This time last week, you could have said Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodríguez was experiencing a sophomore slump after winning AL Rookie of the Year last year.
Yeah, about that.
With a fourth straight four-hit game on Saturday, Rodríguez set an MLB record with 17 hits in four games. He is also only the second player in MLB history with four straight four-hit games, joining Milt Stock of the 1925 Brooklyn Robins, per MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.
The Mariners won Saturday’s game 10-3 against the Houston Astros, with Rodríguez going 4-for-6 with two runs and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot.
As of Aug. 12, Rodríguez was hitting .256/.319/.433 with 19 homers and 27 stolen bases, a perfectly fine situation but well below the expectations most Mariners would have had for a player who reached phenom status with an electric rookie year at 21 years old.
Now, in the span of seven games, Rodríguez has bumped those numbers up to .278/.337/.463 with 21 homers and 33 stolen bases. He had four hits in the three games preceding that streak of four-hit games, so it’s safe to say there’s no hitter in baseball hotter than Rodríguez right now.
That hotness has helped Seattle win five straight, 13 of their last 16 and 22 of 33 second-half games. The 68-55 Mariners currently hold the third AL wild-card spot, with a half-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.