Julio Rodriguez has been having a heck of a season so far. Yeah, it took him a while to get going, but the Mariners second-half success seems to go hand in hand with the increased production that we saw from Julio Rodriguez after the All-Star break.
He'd been sitting on 99 RBI for a while, actually mired in his longest RBI drought since around the All-Star break, having gone five straight games without knocking anyone across the plate. Early in the game, it seemed like we might have to wait even longer to see Julio get to 100 RBI as he was drilled near the left wrist by Athletics pitcher Joey Estes to lead off the third inning. Stomachs clenched all over Washington, but Julio stayed in the game, instantly providing relief to fans.
Don't make Julio angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
He didn't waste much time showing fans that he was A-OK, taking a 2-2 fastball over the fence in right, blasting it out of the park at 106 MPH. It was his 31st homer of the season, and his 100th RBI as well. Cal Raleigh joined in on the fun, taking a 2-2 pitch of his own to right, this one at 108.5 mph for his 29th homer of the season.
While not as rare as Luis Castillo joining the 200K club, Julio does become the 44th occurrence of a 100 RBI season for the Mariners, and is the 19th player to do so in team history. There haven't been many over the past 15 years, with Cruz twice, and Seager/Haniger/Cano all doing it once since 2009.
While unlikely, a strong finish by Teo (90 RBI) or Geno (89) could see them joining Julio in the 100 RBI club, and would give the Mariners two members in a season for the 13th time, which is actually impressive. The Mariners did have 8 straight seasons with 2+, and 6 of the first 7 with 3+... no surprise when you have Edgar, Griffey, A-Rod, and Buhner on the team. Over half of their 100 RBI seasons in team history came during that 8 year stretch.
Anyway, it's an impressive mark by Julio to get to at such a young age. If things go well, the hope is that he pushes Griffey for the most in team history with 7 seasons hitting that benchmark. That's a ways away though, and congratulations go out to Julio for the impressive feat.