New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira recorded the 37th multi-homer game of his career in Wednesday's 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians, giving him the third-most multi-homer games by a switch-hitter in MLB history, per MLB Stat of the Day on Twitter.
Mickey Mantle and Chipper Jones are the only switch-hitters with more multi-homer games, as Mantle collected 46 and Jones had 40.
Per Baseball Almanac, Mantle's 536 career home runs are the most by any switch-hitter, while Jones' 468 set the standard for the National League. Both sluggers played their entire careers for one team, Jones with the Atlanta Braves and Mantle with the New York Yankees.
While Teixeira can't quite compare to those two in terms of historical impact on the game, it's looking like he will make a run at Mantle's switch-hitter record of 46 multi-homer games.
Left for dead by some after he struggled with injuries the last two years, the Bronx Bombers first baseman has quietly—at least by New York standards—put together a solid season. Heading into Thursday's game against the Indians, Teixeira leads the Yanks in both home runs (17) and RBI (47) while owning a .241/.338/.470 slash line.
Though he's outperformed expectations in the first half of the season, Teixeira actually seems to be a victim of bad luck. His .240 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is far below his career mark of .289, despite the fact that he owns a strong line-drive rate of 22.4 percent, according to Fangraphs.
Teixeira's BABIP has been exceptionally low since the beginning of 2010, but in past seasons, it was correlated with a low line-drive rate and high fly-ball rate, indicating that the low BABIP was a result of his hitting style rather than the product of poor luck.
If he keeps swinging the bat the way he has been, Teixeira will likely see his batting average rise from its current level of .241.
In light of his recent renaissance, the 34-year-old slugger may eventually pass Jones for third place on the all-time home runs list among switch-hitters. With 358 long balls, Teixeira currently sits in fifth place behind Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504), Jones (468) and teammate Carlos Beltran (367).
The 37-year-old Beltran, unlike Teixeira, seems to be nearing the end of the line. While Beltran's ugly .216/.271/.401 slash line is far from what the Yankees expected, the team can at least take some comfort in having one reliable switch-hitter in the middle of the lineup.
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