Saturday, September 4, 2010
Twenty HR (again) for Twins' Thome
Not only did the Minnesota Twins' Jim Thome pass Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time home run list with HRs 583 and 584 on Saturday, but it also marked the 16th season that Thome's hit at least 20 home runs. Since 1994, Thome has hit at least 20 HR in each season with the exception of 2005, when he hit seven in 59 games with the Philadelphia Phillies.
• The Texas Rangers' Colby Lewis has now allowed two home runs in back-to-back starts for the first time this season. This after he allowed more than one HR just twice in his first 25 starts.
• On Aug. 11, the St. Louis Cardinals finished a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. Since then? The Reds are 15-5 while the Red Birds are 6-14. In that span, the Reds went from one back of the Cardinals in the National League Central to eight games in front.
• Albert Pujols had an infield single Saturday, snapping the longest at-bat drought of his career without a hit at 18. His batting average dropped from .322 to .310 during that stretch.
• After going 17-6 with a 1.99 ERA in his first 25 starts, the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright is now 0-4 with a 4.88 ERA in his last four starts.
• The Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano continues to pitch well of late: 4-0, 1.98 ERA in his last six starts. Saturday against the Mets, he allowed one walk and no hits against the 12 batters who faced a two-strike count. Zambrano also retired nine of the 10 Mets he faced with runners on base. The first 10 batters of the game and 19 of 26 overall saw a first-pitch strike. Zambrano's overall first-pitch strike percentage was also his highest in six starts.
• Twenty-three of the Boston Red Sox 30 plate appearances against the Chicago White Sox John Danks were four pitches or less, and 17 of those 23 began with first-pitch strikes. The Red Sox were 2-for-17 (.118) when Danks was even or ahead in the count. Danks used his changeup as his out pitch. Of 18 changeups he threw, 13 came in two-strike counts. He threw 52 of 103 pitches either low in the zone or below it, including 30 that were out of the strike zone. That's the first time in 11 starts that more than half of Danks' pitches have been on the low side.
• The Oakland Athletics' Trevor Cahill became the fourth starting pitcher since 2000 -- and first since Mark Prior in 2003 -- to win at least 15 games in season at age 22 or younger.