Stats & Info: Lou Gehrig

More incredible notes from Cliff Lee's complete game victory Tuesday over the Tampa Bay Rays, giving the Texas Rangers their first postseason series victory ever:

• Lee won his sixth straight decision as a starter to begin his postseason career, tied for third-most all-time with Lefty Gomez. The record is eight by Orlando Hernandez.

• Lee had the fourth CG win on the road in a winner-takes-all game in the last 40 years, and the first since John Smoltz for the 1991 Atlanta Braves.

Cliff Lee
• Lee has won five straight postseason starts in which he pitched seven or more innings, and only Bob Gibson, Dave Stewart and Red Ruffing have longer streaks in major league history.

• Lee became the sixth starting pitcher to win two road games in a single postseason series, allowing one run or fewer in each. The last was Roy Oswalt for the 2005 Houston Astros in the NLCS.

• Lee's 21 strikeouts are the third-most in a single series for an AL pitcher since 1920.

• Lee threw his fifth postseason game with seven or more IP and no walks, which ties Christy Mathewson for the second-most ever. Greg Maddux has the record with seven such games.

• Lee's Game Score of 82 made it the fifth game this postseason of 80 or better. That ties an all-time record for a single postseason, set in 1967 (when there were five in a seven-game World Series) and tied in 1997.

• That Game Score is tied for fourth-best by a starting pitcher in a winner-takes-all postseason game. Sandy Koufax (1965 Los Angeles Dodgers), Jack Morris (1991 Minnesota Twins) and Ralph Terry (1962 New York Yankees) were the only three with a higher Game Score and they all did it in Game 7 of the World Series.

• There were four complete games in the LDS in which the pitcher allowed one run or fewer, the most since the 1986 LCS also had four.


• The Rangers became the first team in MLB history to score twice from second base on infield outs in a postseason game. The last teams to do it even once was the Baltimore Orioles in Game 5 of the 1970 World Series in the Cincinnati Reds. Before Tuesday, the Rays had never allowed it to happen once in any game, regular season or postseason.

• During the regular season there were three instances of a runner scoring from second base on an infield out.

• Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both hit three home runs in the series, becoming the second pair of teammates in major league history to hit three HR apiece in a postseason series of five-or-fewer-games. The other pair was Babe Ruth (three HR, all in one game) and Lou Gehrig (four HR) in the Yankees four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.
Today’s Trivia: Happy 27th Birthday to Joey Votto. Can you name the only two players to win the Triple Crown after turning 30?

Quick Hits: Let’s check in on some eye-popping pitching stats being put up since the All-Star break.
• In his last six starts, Felix Hernandez has a 0.20 ERA (Side note: All 11 of his wins have come in games where he allowed two runs or fewer). Since the break, King Felix has a 1.32 ERA. Over the last 25 years, only two AL pitchers have had a lower post-ASB ERA: Roger Clemens (0.97 in 1990) and Johan Santana (1.21 in 2004).

• Lost amid Chris Nelson’s straight steal of home Thursday was the fact that Cincinnati Reds’ reliever Nick Masset actually gave up an earned run on Troy Tulowitzki’s home run. (Nelson’s run was unearned). It was just the second earned run allowed by Masset in 29 innings since the All-Star break. That 0.62 ERA is best among relievers.

• Barry Zito’s eight losses since the break are the most in the majors. The last San Francisco Giants pitcher with 10 losses after the break is sitting in the opposing dugout tonight. Back in 1992, Bud Black went 3-10 in the second half after starting the season 7-2.

Minnesota Twins starting pitchers are 28-9 with a 3.14 ERA since the break. Oakland Athletics starters are 22-21 with a 3.06 ERA.

• The Chicago Cubs have issued 44 more walks than any other MLB team since the break. Their 4.44 BB per nine would be the worst over the second half by an NL team since the 2000 Pittsburgh Pirates.

• Which team has held opponents to the lowest batting average since the break? Here’s a hint: They are just 20-33 since the All-Star Game. Yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers have held opponents to a .229 average. That would be the lowest in the NL since the 1986 Houston Astros held opponents to a .218 average post-ASB.

• Meanwhile, the New York Mets offense is hitting just .226 since the break. That would be the lowest since the 1974 San Diego Padres hit .212.

Today’s Leaderboard: Hiroki Kuroda takes the hill against the Astros on Friday. No pitcher has held opponents to a lower OPS since the All-Star Break.

Key Matchups: WILSON
• Texas Rangers’ starter C.J. Wilson has been a lefty killer this season, holding them to .132 average and .381 OPS, both best in the majors. To find a starting pitcher who was this effective against lefties, you have to go back 10 years. In 2000, Al Leiter held them to a .119 average while with the Mets. But as he gets ready to face the New York Yankees, it’s a right-handed hitter that he has really dominated. Oh, and it’s not just any righty. Alex Rodriguez is 0-for-12 in his career against Wilson. That’s the most he’s faced any pitcher without a hit.

James Shields would certainly like to forget his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays. On August 8, he tied a modern MLB record by allowing six home runs. Shields has allowed 30 homers on the season, most in the AL. Of the 11 active Blue Jays to face Shields, eight have hit home runs. That includes J.P. Arencibia, who went deep on the first pitch he saw as a major leaguer in that last meeting. Shields is 7-3 when he doesn’t allow a home run this season, compared to 6-9 when he does.

Trivia Answer: Frank Robinson was 31 in 1966 and Lou Gehrig was 31 in 1934 when they won their Triple Crowns.

Pujols hits No. 400

August, 26, 2010
PujolsIn the top of the fourth inning of the St. Louis Cardinals' extra-innings loss to the Washington Nationals, Albert Pujols blasted his 400th career home run off of Jordan Zimmermann, who was making his first start of the season for the Washington Nationals after undergoing Tommy John surgery. At 30 years and 222 days old, Pujols is the third-youngest at the time of the milestone of the 47 players in MLB history to reach 400 career home runs.

• He hit No. 400 in his 5,615th career at-bat. According to Elias, that is the fifth-fewest at-bats to 400 home runs all-time. Mark McGwire and Babe Ruth are the only two players to hit No. 400 within their first 5,000 career at-bats.

• Pujols now has a career batting average of .333, 400 home runs and 1,205 RBI. He is one of just five players in major league history with at least 400 home runs, 1,200 RBI and a career batting average of at least .330. Obviously, each of the other four players are enshrined in Cooperstown: Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.

1st Pitch: Bronx bases loaded bonanza

July, 7, 2010
Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez smacked his third grand slam of the season on Tuesday. It’s the fourth time he’s had multiple grand slams in a season, a feat only Jimmie Foxx can match according to the Elias Sports Bureau. With 21 in his career, A-Rod is tied with Manny Ramirez for second all-time behind Lou Gehrig (23). Let’s take a look at how others have fared with the bases loaded.
  • According to Elias, the Yankees’ nine grand slams before the All-Star break are a record. Three teams had eight slams before the break: the 2000 A’s, 2005 Red Sox and 2006 Indians.
  • Already, those nine grand slams are tied for the second-most in Yankees history.
  • With 123 RBI with the bases loaded, the Yankees already have more than 16 teams had all of last season. They are on pace for 240. Over the last 35 years, the only team with 200 bases loaded RBI in a season was the 2000 A’s with 203.
  • The Yankees are also hitting .422 with the bases loaded. Over the last 35 years, the highest bases-loaded batting average belonged to the 1976 Phillies (.410), according to STATS LLC.
  • Mark Reynolds has averaged about one home run per 16 at-bats in his career, but he is homerless in 46 bases-loaded at-bats with 21 strikeouts.
  • David Ross is just 1-for-3 this season with the bases loaded, but has managed seven RBI. Confused? Ross also has three walks and a hit by pitch with the bases full. In fact, three of his 12 walks this season have been with the bases loaded.
  • Torii Hunter is a perfect 6-for-6 with the bases full, leading to 14 of his 60 RBI on the season.
  • Hunter faces Freddy Garcia tonight. He has never allowed a grand slam to the 109 batters that he’s faced with the bases loaded, most of any active pitcher.
  • Half of Francisco Cervelli’s 30 RBI have come with the bases loaded.
  • B.J. Upton is 0-for-10 with the bases loaded this season after hitting .429 last season.
  • Ivan Rodriguez has grounded into a MLB-most four double plays with the bases loaded.
Today’s Trivia: Among active players, who has the most career home runs without a grand slam?

Today’s Leaderboad: The Rockies are hitting just .200 with the bases loaded this season, and join the Mets, Blue Jays and A’s as the only teams without a grand slam. In fact, the Rockies have one more bases-loaded strikeout than the Yankees, despite 42 fewer plate appearances.

Key Matchups: Tim Lincecum and Ryan Braun debuted within three weeks of each other in May 2007, and they’ve faced one another each year since. Braun has owned the matchup between the two phenoms, having hit .462 with a pair of home runs in 13 at-bats. In fact, Braun’s seven RBI are the most of anyone against Lincecum, despite the fact that the Giants’ ace has faced 49 batters on more occasions.

Torii Hunter hasn’t faced Freddy Garcia since 2006, but he sure would like to pick up where he left off. In 2006, Hunter went 7-for-12 with three home runs against Garcia. Overall, he’s a .400 hitter with four long balls. Estaban Loaiza (5) is the only pitcher he has taken deep more often.

Trivia Answer: Orlando Cabrera has yet to hit a grand slam in a career that has included 117 home runs. His 168 plate appearances with the bases loaded are also the most for any active player without a grand slam.