Any bright spot for the Baltimore Orioles is cause for celebration so Cedric Mullins reaching base safely in 11 consecutive plate appearances — including a nine at-bat streak via base-hit — certainly qualifies. Mullins, prototypical centerfielder/leadoff man combo, entered the season with 115 Major League games under his belt and few signs he'd be a candidate to match the all-time record of an 11-for-11 stretch achieved only by Dustin Pedroia and Bernie Williams.
And yet when he singled in his last at-bat of a Friday victory and went 5-for-5 on Saturday, it became clear he was doing something special. His quest for 4-for-4 on Sunday ended with a harmless flyout but the damage had already been done on the visiting Cleveland Indians.
Five singles. Three homers. A double and two walks. Twenty-one total bases in 11 plate appearances for a cool 2.909 OPS. Matt Christopher stuff. Career-defining stuff, really. Another reason in the seemingly endless manilla folder to watch baseball because at any time and in any game, the pursuit of history lurks around each corner.
Mullins raised his batting average to .322 on the year via the torrid stretch. His OPS sits at a meaty .923 and he leads the American League in hits with 73. He's second in fWAR at 2.7. Not bad for a guy who abandoned hitting right-handed entirely in the offseason to focus on his work from the left side of the dish.
Enough to earn an All-Star nod? Stay tuned.