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Daily News and Notes
by Richard Van Zandt, BaseballEvolution.com


Notes through games of Sunday, June 11
Highly touted Phillies prospect Cole Hamels made his big league debut on Friday night and after having held opposing hitters to a

300/300 – Reggie Sanders joined Andre Dawson, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds as the only players in history to record 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases when he hit career jack number 300 off of Chad Harville in the 9th inning of the Royals 9-5 loss on Saturday.  DN&N salutes and congratulates Sanders on his impressive achievement. 

 

Steve Finley meanwhile remains one home run away from joining that exclusive club.  Finley, however, was 0 for 17 on the Giants’ recent homestand and is just 13 for his last 80 (.162) with 1 HR and 9 RBI.  Since hitting .277 in April, the 41-year-old centerfielder is batting only .233 (32 for 137) to drop his season average to .245.  He has hit just 2 HR in 184 AB.

 

In a Pinch – Checking in on pinch hitters today, we find that Gabe Gross (37 AB, .243 BA), David Dellucci (34, .265) and Marlon Anderson (30, .233) have been the players used most frequently in that role.  Among players with at least 15 pinch hit at bats, Pete Orr has the best average at .364 (8 for 22), followed by Alfredo Amezaga at .353 (6 for 17) and the ageless Julio Franco, who is batting .346 (9 for 26) in the pinch.  Franco, Dellucci, Gross and Wilson Betemit are all tied for the major league lead with 9 pinch hits each.  Gross leads the majors in pinch hit home runs with 3, followed by Jeromy Burnitz, Daryle Ward, and David Ross with 2 each. Ross is 4 for 4 as a pinch hitter this season.  Eli Marrero has the most AB without a pinch hit with 12 and Abraham Nunez has the lowest average among all players with at least 15 pinch hit at bats at just .107 (3 for 28). 

 

On This Date In History – It was on this date in history in 1970 that the Pirates’ Dock Ellis fired a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres while under the influence of LSD.  Ellis had this to say of how his unique accomplishment came about, "I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego, but I didn't know it. I had taken LSD..... I thought it was an off-day, that's how come I had it in me.”

 

Welcome Back – In what had to be the feel good story of the weekend, Bryan Corey made his return to the majors after last pitching one game with the Dodgers in 2002.  Before that, he had previously pitched for Arizona in 1998, making just 3 appearances.  On Saturday, Corey made his Rangers debut, facing 4 batters and striking out all four to earn his first major league win.  He followed that up with another 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the Rangers 13-6 win over the Red Sox in the second game of their Sunday doubleheader.

 

Around the Horn 6/9 – 6/11

 

Greg Maddux ended the Reds’ eight-game winning streak on Friday and in doing so, earned the 325th win of his Hall of Fame career.  This moves him past Don Sutton and Nolan Ryan and into sole possession of 13th place on the all-time win list.  Maddux is now 1 win behind Eddie Plank, 3 behind John Clarkson and 4 behind Steve Carlton. 

 

Next up after Lefty for Maddux, currently, is the Rocket, Roger Clemens.  Clemens, on Sunday, made his second minor league tune up start, this time for the Corpus Christi Hooks, and was spectacular, throwing 73 pitches in 5 innings and tying the franchise record with 11 strikeouts.  He did not allow a hit until the 5th.  He will make his next and final tune up next Friday for Round Rock before making his major league season debut on June 22 against Minnesota.  Clemens has 341 career wins, one behind Tim Keefe for 8th place all-time.

 

Chipper Jones, on Saturday, broke the Atlanta franchise record for RBI with his 1,144th, moving him past Dale Murphy.  He is now third on the Braves all-time franchise list behind only Eddie Mathews (1,388) and Henry Aaron (2,202).   

 

Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save of the year on Friday, but in the process, got his first win of the season.  Papelbon entered the game in the 8th and gave up a game tying hit to Hank Blalock.  Mike Lowell, however, gave the Sox the lead back in the bottom of the inning and Papelbon made it hold up for the victory.  His ERA dropped to 0.30 in the win. 

 

Bob Wickman saw his streak of 24 consecutive successful save opportunities come to an end in the Indians’ 4-3 loss to the White Sox on Saturday.  He then began a new streak on Sunday as he got the final two outs, helping the Indians to hold off the White Sox, whose 6-run 9th inning rally fell just short. 

 

Ichiro and Joe Mauer kept up their hot hitting over the weekend.  Ichiro went 6 for 14 and is now batting .366 on the year while Mauer was 6 for 12 to push his average to a major league leading .386.

 

King Felix Hernandez threw his first complete game on Sunday, allowing just 4 hits, no walks and striking out 9 in a 6-2 win over the Angels. 

 

Antonio Perez got his second hit of the year on Saturday in the A’s 6-5 win over New York.  His 4th inning home run off Randy Johnson raised his season average to .053.  However, he also struck out twice to give him 18 strikeouts in his 36 at bats.  He began the year 0 for 21. 

 

Alay Soler out dueled Brandon Webb on Saturday, allowing just 2 hits in a complete game shutout to give Webb (8-1) his first loss of the year.  Webb allowed just 1 earned run in 8 innings and lowered his major league best ERA to 2.06. 

 

The Longest Streaks Pt I & II – The Mets clobbered the Diamondbacks 15-2 on Sunday to run their winning streak to 5 games, the longest current streak in the majors.  Pedro Martinez, backed by the hot hitting Carlos Beltran (12 for his last 22, .545), allowed just 1 run in 5 innings and won for the first time since April (a span of 7 starts).  Arizona, meanwhile, has not won since the Jason Grimsley scandal erupted and the D’Backs currently possess the longest losing streak in baseball at 7 games.

 

Hot…

 

Jorge Cantu and Rocco Baldelli have given the Devil Rays a lift since they returned from the DL last week.  Cantu was 8 for 14 against the Royals over the weekend while Baldelli was 7 for 13 as the D’Rays took two of three from K.C.

 

Chris Young, in his last three starts, has thrown 22 innings, allowing just 8 hits and 1 run (0.41) while walking 6 and striking out 24.

 

Brad Penny, in his last two starts, has not allowed a run over 14.1 IP.  Over his last 6 starts – including a 5 run, 4 1/3 inning outing May 29 – Penny has allowed just 6 runs in 34.2 innings (1.56). 

 

Daniel Cabrera has not allowed a run in 11 innings over two starts since his return from the DL.

 

The Braves’ new closer, Ken Ray, has been scored upon in just 3 of his 30 outings this year.  In the other 27 appearances, Ray has pitched 28 innings and has allowed just 12 hits. 

 

With two more jacks on Sunday, Dodgers rookie Matt Kemp is now 15 for 41 (.366) with 6 home runs.

 

David Ross went 0 for 4 on Saturday to snap his 13 game hit streak, but after going 1 for 2 on Sunday, the Reds’ backstop is 16 for his last 37 (.432) with 3 HR and 11 RBI. 

 

Ken Griffey is 18 for his last 46 (.391) with 5 HR and 9 RBI including 13 for 33 (.394) in June with 4 HR and 7 RBI.  His home run on Saturday gave him 547 for his career, one behind Mike Schmidt for 11th all-time.

 

Bobby Jenks, in his last 11 games, has given up just 6 hits and no runs over 13 innings, while striking out 18 to lower his ERA from 5.52 to 2.93. 

 

Francisco Liriano this season in 5 starts – 29 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 12 BB, 24 K, 4-1, 1.24 ERA

 

Matt Holliday is 8 for his last 15 to propel him into a tie with Miguel Cabrera atop the NL batting charts at .339.

 

Dan Johnson, after battling dry eyes for the first two months of the season, saw an ophthalmologist, got some eye drops, and since then is 10 for 24 (.417) with 4 HR and 7 RBI.

 

Frank Thomas has 7 HR in his last 12 games and is slugging .828 in June.

 

The Oakland A’s are beginning their mid-summer revival, having won 9 of 11 overall since losing two straight at home to the Royals.

 

…and Cold

 

Todd Jones, in his last 5 games, has thrown 4.2 innings allowing 11 hits and 11 runs (21.20 ERA) and blown his second and third saves of the year.  His ERA has risen from 3.12 to 6.95.

 

Randy Johnson has allowed 4 runs or more in 9 of 13 starts.  His season ERA is 5.63. 

 

Brett Tomko, in his last four starts, is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA, 19 IP, 34 H, 21 R, 19 ER, 5 BB, 13 K

 

Freddie Sanchez is 2 for his last 13 and 5 for his last 22 to drop his average to .338, now third in the NL behind Miguel Cabrera (3 for his last 22) and Holliday. 

 

Jonathan Broxton, in his last 3 games, has allowed 5 runs on 5 hits to raise his ERA from 0.93 to 2.95.

 

Daniel Cabrera has walked 11 in his 11 shutout innings since his return from the DL and 50 overall in 52.1 innings for the year.

 

Rickie Weeks has made 20 errors on the year and 42 in 156 career games at second base.

 

Notable

 

Miguel Tejada on Sunday played in his 982nd consecutive game.  He has not missed a game since May 31, 2000.  If he does not miss a game before then, Tejada will play his 1,000th consecutive game on July 1 against Atlanta.  And should he feel really ambitious, he can look forward to catching and passing Cal Ripken sometime in the 2016 season. 

 

Going nearly unnoticed, Ichiro, last Wednesday, collected his 2,500th professional hit.  He had 1,278 hits in Japan and now has 1,232 major league hits to give him 2,510 in his career. 

 

On Deck

 

A light schedule on Monday doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward to.  Jose Contreras will go for his 15th consecutive winning decision against John Koronka and the Rangers while Scott Kazmir and the D’Rays will take on the Tigers and Justin Verlander. 




Questions or comments for Richard? Richard Van Zandt is a staff writer for Baseball Evolution who lives in San Francisco, California. You can reach him at richard@baseballevolution.com.


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