I hate to do this. I just hate it, but it looks like we may have lost the most interesting season in baseball.
Adam Dunn, you’ve probably heard, has been banged up. His oblique is barking at him and he’s hardly been playing at all. The upshot isn’t good. Right now, he is no longer on pace to break Mark McGwire‘s single-season TTO record. He is no longer on pace for the TTO triple crown as Josh Hamilton has taken over the lead in homers. He is only on pace to tie the all-time strikeout record. And his 57.2 percent TTO rate is still good for just fourth.
It’s all very sad, but basically, Dunn needs to get back in the lineup right now, stay there, and become a TTO dynamo even by his own lofty standards if he is going to do something truly historic.
He did manage to tie Andres Galarraga for fifth all-time in strikeouts, however, and needs to get healthy if he’s going to catch and pass ARod this year.
However, we still have someone to dwell on today: Albert Pujols. Commenter aweb points out that Pujols is right on the verge of 500 doubles (497) and is closing in on 1,000 extra base hits (986).
I was poking around the leader boards on Baseball-Reference and it really drove home how spectacular Pujols has been. he is currently 37th all-time in extra base hits. He has done this in 12 seasons. To find another player on the list with 12 seasons or fewer of major league play, you have to go all the way down to Adam Dunn, who is currently 171st.
Pujols is signed to play for nine more years. If he did not get another extra base hit this year, he would need to manage only 23 per year to move into the top 10 all-time. That is just more than 1/4 his current career rate. He needs a somewhat loftier average of 55 per year to pass Hank Aaron at the top of the list. Pujols has been noticeably declining over the last several year, but he’s still been racking up 70-ish extra base hits. Passing Aaron isn’t likely, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Especially if he gets another three or four seasons under his belt before he really drops off.
So, yeah, Albert Pujols. Good ballplayer. New information, I’m sure.
Pitchers are crazy, and relief pitchers are especially crazy. This is something I have learned. Aroldis Chapman is going to be shutdown for a bit in hopes that he’s his normal self for the playoffs, but Craig Kimbrel just keeps trucking along and his 16.54 K/9 rate is looking like the new standard for pitchers with anything more than a few handfuls of innings. Kimbrel has really upped his game lately, and I’ll be interested to see where he finishes the year.
Jimmy Rollins is really getting all he can out of Currently Historic. He needs just a single swipe to get to 400.
Alex Rodriguez (seems to inspire ire no matter what one says about him) is now the fourth most prolific striker of outs ever. He’ll likely finish his career 4th or 5th. Dunn will pass him and it will be a matter of whether or not he passes Sammy Sosa. Likely, perhaps, but not certain. He has now moved into seventh on the RBI list and looks to pass Stan Musial for sixth before the season is over. He is also now 11th in runs, but should slide past Lou Gehrig for 10th at any moment. In a moment of true specialness, he was plunked again and is now 15th all time, where he’ll finish the season.
One important note: aweb, the commenter I mentioned earlier, points out that Rodriguez is now ninth in extra base hits and may well be sixth before the season is over.
Derek Jeter needs just four hits to pass Willie Mays for 11th on the hits list. Barring some truly transcendent hitting, he’ll finish one or two dozen shy of moving into the top 10. Something to aim for next year. With one more run, he’ll pass Mel Ott for 13th. He is now also 20th in outs made. No movement in HBP or GIDP, where he still needs a few more of each to be interesting.
Ryan Howard still needs four homers to get to 300. It might be close.
We are quickly coming to the end of the baseball season. As such, there’s less to keep up with, so Currently Historic is going to slow down a little. I’ll be back in two weeks with a final in-season update and then I’ll come back one last time with a wrap-up article. There have been some really good comments that I haven’t mentioned because I haven’t had time to research them yet. I hope to discuss them in that final post of the season.