Summer officially arrived this weekend, so of course the baseball gods gave fans a lot to remember.
Let’s start in the Bronx, where New York Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez made history. After serving a year-long suspension in 2014 for using performance-enhancing drugs, A-Rod has been making for lost time. Through Sunday, he’s hitting .282 with 14 home runs, and earlier in the season one of those blasts pushed him passed Wille Mays to fourth all-time in homers.
His home run in the bottom of the first in Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tiger brought Rodriguez into more elite company. The solo shot was his 3.000th career hit, making him the 29th player in MLB history to join the 3,000 Hits Club. He’s also only the third player to ever reach the milestone on a home run (the others were Wade Boggs in 1999 and Derek Jeter in 2011).
"A year ago today, I didn't know if this day would come," A-Rod said. "It's a magical number. I’m very happy to be in the club."
Less than a day later, Washington National pitcher Max Scherzer got in on the history-making. On a sweltering day in the nation’s capital, Scherzer shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates for 8 2/3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk and was one batter away from a perfect game. But an inside pitch against Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata clipped him on the elbow (or did he lean into it?) breaking up Scherzer’s perfect game. But on the next at-bat, he got a fly out to earn the win, 6-0, and the first no-hitter of his career.
When the game ended, Scherzer threw his hands up, was mobbed by his teammates, and got a Gatorade bath. He was also doused in chocolate syrup — a fun take on on-field celebrations, but kind of gross considering the temperature was in the mid 90s (and felt like 103)! Even sweeter: Scherzer’s family was in the crowd, and he celebrated with them on the field.
"I mean there is [a bit of a letdown], just because you're so close, one strike away from a perfect game," Scherzer said. "But to get a no-hitter in front of these fans, there's nothing better."
Photos: Al Bello/Getty Images (Rodriguez), Mitchell Layton for Sports Illustrated (Scherzer)