There are eleven or twelve games left for most teams now. As such, Currently Historic is drawing to a close. This isn’t the penultimate column, but next week will be. We will then spill briefly into October for our final installment.
Let’s start where we did last week, with one Mark Buehrle. You know the type. Big. Hairy. Wears a lot of flannel.
Oh, right, Buehrle, NOT burly. I got it. Close enough.
Anyway, Buehrle needs only five and two-thirds innings to get to 200. He has two starts left. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but well, okay that’s totally what I’m saying. He’ll be in a big ole’ tie for eighth all-time in consecutive 200-inning seasons.
This week, Francisco Liriano made two starts. He garnered a decision in only one of them. So much for that. I never really knew what to do with that factoid anyway.
Remarkably, Yu Darvish budged not an inch. He’s still having the ninth-best strikeouts-per-nine season ever. Texas, on the other hand, is having a little bit harder of a time.
And speaking of Texas, there really aren’t that many teams left named after states or regions. In baseball, we’re down to just Texas, Minnesota, and Colorado. I like the state names. It makes it feel like the Rangers could just up and move to San Antonio for a season without really betraying the fan base. “We’re the TEXAS Rangers, not the Dallas Rangers.”
Let’s try this next chunk all in one breath. Ready, set, go!
Miguel Cabrera still leads the league in RBI and batting average, but not in homers, but it’s still cool because no Triple Crown winner has ever had a follow-up season like that. Also, he leads in all three slash stats because he’s the best hitter ever.
And also, Joey Votto widened his on-base percentage lead because that’s just what he does. He’s going to lead four times in a row. NEATO! There are other awesome hitters, but with like eleven games to go, these are the only two we really care about here!
Did you make it? Good. Go get yourself a soda pop from the icebox.
Oh, wait! I’ve got something to sneak in on you. I tracked this briefly, but then it didn’t look like it would happen, but now it does. Votto has reached base 293 times. His teammate, Shin-Soo Choo, has reached base 283 times.
Votto is going to get to 300. Choo’s current pace would have him finish with (I’m not making this up) 299.6 times on base. If he managed that extra 0.4, they would, I believe, be just the fourth pair of teammates to accomplish such a feat.
The 2013 Astros now have the second-most strikeouts of any team ever. Their current pace would leave them with 1520. That would be nine short of the record. Or, as the Astros call it, a few bad innings.
The Orioles and Ray are going to finish as the two “best” fielding teams ever. If by best you mean fewest errors. Whatever.
Man, I’m really starting to think this whole two-guys-striking-out-200-times thing isn’t going to happen, and it bums me out.
Chris Carter, 199 Ks, 213-K pace: Well, this should happen by the time this column is posted.
Mike Napoli, 178 Ks, 190-K pace: The impressive thing here is that Napoli has played only in 133 games. If he’d stayed healthy all season, he’d have done it.
Chris Davis, 182 Ks, 197-K pace: Our last, best hope. Still, three extra strikeouts is a lot with this little time left in the season.
Pedro Alvarez, 177 Ks, 190-K pace: This seems really unlikely. However, the Reds are going to be throwing a lot of strikeout pitchers at the Pirates in that last week and a half. It will be interesting to watch.
The list. By next week, we’ll be down to two players.
Alex Rodriguez categories:
Hits: 2,937, Currently 32nd. Six behind Frank Robinson.
Hit by Pitch: 169, Currently 15th. Three behind Carlos Delgado. Not happenin’.
Times on Base: 4,342, Currently 26th. Nine behind Dave Winfield.
Todd Helton is now 16th all time all by himself. And that’s where he’s going to stay. He needs nine more to get to the next spot. This week, Helton officially announced his retirement. Good luck, sir. Good luck.
Michael Bourn still needs two steals to reach 300.