Twenty-eight days into the month, Kyle Schwarber hit his 14th home run of June to set the Nationals record for the most long balls in any calendar month since the team was founded as the Montreal Expos in 1969. Schwarber broke a tie with former National Bryce Harper (May 2015) and retired Expo Vladimir Guerrero (September 2000) to take the record for himself.
All 14 of Schwarber’s home runs have come from the leadoff spot. Nationals manager Davey Martinez moved the slugger to the top of the order to give the lineup a spark and the results were almost immediate. He homered in his second game as the Nationals’ leadoff man and has since had six first-inning home runs to get Washington’s scoring started.
That first week atop the order helped Schwarber nab NL Player of the Week honors, but he didn’t stop there. The former Chicago Cub has raised his season OPS more than 100 points in the last 10 days (up to .877 entering play Monday) while moving into second place on the NL home run leaderboard.
Monday’s long ball was Schwarber’s 23rd of the year. He trails only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (26), Shohei Ohtani (26) and Fernando Tatís Jr. (25) for the most in baseball.