For two-homer games, look to second basemen (at least for now)
When Mark Ellis of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Howie Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels each hit two home runs in a game Tuesday, it meant that major-league second basemen had more multi-homer games this season (five) than major-league first basemen (four). It's not a particularly meaningful stat, but as Ellis readily agreed, it sure is a fun one for the second basemen.
NEW YORK -- The season is 3 1/2 weeks old, so I'm not going to claim that this stat proves anything or means anything.
I'm just going to say I found it amusing. And so did Mark Ellis.
When both the Dodgers second baseman (Ellis) and the Angels second baseman (Howie Kendrick) had a two-homer game Tuesday night, it meant that major-league second basemen have more multi-homer games this year than major-league first basemen.
"I like that," Ellis said Wednesday.
Ellis and Kendrick were the fourth and fifth second basemen to homer twice in a game (Brandon Phillips, Ryan Roberts and Robinson Cano were the others). Through Tuesday, only four major-leaguers had multi-homer games this year as first basemen (Ike Davis, Chris Carter, Adam LaRoche and Prince Fielder).
"The game's changing," Dodger manager (and one-time first baseman) Don Mattingly said with a smile.
There's no reason to carry this very far, because it's early, and because the truth is that first basemen still have hit far more home runs overall than second basemen. They've just spread them out a little more.
So no, the game isn't changing that much. Second base is not becoming the big power position.
"I hope not," Ellis said. "I'd be out of a job."
Ellis does have 101 career home runs (in 11 seasons and more than 5,000 major-league plate appearances). Getting to triple-digits was something of a goal he set years ago, when he was a rookie and Randy Velarde was a 39-year-old veteran on the 2002 A's.
Velarde homered twice that year (not in the same game) to finish his career with exactly 100.
"I thought that would be cool, to get to 100," Ellis said.
He got there Tuesday night, and then he got to 101. And when Kendrick homered twice later the same night in Anaheim (the second a walk-off in the 11th inning), second basemen had more multi-homer games than first basemen (or than any other position, besides left fielders).
And that's cool. Not particularly meaningful, but cool.