Mike Napoli set a new Red Sox record Sunday. He marked the occasion with a helmet spike and an ejection.
Napoli struck out twice in the Red Sox’ 9-2 win over the Yankees on Sunday. His second strikeout, which was his 178th of the season, set a new single-season franchise record. The record was previously held by Mark Bellhorn, who struck out 177 times in 2004.
Napoli’s 178th strikeout ended the sixth inning and elicited an angry response from the slugger. Napoli slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration and was ejected by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa as he walked away. Brandon Snyder took over at first base in the top of the seventh inning.
Napoli’s 178 strikeouts are a career high. His previous career high was 137 K’s, which he racked up back in 2010 as a member of the Angels. Napoli, who had 510 plate appearances in 2010, has a career-high 546 plate appearances in 2013.
John Farrell has said all year that the Red Sox will live with Napoli’s high strikeout total as long as he continues to produce. That’s been the case, as Napoli blasted his 22nd home run of the season in the first inning Sunday.