Tag: Records & Milestones

Davis Becomes 1st AL Player with Consecutive 200-Strikeout Seasons

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis struck out for the 200th and 201st times of the season in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, becoming the first player in American League history to record back-to-back seasons with 200 or more strikeouts, per Sportsnet Stats.

Despite setting the unwanted record, Davis still managed to have a decent night, as his solo home run in the fourth inning cut Tampa Bay’s early lead to 4-2.

However, he missed out on a big opportunity in the bottom of the seventh, striking out with two outs and the bases loaded while his team was still down by a run.

The Orioles managed to emerge victorious, keeping pace with the division-leading Boston Red Sox at two games back in the American League East.

Davis isn’t the first player to strike out 200 or more times in back-to-back seasons, as Mark Reynolds accomplished that feat in 2008 (204), 2009 (223) and 2010 (211) while playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Davis is within striking distance of Reynolds’ single-season record of 223 strikeouts. He is on pace to finish just one shy at 222, which would tie him for the American League record set by Adam Dunn for the Chicago White Sox in 2012.

Even with all the strikeouts, Davis has been a huge part of the Orioles’ playoff push, recording 38 home runs, 82 RBI and 94 runs in 142 games, with his 82 walks helping to make up for an unsightly .222 batting average.

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Pujols Becomes 16th Player to Reach 600 Career Doubles

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols hit the 600th double of his career in Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, becoming the 16th player in major league history to reach the milestone, per Sportsnet Stats.

Pujols accomplished the feat with one out in the first inning against Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, but the Angels were unable to score a run in the inning, ultimately wasting their best scoring chance of the game.

While a prolific compiler of two-baggers throughout most of his career, the 36-year-old Pujols has largely become a home run and singles hitter the past two seasons, with Friday’s double giving him just 17 for the year.

He had 37 or more doubles in 11 of his first 14 seasons (from 2001 to 2014), but then hit just 22 in 157 games last year, and is now in danger of setting a new career-low mark in the category.

Pujols only had 19 in 2013, but he was limited to 99 games due to injures, marking the only time in his career he has played fewer than 140 games.

Even if the trend continues, Pujols could eventually climb into the top 10 of the all-time doubles list, as there are still five years remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed prior to the 2012 campaign.

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Reds Bullpen Sets Single-Season Record with 93 Home Runs Allowed

The Cincinnati Reds set an unwanted MLB record in Friday’s 9-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the first team to surrender 93 or more home runs by relief pitchers in a single season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The record-setting long ball came in the seventh inning of Friday’s game, with Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang hitting a two-run shot off Reds relief pitcher Blake Wood, who has actually been one of the team’s more effective bullpen options this season, sporting a 3.78 ERA over 69 innings.

Kang‘s blast tied the game at 6-6, setting the table for Pittsburgh to eventually pull off a two-run victory in 10 innings, with five of the team’s nine runs coming against Cincinnati relievers.

The bullpen struggles explain why the Reds enter Saturday with an ugly 62-84 record even though the team has a decent lineup and some promising young starting pitchers.

Cincinnati’s bullpen ERA of 4.99 ranks third-worst in the major leagues, better than only the Colorado Rockies (5.09) and Arizona Diamondbacks (5.10).

Given that Colorado’s relievers have to pitch approximately half their innings at Coors Field, it’s safe to say the Reds have one of the two worst bullpens in the major leagues.

If there’s one bright spot, it’s freshly minted closer Raisel Iglesias, who owns a 1.26 ERA in 43 innings of relief work this season.

However, the 26-year-old Cuban may ultimately end up as a part of the starting rotation, leaving the Reds with more questions than answers as they begin early preparations for 2017.

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Encarnacion Becomes 3rd Blue Jay with Multiple 40-Homer Seasons

Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion hit his 40th home run of the season in Friday’s 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels, joining Carlos Delgado and outfielder Jose Bautista as the only players in franchise history to record multiple 40-homer seasons in a Toronto uniform, per Sportsnet Stats.

With the Blue Jays already leading 3-0 in the top of the ninth inning, Encarnacion drove a two-run blast far over the left-center field fence off Angels reliever Homer Bailey.

The insurance runs ultimately proved to be unnecessary, as Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna held the Angels scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to keep his team two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

With his contract up at the end of this season and the Blue Jays already having a ton of money committed to the offensive side, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported Encarnacion could join the Red Sox as a replacement for legendary designated hitter David Ortiz, who plans to retire at the end of this season.

One of MLB‘s most consistent hitters in recent years, the 33-year-old Encarnacion has hit 34 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons, topping out at 42 in 2012.

With 15 games remaining on the schedule, he still has plenty of time to set a new personal single-season best for long balls.

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Braves’ Kemp Continues Hot Streak with 1,500th Hit of Career

Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp recorded the 1,500th hit of his career in Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, doing the honors with his first of two hits for the night, a lead-off double in the bottom of the second inning, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Kemp quickly came around to score the Braves’ first run of the game when the next batter, catcher Tyler Flowers, hit an RBI single to center field to cut Washington’s early lead to 5-1

The 31-year-old outfielder later added a single in the bottom of the sixth, pushing fellow outfielder Nick Markakis into scoring position, which later allowed Atlanta to chop the lead to 5-2.

Ultimately unable to get anything else going against Nationals ace Max Scherzer, the Braves lost 7-2 to drop to 56-91 for the season.

While he hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding from a team perspective, Kemp has been highly productive since coming over from the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline. Since that time, Kemp is boasting a .286 batting average, .335 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in 42 games for Atlanta, with eight home runs, 30 RBI and 26 runs over 168 at-bats.

He enters Saturday’s game as the owner of an eight-game hitting streak, with 14 hits over that span, including three doubles and three home runs.

Combining his production from San Diego and Atlanta, the veteran outfielder has 31 home runs and 99 RBI, marking just the second time in his career he’s reached the 30-homer plateau.

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Ortiz Moves into 11th on All-Time Extra-Base Hits List

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz moved past Frank Robinson to take sole possession of 11th place on the all-time extra-base hits list during Friday’s 7-4 win over the New York Yankees, leading off the bottom of the sixth inning with a double to deep center field, per Sportsnet Stats.

Ortiz later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Travis Shaw, extending Boston’s lead to 4-2 at the time.

Earlier in the game, Ortiz had kicked off the scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the first, helping the Red Sox jump out to an early 2-0 lead in their first turn at the plate.

Now boasting 1,187 extra-base hits in his 20-year career, Ortiz sits one ahead of Robinson (1,186) and just three behind 10th-place Lou Gehrig (1,190).

Things are bunched pretty close near the top of the list, giving Ortiz a shot to move as high as eighth place even though he plans to retire at the end of the ongoing season.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Rafael Palmeiro are tied in eighth place with 1,192 career extra-base hits, putting them well within Ortiz’s reach before he hangs up the cleats.

Seventh place, however, is quite clearly out of reach, as Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols has 1,205 extra-base hits and counting.

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Reyes Hits a Home Run and Steals a Base in Consecutive Games

New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes enjoyed a pair of big performances Tuesday and Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first player all season to record back-to-back games in which he both hit a home run and stole a base, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Following a day off Thursday, the 33-year-old infielder will look to make it three games in a row—however unlikely that may bewhen the Mets start a three-game road series against the hapless Atlanta Braves on Friday.

Best known for his first tenure with the Mets, which lasted from 2003 to 2011, the former All-Star played for three different teams between 2012 and 2015, spending time with the Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.

Coming off a down 2015 season and facing an extended suspension for a domestic violence incident, Reyes seemed to be in serious danger of falling off the MLB radar this year, despite having two seasons remaining on the six-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2012 campaign.

Eventually released by the Rockies back in late June, Reyes rejoined the Mets on a minor league contract shortly thereafter, with the team apparently undeterred by his troubling domestic violence incident.

The move has worked out splendidly if assessed purely from an on-field perspective, as Reyes boasts a .287 batting average, .341 on-base percentage and .485 slugging percentage, with six home runs, 30 runs, 15 RBI and eight stolen bases in 40 games (167 at-bats).

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Yankees and Rays Play Rare Game with 3 Multi-Homer Performances

The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays combined for an unusual feat in Thursday’s game at Yankee Stadium, playing the first MLB contest all season that included multi-homer efforts from three different players, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

Completing the feat were Yankees catcher Brian McCann, Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and Rays outfielder Steven Souza, with each player contributing two apiece.

Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin also went deep for a walk-off win at the bottom of the ninth inning, but despite the total of seven home runs, Thursday’s game ended with a reasonable 5-4 score in favor of the Bronx Bombers.

Each of the seven homers was a solo job, with the game’s other two runs—both scored by New York—coming on an RBI single and an error at the bottom of the first inning.

Prior to Thursday, it had been more than two years since any MLB game featured three multi-homer performances, dating back to May 23, 2014, when Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Reynolds and Garrett Jones did the honors in a 9-5 victory for the Milwaukee Brewers over the Miami Marlins, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Thursday’s victory was the fifth in a row for a surging Yankees team that finds itself right in the thick of the American League playoff hunt, despite selling off a number of veteran players before the trade deadline.

New York is now just four games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East, and only two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the final wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay, on the other hand, owns the AL’s second-worst record, sitting at 59-80 after Thursday’s tough loss.

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Pujols Looking to Become 4th Player with 14 30-Homer Seasons

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols enters Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers with 29 home runs for the season, needing just one more to become the fourth player in major league history to record 14 or more seasons with 30 or more home runs, per Sportsnet Stats.

Already universally regarded as one of the best right-handed batters of all time, the 36-year-old slugger should soon find himself in rather fine company, joining Hank Aaron (15 30-plus-homer seasons), Alex Rodriguez (15) and Barry Bonds (14), per Baseball Almanac.

Pujols has had 13 such seasons, tying him with Babe Ruth and Mike Schmidt for fourth-most in major league history.

While still productive in the power department, the Angels’ high-priced DH has otherwise seen his production tail off, even after accounting for his recent hot streak.

His .271 batting average would be solid for most players, but it pales in comparison to his .310 career mark, and the same can be said for his .328 on-base percentage (career .393) and .468 slugging percentage (career .574).

However, if he’s merely being judged by his standards since leaving the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2011 season, this has arguably been Pujols’ best campaign in an Angels uniform.

His 110 RBI are already the most he’s recorded since 2010, and his .796 OPS would represent his best mark since his inaugural season in Los Angeles.

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Ortiz Ties Jimmie Foxx for 18th on All-Time Home Runs List

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz moved up another notch on the all-time home run list in Sunday’s 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals, joining former Red Sox slugger Jimmie Foxx in a tie for 18th place at 534 career home runs, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The 40-year-old smacked a 420-foot solo shot to center field off Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura in the fourth inning, cutting an early lead to 2-1 in a game Kansas City would eventually run away with.

Held hitless in his other three at-bats, Ortiz grounded into a pair of double plays that killed rallies in the first and fifth innings.

The aging slugger has recovered nicely from an early-August slump, though, now boasting a .314 batting average, six home runs and 16 RBI in 26 games this month.

Interestingly enough, Ortiz and Foxx are both ahead of Ted Williams (521) on the all-time home runs list, but it’s the latter who owns the franchise record, as Ortiz and Foxx both hit some of their long balls for other teams.

Ortiz, who plans to retire after this season, is second on the franchise list with 476 homers, followed by Carl Yastrzemski (452) in third place, with Foxx (222) all the way down in ninth place.

Though remembered just as well for his seven years in Boston, Foxx hit more home runs (302) in his 11 seasons as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics.

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