José Abreu Just Did Something That Has Never Been Done Before

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

José Abreu's start to his career in Houston couldn't possibly have gone worse. He's been the subject of much backlash and banter, but has continued to put in the work. It appears that may finally be paying off.

Abreu finally got off the schneid on Sunday, hitting his first home run in 283 plate appearances. You could see the weight lifted off his shoulders as he sprinted around the basepaths and celebrated with his teammates.

Something may have clicked for Abreu recently, who strung together some really good at-bats yesterday, including doing something that had never been done in big league history.

After the Twins tied the game in the top of the 9th, they gave the ball to their flame-throwing reliever, Jhoan Duran. Duran is as unhittable as it gets, boasting a 104 mph fastball, a 99 mph splitter and an 89 mph hammer curve. His electric stuff has him in the 99th percentile in xwOBA/xERA, xSLG and xBA. His 1.27 ERA and 0.89 WHIP are microscopic. Guys just can't hit him, and when they do, it sure isn't hard.

Except for José Abreu that is. Abreu led off the 9th by bashing a 3-2 fastball back up the middle for a single. The pitch left Duran's hands traveling 103.6 mph. Abreu turned it around with an exit velocity of 109.7 mph. Until that moment in time, no big leaguer had ever picked up a hit faster than 96 mph on a pitch thrown 103+ MPH.

Duran then made light work of the rest of the lineup over his two innings of work. Only Abreu was able to get to him in another positive sign for Abreu.

He finished the day 1-3 with a walk, but even his two outs were solid. His second inning lineout was struck 103.4 mph and had a .600 xBA while his 97.4 mph lineout in the fourth had a .680 xBA.

If Abreu can keep things rolling, the Astros offense will be in a great place.