This column is the hardest one of the season to write. Why? For one, I’ve been writing about all these guys for weeks or, in many cases, months. That well is getting pretty dry. Second, nothing has been achieved officially yet, but there are, like, five games left in the season. So it’s not going to be long, and it’s not very bloody likely that someone is just going to storm out of nowhere and steal the show like Miguel Cabrera did last year.
So, it’s a struggle. But stick with me for a few hundred words, and we’ll get through it together.
And by together I mean I want to point out some pretty excellent reader comments I’ve had lately.
Last week, we learned from will that it was the antepenultimate column. I am always a fan of new words. This, of course, is the penultimate column.
It was also pointed out that the Diamondbacks are the Arizona Diamondbacks. Thus, a regional team I missed. (Though I’m not giving you Washington. Also, sorry, but no one thinks New York state when they hear New York.)
Chris Davis, as noted, does have a good chance of being the only player ever to finish with 53 or 55 homers. That would be pretty neat.
Alex Rodriguez is now the all-time leader in grand slams, but his career average has dipped under .300.
Okay, thanks for that kids. Next week, I’ve got a little surprise planned, which I think you’ll enjoy if I don’t screw it up too badly.
With 200.1 innings pitched, Mark Buehrle is now tied for the eighth-most consecutive seasons with 200 innings pitched. He’s now done it 13 times in a row, and I don’t see why he can’t do it some more. He’s only 34, and he’s never been hurt. Two more years and he’d be in a tie for third. That is a real testament to his durability.
Yu Darvish slipped just a little bit and now is having the tenth-best strikeout season ever by strikeouts per nine innings. He is a whopping three ten-thousands of a strikeout behind Pedro Martinez, so he certainly could move up the list when we finish this up next week.
Miguel Cabrera, you are fading. Your RBI lead is slim—Billy Hamilton slim. You may not end up leading the league in two Triple Crown categories the year after winning it. That would be too bad. You do seem to have a strangle hold on the slash stats, though.
Joey Votto now has a 15 point lead in on-base percentage. He’s going to lead the league in that category. If he can reach base ten more times, he’ll also have a top-40 season with 320 times on base.
Last week, we did add something to this section. Votto and teammate Shin-Soo Choo are trying to become the fourth pair to reach base 300 times each. Choo currently sits on 292 and needs to reach base eight times in the final five games of the season. Given his OBP, that’s almost exactly what you’d expect him to do. This should be interesting.
The Astros have struck out 1,477 times. They need 52 more to tie the record, 53 to break it. They have five games left as I write this. I believe you can do that math.
The Orioles and Rays continue to be locks to be the “best” fielding teams ever. The Orioles would have to make more than a dozen errors this week not to break the old record.
Oh, it just got real in strikeout town…
Chris Carter, 205 Ks 212 K pace: That’s one down. He’s not going to get the all-time record unless he has the worst week ever. However, Carter currently is tied for fourth ever, and if he fulfills his 212-K pace, he’ll be third all time.
Chris Davis, 195 Ks, 201 K pace: Davis is the only other player we’re tracking now, but he’s going to come awfully close. I’d guess he’s not going to sit any, either as the Orioles will be trying to get Davis the RBI crown. 201 strikeouts would be the seventh-“best” season ever. All of the top-15 seasons have occurred since 2006.
I mentioned Billy Hamilton earlier, and I need to talk about him some more. Thus far, he has stolen 13 bases and not been caught. The record is 21 by Kevin McReynolds in 1988, and 15 would get him in the top five. I’d bet on a top-five (unless he gets gunned down) ranking, and 21 is possible if he gets a couple of starts.
The list is almost gone…
Michael Bourn needs one steal to reach 300.
As always, stats are through Monday’s games. Thanks for reading. I’ll see you next week for the thrillingly poetic conclusion of the season.