Tuesday’s action around MLB featured some of the first No. 1 starters making their second starts, in some ways signifying the season is in full swing. The news around the league felt much the same with plenty to get to from the slate of games.
Alyssa Nakken Makes History
In the Giants’ drubbing of the Padres on Tuesday, history was made. In the third inning, Giants’ first-base coach Antoan Richardson was ejected from the game. Alyssa Nakken was called upon to replace him, serving as the first-base coach for the remainder of the game, becoming the first woman to coach on the field of a major league game.
Alyssa Nakken coaching first base
More, please. pic.twitter.com/roK3rtja12
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) April 13, 2022
Nakken had previously served as the Giants’ first-base coach in an exhibition game two years ago, with today marking the first time in an official game. Nakken was hired in 2020 as an assistant coach on the Giants staff.
Seiya Suzuki Wills the Cubs to Victory
The Cubs spent big on Seiya Suzuki when the lockout ended—to the tune of a five-year, $85 million deal. So far, Chicago’s prized free-agent signing is paying dividends. Coming into Tuesday, Suzuki was slashing .375/.539/.750 with a home run and four walks. In a matchup with the Pirates, the Cubs’ bats struggled—that is, everyone’s bat except for Suzuki’s. With home runs in the fifth and seventh innings, the Chicago outfielder was single-handedly responsible for both of the Cubs’ runs in a 2-1 win.
My name is Seiya Suzuki. Nice to meet you. pic.twitter.com/jxjdS2faXm
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 12, 2022
The 27-year-old rookie appears to be finding his groove quickly in MLB. A season removed from hitting .317/.433/.636 with 38 home runs in NPB, Suzuki is doing much of the same just a handful of games into his MLB career.
Seiya Suzuki joins Shohei Ohtani as the only Japanese-born players in MLB history to hit 3 HR over their 1st 4 MLB games. pic.twitter.com/tP1rWS2TFx
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 12, 2022
In hitting home runs Nos. 2 and 3, Suzuki joined some pretty good company. Per ESPN’s Stats & Info, the Cubs rookie becomes the only Japanese-born player, other than Shohei Ohtani, to hit three home runs in their first four MLB games. With the history of Japanese sluggers who have graced MLB, that isn’t a bad list to be on.
Suzuki will have a chance to keep his bat hot as the Cubs wrap up their series with Pittsburgh on Wednesday before heading off the Coors Field for a mile-high date with the Rockies, and a perfect opportunity for Suzuki to add further to his early home run tally.
Albert Pujols Homers with Cards
When Albert Pujols signed back with the Cardinals — the place he’d made a name as one of the most feared right-handed hitters in MLB history — it seemed like a fairy tale. St. Louis got a franchise legend to fill the newly created DH slot on its roster and Pujols got to come back ‘home’ and chase down 700 career home runs.
Tuesday showed fans a glimpse at what this season could look like. Having yet to record a hit in five at-bats in 2022, the Cardinals designated hitter launched a first-inning home run for his first hit of the new campaign.
It's been 3,855 days since Albert Pujols last hit a home run in Busch as a Cardinal! pic.twitter.com/VZh3kPTRBP
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 13, 2022
Pujols sits at 680 career home runs after Tuesday’s blast, putting him 16 shy of Alex Rodriguez and 20 shy of the vaunted 700 mark. It remains to be seen whether the veteran righty will eclipse either mark. Pujols has failed to hit more than 20 homers in a season since 2019. But, maybe all the slugger needed was to get back in a Cardinals uniform, where he’s now hit 446 of 680 career long balls.
Steven Kwan Can’t Miss
No matter how unlikely it may seem, Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan cannot miss. Not just in a hyperbolic, “he’s so good” sort of way. No, literally Steven Kwan has yet to miss. Through his first five MLB games, Kwan has yet to swing and miss at a pitch.
The reason @CleGuardians rookie Steven Kwan is so good at baseball ⬇️🔥 pic.twitter.com/AAEoPVO9BF
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 12, 2022
Not only is the Cleveland outfielder making contact, he’s been getting on base too. Kwan boasts an absurd .750 OBP through five games after a 1-for-2 day at the plate on Tuesday that featured two walks.
Somewhat thanks to Kwan, the Guardians have now won three-straight games, scoring 10-plus runs in all three affairs. Kwan will face off against the Reds again tomorrow, hoping to keep his whiff-less streak alive.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)