Cubs rookie Ian Happ went 1-for-5 last night with a walk, a grand slam, and four strikeouts during the Cubs’ 14-3 beatdown over the Mets. That makes him, per Baseball Reference, one of only five players in baseball history to hit a grand slam and earn a Golden Sombrero in a single game.
Reggie Jackson did it twice, once in 1982 and once in 1985. Derek Norris had the most recent grand slam/four-K game in May 2015. In between, Mark Teixeira had one in 2003, and Cory Snyder had one in 1987.
Happ even had a chance to become the first player to ever hit a grand slam and strike out five times in a game. Because the Cubs scored so many runs, they put up 49 plate appearances as a team—14 more than the Mets’ fairly standard 35 appearances. That gave Happ a sixth appearance at the plate—the other grand slam/four-K guys only had five—and with it he earned a walk.
Happ’s been off to a really rough start this season, hitting .207 (and .194 in June) with a .310 OBP in his first 100 plate appearances off the bench. He’s hit six home runs, though, bringing his OPS up to passable .804.
Last night must have been kind of weird for Happ; normally a four-strikeout night is a demoralizing one and a grand-slam night is a great night. Do they balance each other out? Is one more emotionally resonant than the other on a night where they both took place? Does the Cubs’ easy victory take the sting out of the strikeouts? Is it cool to be just one of five guys to ever do this? Baseball: still pretty weird.