I gave a cursory glance to the leader boards this week and there’s a lot of the normal stuff you’d expect: Lots of guys hitting .400. Pitchers with obscenely low ERAs. Nothing worth reporting on. Except, on a hunch, I checked on Adam Dunn. You may remember Mr. Dunn from his near-but-not-quite historic strikeout and Three True Outcomes (TTO) achievements last year.
Well guess what? His TTO percentage is 46 and he’s struck out nine times in six games. This is something to watch. Dunn almost broke the single season strikeout record last year (only a late season injury stopped him), and if he stays healthy, he’s a good bet to do it this year.
That’s the only current-season achievement we have to track right now (we’ll add more in the coming weeks), but let’s take a look at how some of our career-achievers are doing. You’ll note, by the way, that I’m temporary removing players who are DL’d. Once Derek Jeter gets into the lineup, for instance, he’ll be all over this list, but for now, you can refer to last week’s column if you want to know about those who are starting the year banged up.
Todd Helton played, but did not double this week. Thus, he still needs four more to move into the top 20.
Adrian Beltre had two doubles and now needs only 35 more to reach 500 for his career.
Albert Pujols went deep twice this past week, giving him 477 homers. He needs 23 to reach 500 and 35 to enter the top 20.
Prince Fielder also hit a pair and needs 38 to get to 300.
Extra base hits:
Pujols added a double to his two homers and needs just two more to get to 1,000. Helton still needs 40 more to get there.
Runs batted in:
Pujols is now 61 short of 1500.
Juan Pierre did not steal a base this past week and still needs nine to reach 600. He was caught once, though, and is now just two away from becoming the sixth man to be caught 200 times.
Michael Bourn (277) stole a sack and thus began his pursuit of 300.
Mariano Rivera got into two games and needs six more to have the seventh most appearances ever.
Andy Pettitte (492), Mark Buehrle (397), Barry Zito (395), Roy Halladay (377) and Bartolo Colon (376) began their steady marches to round numbers. I somehow missed CC Sabathia last week, but with 385 starts, he’s on this train as well.
Tim Hudson (198) and Sabathia (192) got moving toward 200. Halladay (199) is, um, still putting his boots on.
Joe Nathan got to 300 saves, so perhaps a few words are in order about him. Being an NL guy, I’ll confess that I never paid much attention to Nathan. He was just one of those guys in the AL throwing up saves. Good for my fantasy team, but not someone who set me on fire. However, given that he didn’t start closing until he was 29, it’s a very impressive total. Rivera managed only 59 more saves than Nathan during his age-29 to 37 seasons. When you consider that Nathan lost an entire year to injury, he really has been something.
Jonathan Papelbon (258) needs 42 to get to 300.
Pettitte (984) and Ryan Dempster (996) both moved a little closer to 1,000 walks.
Pittsburgh now needs 37 wins to reach 10,000. Given how the Pirates have started the season, that might take a while.