In the realm of baseball, there are stars, and then there's Julio Rodríguez – a player whose recent exploits suggest he's not merely "in form" but in a league of his own. What he's achieving on the baseball diamond seems more fitting for legend than reality.
A New Franchise Record Beckons
During Monday night's dominating 7-0 win over the Oakland A's, Rodríguez turned heads yet again. The night witnessed him smacking a home run for the third consecutive game, an impressive career milestone.
With this, he ended the game just a triple shy of claiming what would've been the fifth cycle in the franchise’s storied history, a feat last achieved by the legendary Adrián Beltré on September 1, 2008.
This victory added another feather in the Mariners' cap. With 20 victories in August, they've now matched their own franchise record — a record they previously touched in June 1997 and three times in their groundbreaking 116-win season of 2001.
Yet, with two more games scheduled against the A's (a team they've convincingly defeated in all eight matchups this season), the Mariners have a golden chance to rewrite the record books. For Rodríguez, however, the focus remains crystal clear. “I'm just happy that I'm able to help this team win...
That's honestly everything that matters to me,” he voiced, emphasizing his team-first approach.
Moments that Define a Star
But it wasn’t just about his powerful hitting. Rodríguez’s golden moment arrived in a duel against southpaw Kyle Muller in the fourth inning.
He deftly handled a misjudged slider, propelling it a staggering 420 feet into the T-Mobile ‘Pen located at the deepest recesses of left-center. This massive hit marked his 24th home run for the season. Together with his 35 stolen bases, Rodríguez stands on the brink of a remarkable 30-30 season with 31 games still on the horizon.
His vigor wasn’t limited to just his batting. In the sixth inning, leading by six runs, Rodríguez demonstrated his exceptional speed. After nudging a 74.8 mph dribbler to third baseman Jordan Diaz, he outran the throw in a mere 4.10 seconds, registering his quickest home-to-first sprint of the year.
At a blazing 31.1 feet-per-second, his sprint speed was well above the MLB's average of 27. Offering insights into his relentless approach, Rodríguez proclaimed, “We play 27 outs, regardless of the game... I feel like running a ground ball, I feel like that's something that we should be able to do”.
In a game studded with stars, Julio Rodríguez's passion and commitment shine the brightest, setting the bar for others to follow.