I’m going to start with the fun/absurd/not historic stat from last week and tell you that Francisco Liriano has 21 starts and 21 decisions. I’m tracking that just because I think it’s fun. If you disagree with me, we can fight about it. But be warned, I know how to use a semicolon correctly; you do it by joining two closely related sentences without using a conjunction. Bam! Take that!
And speaking of ridiculous pitcher-y things, a reader emailed this week to point out that Mark Buehrle is closing in on his 13th straight season of 200 innings pitched. That’s easily tops among active pitchers and it’s fairly rare throughout baseball as many pitchers you might think of were derailed by an injury here, a war there, a labor strike over that-a-way. Buehrle has been fabulously consistent.
Here’s something interesting for you to consider: Yu Darvish, right now, has the seventh best K/9 rate in major league history for a single season. There are a lot of familiar names on that list, as you might guess. Staring at a list of top seasons, I noticed a pattern. There are a lot of players who peaked late (I’m talking about Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling) and a lot of guys flamed out early (Dwight Gooden, Oliver Perez, Kerry Wood), but there aren’t many guys who had a really good career all the way through. The only exception is Pedro Martinez, and even he was done earlier than we might have expected.
Scanning down the list, the first exception I can see is Roger Clemens at number 41. Just glancing, this would seem mostly to indicate that it’s hard to dominate major league hitters for a long time (surprise!), but it might also say something about how pitchers who seem to “have it all” don’t usually last long.
It’s been an oddly frustrating season to be a Reds fan, but I will say that I enjoyed watching the Reds beat the snot out of Adam Wainwright twice this past week. The only negative consequence is that, even this late in the game, there’s not point in tracking him anymore. I think I’ll survive.
Miguel Cabrera, I have lately taken to addressing you directly. I like it, and so I’m going to keep doing it. This is what I’m gonna need from you: six homers this week. I know, I know. I’m not sick in the hospital or anything, but there’s a good chance that would get you past Chris Davis and then you’d be right there for another Triple Crown, and that would be good for this column. I know you had an injury, but you’re in the lineup tonight. So, you know, let’s get going. K, thx, bye.
Also, Cabrera still leads the league in all three slash stats. He’s good at using the baseball bat. I hear in his spare time, he uses it craft delicate paper sculptures which he then photographs as they dissolve in the rain. It’s reportedly a project focused on the transient nature of physical beauty, but the really impressive part is watching him fold paper with the carefully directed breeze from his swing.
Votto. OBP lead watch. Just as reminder: he’s going to do it for the fourth time in a row. The other players who have done that are Bonds, Boggs, Williams, and Hornsby. It’s an okay crowd to run with, thought they were all a bit persnickety (though, frankly, that’s too light a term for Hornsby) in one way or another. Votto is looking to class things up, I guess. Nothing wrong with that.
Chris Davis’ homer pace has really been slowing. He’s on track for 56 now. That’s still 16th all time, but it’s not 60.
And speaking of falling off the pace, it’s been a long run for you here Manny Machado, and it is with a heavy heart that we bid you farewell.
The Astros are now on pace for “only” 1,525 strikeouts. That’s actually not good enough. Pick it up boys, pick it up.
The Orioles are now on pace to finish with only 48 errors while the Rays have slipped up and are now aiming at 61.
The strikeout race is going to be very, very, very close. I still think it would be neat for two guys to make 200. Not sure we’ll see it. We do have a returning member of the club, however.
Chris Carter, 182 Ks, 214 K pace: Any moment now. I guess the smart money would figure on Carter passing the 200 mark in about two weeks.
Mike Napoli, 167 Ks, 195 K pace: Steady as she goes. We just need a little push right here. Just a little one.
Chris Davis, 165 Ks, 195 K pace: Crush is closing.
Pedro Alvarez, 167 Ks, 197 K pace: I comfortably dismissed him awhile back, but he’s hacked his way back into contention and given us another contender.
The list has grown as Derek Jeter is playing regularly. It’s late in the season, so there are only a few valid categories, but he has room to climb.
Alex Rodriguez Categories:
Hits: 2,925, Currently 37th. Two behind Al Simmons. Any minute now.
Total bses: 5,453, Currently ninth. 82 behind Carl Yastrzemski. This one is going bye-bye.
Hit by pitch: 169, Currently 15th. Three behind Carlos Delgado.
Times on base: 4,321, Currently 27th. 18 behind Al Kaline.
Derek Jeter categories:
Plate appearances: 11,946. Currently 19th. 46 behind Tris Speaker
Hits: 3,313. Currently 11th. Eddie Collins is two away.
Times on base: 4,519. Currently 16th. 42 behind Frank Robinson
Adrian Beltre still needs 10 doubles to reach 500. I don’t see it, so I’m cutting him loose.
Michael Bourn needs three steals to reach 300.
Bartolo Colon started his 400th game. Chad Dotson wrote about him last week.
Thanks for reading. As always, stats are through Monday’s games.