Thursday, April 28, 2011
Zobrist joins rare company Thursday
Not a bad day's work for Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist, who finished 7-for-10 with 10 RBIs in Thursday's doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
He's the fourth player in MLB history to notch seven hits and at least 10 RBIs in a doubleheader, and the first since Nate Colbert did it for the 1972 San Diego Padres.
In the first of the two games, Zobrist set the Rays' franchise record with eight RBIs. He was the first player with at least eight RBIs in a game since Toronto's Adam Lind had eight RBIs on Aug. 31, 2009.
The eight RBIs tied Zobrist with six others (including Hall of Famers Bobby Doerr and Rogers Hornsby) for the most single-game RBIs by a second baseman since the live-ball era (since 1920). Tony Lazzeri set the record with 11 RBIs back in 1936.
ROUNDING THE BASES
• Seattle Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda (4-1, 2.01 ERA this season) joined some strong company with his win Thursday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pineda became just the fourth pitcher since 2006 with at least four wins in his first five career appearances -- while posting an ERA less than 2.50. The others: Mat Latos (4-1, 2.43) and Tommy Hanson (4-0, 2.48) in 2009, and Jered Weaver (5-0, 1.35) in 2006.
• Ryan Vogelsong started for the San Francisco Giants on Thursday and earned the win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was his first start since Sept. 29, 2004, making it six years and 211 days since his last start. That was the longest gap between starts since Scot Shields went six years and 303 days between starts from Sept. 28, 2003, to July 28, 2010 (both with the Angels), according to Elias.
• What's the difference for Pablo Sandoval this season? Some might say the weight, but what's really changed is his approach against off-speed pitches. He's swinging less and chasing less, and as a result, he's doing more with the off-speed pitches he does swing at. Sandoval is slugging .561 against off-speed pitches so far this season, compared to his .350 slugging percentage a season ago.
• Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester went a season-high eight innings, improving to 14-0 against the Orioles in his career. He is the second pitcher in the past 50 years to win each of his first 14 decisions against a franchise (Roy Oswalt started 15-0 against the Reds).
• New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia improved to 17-4 career against the Chicago White Sox. His .810 win percentage is the highest by a pitcher against the White Sox franchise since the end of World War II (min. 20 decisions).