Stats & Info: Willie Stargell

The day in home runs: Met Killer

August, 2, 2010
Chipper Jones loved hitting in Shea Stadium so much that he named one of his sons Shea. Well, he's also had more than his share of his success against the Mets at Citi Field, Fulton County Stadium and - as he again proved Monday - Turner Field.

Jones hit his 43rd career home run against the Mets, passing Pat Burrell for 5th-most all-time. He trails only Hall of Famers Willie Stargell (60), Mike Schmidt (49), Willie McCovey (48) and Hank Aaron (45).

It was also Jones' 434th career homer, tying Juan Gonzalez for 37th on the all-time list.

Vernon Wells' home run off A.J. Burnett in the second inning of Monday's game at the Yankees was the second-shortest homer in MLB this season (324 feet down the right field line). The only homer that was shorter than Wells' was a 321-foot shot by Mark Teixeira on June 15 off Roy Halladay, also down the right field line at Yankee Stadium. Wells' shot would have been a home run only at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.

Albert Pujols homered for the third consecutive game, the first time he's accomplished that feat in 2010.

And now the daily Alex Rodriguez update:

A-Rod has gone 43 at-bats since his last home run (No. 599 on July 22). The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that is tied for the 13th-longest drought since Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004 and is the 30th-longest drought since the start of his MLB career.

One2Watch4: Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen

March, 21, 2010
Rookies can be enigmatic. It’s part of the process of assimilating into the big leagues. Andrew McCutchen was a great example of this in 2009. After the Pirates traded All-Star centerfielder Nate McLouth to the Braves in early June, McCutchen was called up to play centerfield and had an interesting debut season. The phenom finished the season with a .286 BA, 12 HR and a .365 OBP - very respectable numbers for a rookie and enough for him to finish 4th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

If 2009 was any indication, the opposition might want to pitch around McCutchen come August. On the 1st of the month, the Pirate hit 3 HR against the Washington Nationals becoming just the 5th different Pirate to accomplish the feat since 1970 (Aramis Ramirez, Darnell Coles, Bill Robinson and Willie Stargell are the others). McCutchen also drove in 6 runs in the game making him just the 4th player in MLB history to hit 3 HR and drive in 6 from the leadoff spot.

That was just the beginning to a very productive August for McCutchen. In a month with no federal holidays, McCutchen was all business. He hit twice as many homers in August as he did in the rest of the season combined.

Once August ended McCutchen went into a slump, batting just .154 and slugging .192 in his next 13 games. Just as many writers were ready to write off his season as having hit the dreaded “rookie wall”, McCutchen flipped the switch and finished on a tear, with a .463 OBP from September 16th on.

So with more big league at-bats coming in 2010, the Steel City faithful hope Andrew McCutchen can maintain his spurts of greatness over longer stretches. For a team that hasn’t been to the postseason since 1992 and hasn’t finished in the top half of the NL Central since 1999, McCutchen is one of few bright spots for the Pirates – that makes the 23-year-old One2Watch4.