Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1st Pitch: A look at some unlikely leaders
By Ryan McCrystal, ESPN Stats and Info
Today’s Trivia: Who hit the most home runs for the Tigers during Ernie Harwell’s tenure with the team?
Quick Hits: Rod Barajas has four homers in his last four games and leads all catchers with seven home runs this season. Here’s a look at a few other unlikely players leading their position in a category:
* Alex Gonzalez leads all shortstops with 8 home runs
* Jose Guillen leads all DHs in homers (2) and RBI (21)
* No surprise that Juan Pierre leads a position in stolen bases, but who would’ve guessed that position would be DH? He has four stolen bases as a DH this year
* Austin Jackson leads all outfielders in multi-hit games with 14
* John Buck leads all catchers with 13 extra-base hits
* David Freese leads all third basemen with a .455 BA with RISP
* Adam LaRoche leads first basemen with a .400 BA against lefties
* Nate Schierholtz leads all outfielders with a .423 BA in the 7th inning or later
Today’s Leaderboard: Tigers rookie Austin Jackson is currently batting .376 and ranks among the major league leaders. While it’s an impressive start, it would seem unlikely that he’ll keep up that pace. Why? Jackson’s batting average on balls in play is .524 this season. The major league average is an even .300.
Key Matchups: It looks promising for Andy Pettitte to continue his hot start against the Orioles today. A number of Orioles have struggled against Pettitte including Miguel Tejada (5-25), Luke Scott (2-12), Ty Wigginton (2-21) and Nolan Reimold (0-8).
It’s been all or nothing for Carlos Pena in his career against Cliff Lee. Pena has 3 career homers against Lee, but has just 2 other hits in 22 at bats. His .227 career average against Lee isn’t nearly the worst among his teammates however. Carl Crawford (3-18), Evan Longoria (1-7) and Dioner Navarro (0-10) are among other Rays who have struggled.
Trivia Answer: Norm Cash, 373 home runs. Cash began his career in Detroit the same year as Harwell, in 1960, after being acquired in a trade from the Indians. Trailing Cash on the list are Al Kaline (274 HR) and Willie Horton (262).