By Ron Kaplan, contributor

What is going on with all these home runs? Not that any JML fan will be complaining…

I’ve consulted with my experts, and the consensus is that Friday accounted for the most home runs by different Jews on a single day. A total of five players homered that day, one of them twice. Mazel tov, boychicks.

On Friday, Ryan Braun had two HRs in four at bats — one for three runs to start the scoring in the first, the other for two to make it 11-0; both came with two outs — as the visiting Milwaukee Brewers beat up Gabe Kapler’s slumping Philadelphia Phillies, 12-4. According to Statcast, the second was the hardest ball Braun has hit in three years, leaving the ballpark at 112.9 MPH. Amazing what they can keep track of these days, isn’t it? Braun — who now has eight home runs — was 4-for-8 in the two other games, including his 11th double and first triple of the season, with an RBI in a 12-3 win on Saturday and a 4-3 loss on Sunday (this one was deemed the “Badger Mutual Insurance RBI of the Game”). His good play carried over to the field with plays like the one below on Sunday. The Brewers are 39-26, first in the NL Central, with the best record in the National League. The Phillies, who have lost seven of their last 10, are 33-30, third in the NL East.

Also on Friday, Kevin Pillar hit his sixth HR of the year and third in his last seven games, a solo shot in the eighth that gave the host Toronto Blue Jays (30-35, third in the AL East) the final run in a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles (19-44, last in the division). Two days later he hit #7 (solo) as the Jays crushed, 13-3. He also singled, scored another run, and drove in another.  In the in-between game on Saturday, Pillar was 2-for-5 in a 4-3, 10-inning win.

Danny Valencia — dubbed here a “rare bright spot in dismal Orioles season” — was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the first game; 2-for-4 with a walk in the second game; and did not play in the finale due to illness. Of the six Jewish position players who hit the field Friday, he was the only one not to homer. Richard Bleier retired the one batter he faced for the weekend in the O’s Saturday win.

Also on Friday, Alex Bregman — lauded here for his improved plate discipline — hit his eighth HR, a solo shot in the Houston Astros’ 7-3 win over the host Texas Rangers. He had a double (#20) the next day in a 4-3 win and his first triple of 2018 in Sunday’s controversial 8-7 victory on a “retroactive balk,” so he missed a “cycle” for the weekend by a lousy single. The Astros are 42-25, tied with the Seattle Mariners for the top spot in the AL West.

Also on Friday, Ian Kinsler‘s seventh homer — into the second deck, and good for two runs in the seventh inning — gave the visiting LA Angels the cushion they needed in their 4-2 win over the host Minnesota Twins on Prince Night. His eighth home run — and fifth so far in June — came the next day to give the Angels their first run in a 2-1 win, their sixth straight victory. On Sunday, he “rested” with just three singles and two runs scored in a 7-5 loss. The Angels are 37-29, third in the AL West.

And finally — also on Friday — Joc Pederson launched lucky #7 — his sixth in June — as the LA Dodgers beat the visiting Atlanta Braves, 7-3. He had a double in Saturday’s  5-3 loss and did not appear in Sunday’s 7-2 win. The Dodgers are 33-32, second in the NL West, and Pederson has provided a “much-needed spark.”

season stats

Ron Kaplan (@RonKaplanNJ) hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He is the author of three books, including The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games and Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

# # #

Get your Jewish Baseball News updates via e-mail