In baseball there’s always another record to set or statistical feat to accomplish, and Matt Chapman is the kind of player who will probably be at the center of a lot of those over the years. He came up with one on Monday.
Facing the Angels in Anaheim, Chapman homered in his first two at-bats, and then added a bases-clearing triple to top off his day — all within the first four innings. That combination of hits has been collected only once before by an Oakland A’s player, Mitchell Page back in 1977.
Overall, including the club’s days in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Chapman is the eighth A’s player ever to do it in franchise history, and the first to drive in six runs along the way.
- Bing Miller, 1922, vs. CLE (2 RBI)
- Joe Hauser, 1928, vs. NYY (2 RBI)
- Jimmie Foxx, 1933, vs. SLB (now BAL) (2 RBI)
- Bob Johnson, 1935, vs. NYY (4 RBI)
- Eddie Joost, 1951, vs. CHW (5 RBI)
- Roger Maris, 1958, vs. WSH (now MIN) (5 RBI)
- Mitchell Page, 1977, vs. BOS (4 RBI)
- Matt Chapman, 2020, vs. LAA (6 RBI)
That’s a fun group of names! Foxx is a Hall of Famer, and Miller was his two-time championship teammate. Johnson was a five-time All-Star for the A’s, and Joost represented them twice. Maris of course went on to greater fame with the Yankees, but Hauser preceded him in history by hitting 61 or more homers in a season — twice, in the minors.
As for Page, he was a rookie outfielder in ‘77 and went on to post 6 WAR that year, though he never replicated that success again. He played for the A’s through 1983 and then retired one season later, though he did get one last hurrah as a player — in 1994 he appeared in the movie Angels in the Outfield as a first baseman.
Chapman’s big day
On Monday, Chapman got going right away in the 2nd inning. The A’s were in an early 3-0 hole, and he wasted no time sparking the comeback against Halos starter Julio Teheran.
Chappy goes yard for the third straight game pic.twitter.com/9q0FRuAbbg— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 11, 2020
He came up again in the 3rd, this time with the score tied and a runner on base, and went yard again off Teheran.
Finally, with Oakland leading 5-4 in the 4th and the bases loaded, he blew the game open with a triple off Matt Andriese to clear all the runners. That gave him 6 RBI for the day.
BASES CLEARING TRIPLE— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 11, 2020
Chappy has 6 RBI for the game pic.twitter.com/3VEK4rNkSJ
Unfortunately, Chapman wasn’t able to add to his total in two more plate appearances, including once with a pair of runners on base. The Angels came back, and the A’s went on to lose the slugfest 10-9.
In case you were wondering, those hits weren’t cheapies. Each one was drilled, with uncannily similar exit velocities.
- 1st HR: 106.6 mph
- 2nd HR: 106.4 mph
- Triple: 106.3 mph
Even his first out was a smash, as he lined the ball at 101.3 mph for what should have been a hit 65% of the time. In this case it was caught by shortstop David Fletcher, who flipped to second base to double off the runner. His strikeout in the 9th at the hands of Ty Buttrey was tied with all other strikeouts in history at a 0 mph exit velocity.
Chapman’s monster day had a huge impact on his stat line, which is beginning to look more MVP-ish.
Chapman: .271/.311/.629, 159 wRC+, 6 HR, 5.4% BB, 31.1% Ks
The OBP and walk rate haven’t quite caught up yet, and the strikeouts are high, but his six homers are exceeded by only four players in MLB (Tatis, Judge, Trout, and Nick Castellanos).
And of course, because this is Chapman, all that hitting might not have been his most impressive highlight of the game. He also made this defensive gem, robbing the Angels of a run — and maybe more, depending how the rally might have proceeded with an extra out to work with.
Chapman on interactions with Trout and Pujols: “Trout was like, ‘Wow. You’re just having a game aren’t you?’ I started off the game hot but they got the last laugh. Pujols was like, ‘Why you always taking RBIs and runs from me?’ I said, ‘I figured you already had enough.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 11, 2020