Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Stark [Print without images]

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Updated: May 20, 8:52 PM ET
Five Astounding Facts of the Week


xxx
Harper

1 We know Bryce Harper, being the history buff that he is, can appreciate the amazing list he joined this week. Just five other teenagers in the last 75 years had hit home runs on back-to-back days before Harper did it Monday and Tuesday. Cool group: Mickey Mantle (1951), Harmon Killebrew (1956), Tony Conigliaro (1964), Gary Sheffield (1988) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1989). Ever heard of them?

2 After Octavio Dotel saved a game Tuesday for his ninth different team (i.e., the Tigers), we got a tweet from his alter-Twitter-ego, @NotOctavioDotel, wondering if that was some kind of record. Well, guess what? The answer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is: You betcha. Dotel pulled even with the great Goose Gossage, the only other reliever ever to rack up a save for nine teams. Before that, our nomadic hero, Dotel, had been tied for second with Lee Smith, at eight.

Carlos Beltran
Beltran

3 Carlos Beltran just did something that no other switch-hitter in history has ever done. Last Friday, he hit two homers in a game right-handed. Three days earlier, he'd thumped two in a game left-handed. And no switch-hitter had ever done that, in either order, in the same week. The shortest previous gap, according to the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR home run historian David Vincent, was eight days, by Jose Valentin (Aug. 13-21, 2002).

4 When Adam Dunn finally hit his first home run off a left-handed pitcher since Aug. 6, 2010, it broke a streak of 30 bombs in a row off right-handers. Well, maybe that seems like a lot. But it wasn't even in the same stratosphere as the all-time record for that sort of thing. According to the Sultan, Duke Snider once hit 97 consecutive homers against right-handed pitchers, from Aug. 24, 1956 to July 7, 1960. Among the other mashers who had longer streaks homering against right-handers than Dunn: Willie McCovey (42), Lance Berkman (39) and even Ted Williams (38). Who knew!

Prince Fielder
Fielder

Matt Kemp
Kemp

5 When Matt Kemp headed for the disabled list this week, it left Prince Fielder (219 in a row through Thursday) as baseball's reigning iron man. If that sounds familiar, it's because this is the second time Fielder has owned the longest consecutive-games streak among all active players. He was also No. 1, with 327 in a row, until he missed a game with the dreaded flu-like symptoms in September 2010. So who was the last player to have two different stints as the king of the active iron men? According to Marty Friedrich, author of "Iron Men of Baseball," Prince is the first two-time streaker king since Pete Rose, who held the longest streak in the late '70s, then regained the top spot in 1983 after Steve Garvey broke his thumb in a collision at home plate.