate appearance of the game. It was notable because it was the first time since Wednesday that he had been retired at the plate.
Yeah, the 22-year-old phenom is on some ridiculous kind of run right now.
Just how ridiculous? With four hits on Saturday, Rodríguez now has 17 over his last four games, which breaks an MLB record that was nearly a century old. Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Robins had 16 hits in four games in 1925, and Julio just bested him.
Julio could potentially take another record from Stock on Sunday, too. Per MLB’s Sarah Langs, Rodríguez tied Stock for the most consecutive four-hit games at four with his performance on Saturday night.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 20, 2023
Rodríguez showed right away Saturday he was going to continue one of the more astounding displays of dominance this MLB season when he led off the game in Houston with a single to right field on the second pitch he saw.
Julio has been on absolute fire to an historic level since Wednesday, when this all started with a 4-for-6 effort in a win over Kansas City.
On Thursday, he upped the ante by going a perfect 5 for 5 with a home run, a double and five RBIs to help the M’s clinch a series win over the Royals.
Then in a victory Friday that opened a three-game set in Houston, Rodríguez went 4 for 5 with another homer.
Rodríguez finally was retired in his second at-bat Saturday, striking out against Astros starter Framber Valdez. That didn’t mean he had cooled down, though, as he singled in each of his next four trips to the plate, though he ultimately went a meager 4 for 6 on the night.
The four-game total after Julio’s four singles on Saturday: 17 for 22 (a .773 average), two doubles, two homers, eight RBIs, five runs, five stolen bases and 25 total bases.
“Julio is just smoking hot right now and it is fun to watch,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said after Saturday’s game, per The Associated Press. “Every time up there he expects to get a hit, we expect to watch him get a hit.”
Rodríguez said the four-game hit record wasn’t on his radar until he broke it.
“Honestly, I knew when they put it on the scoreboard that I had set a record for a four-game span,” Rodríguez said. “Before that, I didn’t know.”
In midst of his three-day gap between outs, Rodríguez at one point went nine straight plate appearances with a hit, tying a Mariners record he now shares with Raul Ibañez (2004) and Danny Valencia (2017).
Making matters all the more impressive is that in the one plate appearance Friday where Rodríguez did not record a hit, he still reached base on an error by Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña, who couldn’t catch the liner from his fellow second-year star cleanly.
It’s not that Julio is simply reaching base safely, either. Once he gets on, he’s stealing bases almost at will. During this (so far) four-game hot streak, he has stolen five bases on six attempts. That includes after his first single on Saturday, which came in handy as a hit to center field by Eugenio Suárez (batting second in the lineup behind Rodríguez at No. 1) then scored him easily.
Just like that and we're on the board 🙌 pic.twitter.com/zHJ8Pr2FPG
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 19, 2023
Per the Mariners Baseball Information Department, Rodríguez is the first Seattle Mariners player to ever record at least four hits in three consecutive games, and he is the first player in MLB history with 14 hits and five stolen bases in a four-game span.
Entering Wednesday, Rodríguez owned a .256/.319/.432 slash line for a .751 OPS. After his four hits on Saturday, those numbers have jumped all the way to .278/.337/.463 and an .800 OPS. He also has 21 home runs, 79 RBIs, and a career-high 33 steals on 42 attempts this year.
Rodríguez already won American League Player of the Week honors for the week of May 22-28, and he has to be the favorite to win it again after this weekend. He now also seems the obvious pick to win AL Player of the Month. After Saturday, his totals for August are a slash of .425/.459/.675 for an eye-popping 1.134 OPS with four homers, 22 RBIs and nine steals. As for his Seattle Mariners, they are 13-4 over the same period, having played themselves into playoff position.