Saturday, June 23, 2012
Kernels of Wisdom: Week in review
By Doug Kern, ESPN Stats & Information
R.A. Dickey threw another one-hitter on Monday, becoming the first pitcher to throw back-to-back one-hitters since Toronto's Dave Stieb did it in his final two starts of the 1988 season. (Stieb also had two more one-hitters in 1989 before finally throwing a no-no in '90.) For all the one-hitters the Mets had before Johan Santana finally broke the curse, the only other Met to have two in a season was Steve Trachsel in 2003. Dickey struck out 12 and 13, respectively, in his pair of one-hitters. In the live-ball era, only Sandy Koufax (1965) and Nolan Ryan (1973 and 1990) have posted two games in a season with 12-plus strikeouts and just one hit. And no one in modern history had done it back-to-back.
Jake Peavy is proving to be a workhorse for the Chicago White Sox this season.
Jake Peavy threw all nine innings of the White Sox's 2-1 loss against the Cubs on Tuesday, marking his second nine-inning complete-game loss this season. Of the eight complete-game losses this season, Peavy is the only pitcher to have two, and also has the only two nine-inning ones (i.e., at home). Entering the season, Peavy had just one complete-game loss in his career (June 2006 at Anaheim).
In the sixth inning Tuesday, the Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus homered. The next batter, Jose Bautista, homered. And then Edwin Encarnacion homered. It was the first time Toronto had gone back-to-back-to-back since April 9, 2005, when Vernon Wells, Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand did it against then-Boston pitcher David Wells. Three innings later, Rasmus homered again. And Bautista homered again. Elias tells us they are the first pair of teammates to go back-to-back twice in a game since Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman did so for Houston against Philadelphia on July 25, 2005. The last time Blue Jays' teammates did it was on April 20, 2001, when Raul Mondesi and Carlos Delgado went back-to-back twice at Kansas City.
Quintin Berry of the Tigers went a perfect 5-for-5 on Sunday without driving in a single run. That's largely because all five hits were singles, and he never once came up with a runner in scoring position. He was the first player in exactly a year to have a five-hit game without an RBI; Derrek Lee of the Orioles posted that line at Washington on June 17 of last season. One day before that, Jordan Schafer of the Braves posted the last five-hit game where all the hits were singles. Austin Jackson (April 2010) was the last Tiger to be a perfect 5-for-5 or better with no extra-base hits and no RBI in a game. But before that there's a 67-year gap to Doc Cramer, who did it in a win over Cleveland on April 22, 1943.
Arizona's Aaron Hill recorded the second cycle of the season on Monday in a 7-1 victory over Seattle. It was the fifth cycle in Diamondbacks history, and it was very close to being the "natural" variety, as Hill went single-triple-double-homer. Hill is just the second player in the past five seasons to record a cycle with only four plate appearances in the game. Bengie Molina did that as a Ranger in July 2010. Only one of Hill's four at-bats came with a runner on base, and that was the single. So the only run he drove in was himself on the homer. The last player to have a cycle with only one RBI was another Diamondback -- Stephen Drew in 2008.
Adam Dunn recorded 10 more strikeouts this week to push his season total to 111 -- nearly 30 more than any other player. He actually swings less than the MLB average (39 percent vs. 45 percent), but Dunn has the highest miss rate (36 percent) of any player when he does. He's on pace to whiff 257 times over the course of the season, which would shatter Mark Reynolds' eye-popping record of 223 from three years ago. However, when Dunn does make contact, balls have been going a long way. Twenty-three of them have left the yard. Thus, Dunn currently has the bizarre trifecta of leading the majors in home runs (23), strikeouts (111) and walks (56). There's a lot of season left. But the last player to lead either league in all three categories for an entire season was Dale Murphy of the 1985 Braves (37/141/90). And the last player to lead the majors in all three … that was Babe Ruth in 1927 (60/89/137).
Statistical support provided by Baseball-Reference.com and the Elias Sports Bureau.