Sunday, September 15, 2013
Kernels: 2B ... or not 2B (lots of doubles!)
By Doug Kern
Back in June we did a whole post on triples. So it's only fitting that we also devote one to interesting and unusual stats about the week in doubles before the season's out.
• In a week with several more high-scoring games, two teams-- the Houston Astros on Tuesday and the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday-- each hit eight doubles in a game to tie the big-league season high. It was the first time Houston had eight two-baggers in a game in a decade (September 12, 2003 versus Atlanta), and just the second time any team had done it at Safeco Field (the Twins on April 17, 2007).
• In addition to hitting two of those doubles, Jose Altuve also stole three bases, including two swipes of third. Only 10 players in the past 50 years have had two doubles and three steals in a game; the others include Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, Joe Carter, Tim Raines and Lou Brock.
• That Wednesday game for the Athletics was a lopsided 18-3 win over the Minnesota Twins that saw Oakland's first double-digit inning since June 18, 2000. (It was also the first score of exactly 18 this season, filling in every number from 0 to 20.) The Athletics became the first team to hit eight doubles in Target Field's four-season history. The Orioles, earlier this season, had been the only team to hit seven.
• Robinson Cano of the Yankees, on Friday, was one of three players this week to have three doubles in one game. Cano has had four three-double games for the Yankees, the first being May 30, 2007. Since then only two other Yankees have even done it once: Jorge Posada in 2008 and Mark Teixeira in 2011.
• Twins catcher Josmil Pinto has made the most of his September callup; he had seven hits in his first 10 at-bats and is still hitting ,405 over his 11-game major-league career. In Monday's win over the Angels, Pinto became the first Minnesota hitter with three doubles since another catcher, Joe Mauer, in August 2009.
Pinto also became the first player with a three-double game in his first 10 career appearances since Nick Evans of the Mets did it in his debut on May 24, 2008. The only other catcher in the live-ball era with that distinction is Tim Spehr of the Royals (July 28, 1991).
• Mark Trumbo of the Angels also hit three doubles in Tuesday's win over Toronto. He added a homer and a single for his first career five-hit game. He's just the second batter in Angels history with a homer and three doubles in a game. Juan Rivera in September 2008 was the other.
Behind cleanup hitter Trumbo, Josh Hamilton and Chris Iannetta also each had three hits with at least one homer and two RBI in that game. They're the first 4-5-6 hitters to do that in the same game since Brian Jordan, John Mabry, and Gary Gaetti teamed up for the Cardinals against the Cubs on July 12, 1996.
Thanks to hits behind him, Trumbo also scored on all five trips around the bases. Only two other players in the live-ball era have posted a homer, three doubles, and five runs scored in one game. They are Dodger great Steve Garvey (1977) and HOF'er Willie Stargell for the Pirates in a 20-10 outburst against the Braves on August 1, 1970.
• Two players on Saturday reached the 50-double plateau for the season. Manny Machado of the Orioles now stands six shy of the team record of 56, set by Brian Roberts in 2009. Meanwhile, the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter won't approach Joe Medwick's mark of 64 in 1936, but he has joined some elite company. Since the team joined the NL in 1892, the only other Cardinals with 50 doubles in a season are Medwick, Enos Slaughter, Albert Pujols, and Stan Musial.
And Machado's teammate, Chris Davis, hit his 50th home run on Friday night to tie franchise record owned by Brady Anderson. But Davis also hit his 40th and 41st doubles this week, becoming just the third hitter ever to have a season with 50 homers and 40 doubles. The others are Albert Belle (1995) and Babe Ruth (1921).