Josiah Gray struck out a career high 11 hitters and snapped the Nationals six-game losing streak to earn the top spot on Week 13 of our #HighFive list.
1. Josiah Gray
Josiah Gray’s start Wednesday night in Philadelphia was one of his best to date as he racked up a career high 11 strikeouts in six innings and only allowed four hits for two earned runs which both came off solo homers by Kyle Schwarber.
It was his third career game with 10 or more strikeouts, which is the second most in Washington Nationals history by a player age 24 or younger.
Gray struggled in his first start of the month, but that day is an outlier compared to numbers he has put up since June.
Josiah Gray struck out a career-high 11 batters last night.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 7, 2022
In four starts last month, Gray allowed only three earned runs through 24 innings with 28 strikeouts, eight walks and a 1.13 ERA.
In addition to earning the top spot on the Week 13 #HighFive list, Gray will be featured on episode 13 of mlbbro.com’s High & Outside Podcast this coming Sunday.
His next start will be Tuesday against All-Star hopeful J.P. Crawford and the Seattle Mariners.
2. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien was awarded the inaugural mlbbro.com Player of The Year award this week for his 2021 season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Semien won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, was named to his first All-Star team and hit 45 home runs which broke the record for most in a single season by a second baseman.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 4, 2022
He got off to a slow start in his first season in Texas, but once we got to June he rediscovered that form.
Semien has batted .300 over the last month with eight home runs, eight stolen bases and 17 runs batted in. Going even further back, since May 18th he leads all second baseman in hits and steals.
Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien has found his rhythm after getting off to a slow start 👀 check out his full interview on the High & Outside Podcast with @_teammill and @OctobersOwnTae https://t.co/KhoIeI7PZx pic.twitter.com/n9PIIk92g5
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 5, 2022
This weekend Semien and his Rangers welcome Byron Buxton and the Minnesota Twins to Texas.
3. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge became the first ever New York Yankee to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star Break twice in his career, giving the best player on the best team in the Majors the three spot on our #HighFive list.
Judge’s 30th bomb came via a grand slam against the Pirates in a 16-0 massacre Wednesday.
He along with teammate Aaron Hicks both hit grand slams that day, making it the first time in MLB history that two different players with the same first name hit a grand slam in a game.
— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2022
Over his last seven games Judge has a .261 batting average with two home runs, seven RBI and five walks.
4. Josh Bell
Josh Bell continued his campaign to be named the Washington Nationals representative in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game by hitting .300 over his last seven games while trying to carry the Nationals offense on his shoulders.
Ahead of Sunday’s team announcement, Bell has put himself in the top five for average, OPS, hits, triples and slugging percentage for all Major League first baseman.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 3, 2022
This weekend Bell and the Nationals travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves.
5. Triston McKenzie
“Dr. Sticks” gets the last spot on our #HighFive list after his shutting out Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees through seven innings last Sunday.
McKenzie allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out seven in the Guardians win over the team with the Majors best record. This start came on the heels of a few rough outings to end his month of June, but McKenzie has shown multiple flashes throughout his third full season.
You have got to see what this bro has been doing.
Triston McKenzie has risen to ace stardom for the Guardians. He’s 3-1 in his last 4 starts and is scheduled to start Saturday in Detroit.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 27, 2022
His record now sits at 5-6 with a 3.71 ERA and 80 strikeouts.
McKenzie’s next start will come Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals.