Diamond Rundown â€“ Edition Twenty Six
Facts, figures and other tidbits from the twenty sixth week of the â€™08 major league baseball season.
The Price Is Right:Â Tampa Bayâ€™s David Price had a successful debut start on Monday against the Baltimore Orioles.Â Price went 5-1/3 innings, allowed four hits, three walks, two runs — one earned — and struck out three.Â Price got a no decision in the Rays 4-2 win over the Orioles.
Slammer:Â The New York Metsâ€™ pitching staff allowed their second grand slam to a pitcher this season when Jason Marquis of the Cubs hit a grand slam in the fourth inning off of Jon Niese en route to their 9-5 win over the Mets on Monday and a clinch of home-field advantage in the NLDS and NLCS.
Kings of K:Â Oaklandâ€™s Jack Cust struck out twice in their 4-3 win over the Rangers on Monday.Â The two strikeouts extended Custâ€™s American League record strikeout total to 190 and Oaklandâ€™s strikeout total for the â€™08 season went to 1,182, a new team record.
Short Success:Â Arizonaâ€™s Stephen Drew hit his 42nd double and 20th home run in Mondayâ€™s 4-2 win over the Cardinals.Â Drew became the third Major League shortstop in baseball history to hit at least 40 doubles, 10 triples and 20 home runs in a season.Â Drew joined Robin Yount (â€™80 and â€™82) and Nomar Garciaparra (â€™97) as the only three shortstops to accomplish the statistical feat.
Notable Quotable I:Â â€œI stunk.Â With the year Iâ€™ve had, I stunk.Â But Iâ€™ll tell you what, Iâ€™m not the [bleeping] Lone Ranger.â€Â Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland after they were shut out by the Royals 5-0 on Tuesday.
Stealers:Â Bostonâ€™s Dustin Pedroia stole his 20th base on Tuesday to join Coco Crisp (20) and Jacoby Ellsbury (49) to be the first trio of Red Sox to steal at least 20 bases since 1914.
Danger Dogs:Â Before the Phillies-Braves game on Wednesday, three suspicious packages were found outside the first-base entrance of the ballpark two hours prior to the game.Â Police were called and detonated the packages.Â After detonation, the packages were revealed to be props containing hot dogs from a commercial shoot featuring the Phillie Phanatic.
Hit Men:Â Clevelandâ€™s Grady Sizemore was hit during their 6-1 loss to the Red Sox on Thursday.Â Sizemore was the 101st hit batsmen of the season for the Indians which set a new Major League record previously held by the Houston Astros in 1997.
The Doc Is In:Â Torontoâ€™s Roy Halladay won his 20th game on Thursday over the Yankees.Â Halladay pitched a complete game and gave up two runs to lower his ERA to 2.78 and raise his record to 20-11.Â It was also Halladayâ€™s American League leading ninth complete game.
Major League Effort:Â September call-up Micah Hoffpauir went 5-for-5 with two runs scored, five RBI, a double and two homers in the Cubsâ€™ 7-6 losing effort on Thursday.
Notable Quotable II:Â â€œThat was unbelievable.Â The loudest thing Iâ€™ve heard in my life.â€Â Twins manager Rod Gardenhire after his club completed a sweep of the White Sox with a walk-off single by Alexi Casilla to give the Twins a 7-6 win in the final game of their three-game series on Thursday.Â The sweep put the Twins a half game ahead of the White Sox in the Central.
Mr. September:Â Philadelphiaâ€™s Ryan Howard had a four-RBI game in their 8-4 win over the Nationals on Friday.Â Howard went 2-for-4 with a double and his 48th home run of the season.Â Howard ended the night with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in September with the 32 RBI setting a new team record previously held by Gary Matthews who had 31 in 1981.
Speed Demon:Â Houstonâ€™s Michael Bourn scored from second on a sacrifice fly in the third inning en route to a 5-4 win over the Braves on Friday.
Snapped:Â Atlantaâ€™s Kelly Johnson saw his 22-game hitting streak end in their 5-4 loss to the Astros on Friday.Â Johnsonâ€™s 22-game hitting streak was the longest in the National League this year.
Gehrig-ish Greatness I:Â Seattleâ€™s Ichiro Suzuki reached 100 runs scored to match with his 200 hits for the eighth consecutive season.Â Suzukiâ€™s eight consecutive seasons of 200 hits and 100 runs matched only Lou Gehrig who had eight seasons of 200 hits and 100 runs but not consecutively.
Cy-gh:Â Johan Santana of the Mets pitched a three-hit shutout on short rest to thrust the Mets past the Marlins 2-0 and keep their playoff hopes alive on Saturday.Â Santana improved his record to 16-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.53, the lowest in the National League.
Saving the Saver:Â Philadelphiaâ€™s Brad Lidge closed out his 41st consecutive save opportunity and gave the Phillies their clinching win over the Nationals 4-3 on Saturday.Â Lidge did not do it without help though thanks to a diving Jimmy Rollins-to-Chase Utley-to-Ryan Howard double play with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth to end the game.
DÃ©jÃ vu All Over Again:Â The Mets lost to the Marlins 4-2 on Sunday and saw the Brewers beat the Cubs.Â Their loss and the Brewersâ€™ win saw the Metsâ€™ playoff hopes dissolve on the last day of the season for the second consecutive season.Â Last year, the Mets dropped a seven game lead with 17 games remaining to the Phillies.Â This year, the Mets dropped a 3-1/2 game lead with 17 games remaining to the Phillies and also failed to keep pace with the Brewers for the Wild Card.Â And for that Omar Minaya was rewarded with a four-year extension.
Moose-umental:Â Mike Mussina of the Yankees finally won 20 games in a season with a six-inning three-hit scoreless performance at Fenway Park in the day game of a day-night doubleheader with the playoff-bound Red Sox.Â The Yankees won 6-2 and Mussina finished 20-9 with a 3.37 ERA.
The Great Rivera:Â Mariano Rivera closed out Mussinaâ€™s victory with a save for the 49th time.Â It is the third most of any win-save combination in baseball history behind Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersleyâ€™s 57 and Andy Pettite and Riveraâ€™s 55.
C-C-Clutch:Â The Brewers sent midseason acquisition CC Sabathia to the mound on Sunday and the big man delivered with a complete game four-hit, one unearned run win over the Chicago Cubs, 3-1 on Sunday.Â Sabathia finished 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA with the Brewers and his win on Sunday put the Brewers into the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
Notable Quotable III:Â â€œHeâ€™s the best pitcher in baseball.Â Heâ€™s the best pitcher on the planet.Â Heâ€™s our MVP this year.Â No chance for us to do this without him.â€Â Milwaukeeâ€™s Ryan Braun on teammate CC Sabathia after they clinched the Wild Card on Sunday.
Gehrig-ish Greatness II:Â Vladimir Guerrero sat out of Sundayâ€™s finale that saw the Angels win their 100th game of the season.Â The day off solidified Guerreroâ€™s average at .303 with 27 home runs and he joined only Lou Gehrig as the only players to hit at least .300 with at least 25 home runs in 11 consecutive seasons.
According to Elias:Â In his Cy Young Award showcase start on Sunday, San Franciscoâ€™s Tim Lincecum recorded nine consecutive strikeout outs to start the game and finished the game with 13 strikeouts in seven innings to register his 18th win of the season as the Giants offed the Dodgers 2-1.Â Lincecum led the Majors with 265 strikeouts — the first Giant to do so — and finished with a 2.65 ERA.Â According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lincecum was the first pitcher since the Metsâ€™ Sid Fernandez on July 30, 1986 to record nine consecutive strikeout outs to start the game.
20:Â Bobby Abreu of the Yankees hit his 20th home run of the season on Wednesday which put Abreu at 20 homers and 20 steals for the eighth straight season.Â Only Bobby and Barry Bonds have more 20-20 seasons than Abreu at 10 each.
100:Â The Seattle Mariners lost their 100th game on Wednesday and became the first team to ever have a payroll over $100 million to lose 100 games in a season.
295:Â Arizonaâ€™s Randy Johnson pitched a complete game two-hitter on Sunday to pick up his 295th career win.Â Johnsonâ€™s Diamondbacks won 2-1 over the Rockies.
355:Â Greg Maddux of the Dodgers won his 355th career game on Saturday in the clubâ€™s 2-1 win over the Giants.Â The win moved Maddux past Roger Clemens into eighth place on the All-Time Wins list for all pitchers.
1,800:Â Seattleâ€™s Ichiro Suzuki registered his 1,800th career hit on Thursday in their 6-4 loss to the Angels.Â Suzuki reached 1,800 hits in 1,277 games, the fastest to do so for a player whose career started after 1954.Â Previously, the fastest was Wade Boggs who reached 1,800 hits in 1,352 games.
5,000:Â Milwaukeeâ€™s Eric Gagne took some of his big contract he received this year and gave it back to the fans on Thursday.Â Gagne purchased the remaining 5,000 tickets for their game with the Pirates and gave them away on the Brewersâ€™ web site where they were scooped up in 20 minutes.Â The Brewers won 5-1 on a walk-off 10th inning grand slam by Ryan Braun.
Jason Marquis, Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets (9/22)
Bobby Abreu, New York Yankees vs. Toronto (9/24)
Carlos Delgado, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs (9/24)
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh (9/25)
Ryan Garko, Cleveland vs. Chicago White Sox (9/26)
Single:Â Carlos Beltran, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs (9/25); Alexi Casilla, Minnesota vs. Chicago White Sox (9/25); Dave Roberts, San Francisco vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (9/26); Jonathan Van Every, Boston vs. New York Yankees (9/28)Â
Home Run:Â Prince Fielder, Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh (9/23); Ryan Braun, Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh (9/25); Darin Erstad, Houston vs. Atlanta (9/26)
Sacrifice Fly:Â Troy Glaus, St. Louis vs. Cincinnati (9/26)Â