MLB Notebook: Young arms steal spotlight
Jamie Moyer captured headlines this week by becoming the oldest pitcher in history to win a game, but it's the young arms who are making some of the biggest marks across the big league landscape.
Ross Detwiler, 26, is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA. Chris Sale, who is just weeks past his 23rd birthday, fanned 11 on Friday night. And Ivan Nova, 25, hasn't lost a decision since June 2011. Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy, 25, is 2-1, and he allowed no runs on four hits Friday to lower his ERA through three starts to 0.47.
Add in the bigger names like Clayton Kershaw, Neftali Feliz, Stephen Strasburg and Madison Bumgarner (just to name a few), and Major League Baseball seems overflowing with young right- and left-handers who are capable of shutting down offenses on a daily basis.
Nova allowed two runs in six innings and picked up the win in the Yankees' victory over the Red Sox on Fenway Park's 100th birthday. Nova has won 15 straight decisions, tying him with eight other pitchers for the 17th longest streak since 1920. Carl Hubbell, with 24 straight wins, holds the all-time mark.
Detwiler (six innings, three hits, seven strikeouts, one walk) and three relievers combined on four-hit shutout, as the Nationals beat the Marlins, 2-0, and improved to 11-4 on the season. In their 15 contests, the Nationals have held their opponents to one run or no runs six times, including three shutouts.
Sale struck out 11 Mariners and picked up his second win, as the White Sox defeated Seattle, 7-3. At 23 years and 21 days, Sale is the seventh youngest White Sox pitcher in the live-ball era to strike out at least 11, and the youngest left-hander to reach that many strikeouts. Bart Johnson, at 21 years and 257 days old on Sept. 17, 1971, is the youngest White Sox pitcher since 1920 to fan at least 11 in a game.
In the Dodgers' 3-1 win over the Astros, Matt Kemp went 3-for-3 and hit his eighth home run -- a two-run shot to give him 20 RBIs for the season. Andre Ethier went 1-for-4 with an RBI single to drive up his RBI total to 19. Ethier and Kemp are responsible for 62.9 percent of all the Dodgers' RBIs this season (39 of 62).
Matt Kemp through 14 team games: 2010-12
Although Kemp's 2010 season is regarded as disappointing -- his OPS+ was the lowest it had been since he played 52 games in his first year in '06; he entered '10 with a career OPS+ of 116 and then posted a 106 -- he actually got off to a hot start. It was one that, in terms of homers and RBIs, is very similar to his beginning of this year.
The Nationals' six games with one or fewer runs allowed are the most for the team through 15 games in franchise history.
Washington is one of three clubs this season to have at least six through their first 15 games. On Friday, the Cardinals had their seventh and the Phillies amassed their sixth. Both the Cards and Phils have played 14 games.
The Nats' three shutouts through 15 games are tied for the most in franchise history. The 1983 and 2003 Expos each also had three.
Adam Dunn homered twice and doubled for his 31st career multihomer game. Since the start of the 2001 season (Dunn's first year), his 31 are tied with Andruw Jones for the seventh most. Alex Rodriguez leads, with 44, Albert Pujols has 42, David Ortiz is third, with 37, Mark Teixeira and Jim Thome are tied at 33, and Manny Ramirez is sixth, with 32.
Over that same span of time, Dunn has 305 games with exactly one homer. That total is third most, behind Pujols' 357 and Rodriguez's 351.
Rodriguez hit his 631st career home run to break a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. and take over sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list. In other counting-stat categories, Rodriguez sits in 14th place in career runs (1,832), 13th place in total bases (5,237), 11th place in RBIs (1,897) and is tied for 10th in extra-base hits (1,157).
Derek Jeter collected his 3,111th career hit to break out of his tie with Dave Winfield on the all-time list. Next ahead for Jeter is Tony Gwynn, at 3,141 hits, and Robin Yount, at 3,142. Jeter also scored his 1,779th run, moving him to within three of matching Paul Molitor for 19th place all-time.
Here and there
The Reds defeated the Cubs, 9-4, to capture their 10,000th victory in franchise history. Their first win came in the American Association on May 3, 1882, against the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and they are the sixth franchise to reach the milestone in wins. The others: the Giants (10,529 wins), Cubs (10,314), Dodgers (10,228), Cardinals (10,205) and Braves (10,043).
The Pirates' Alex Presley hit the first inside-the-park home run to lead off a game since Houston's Jose Altuve did it last Aug. 20. Before Presley, the most recent Pirates player to do it was Omar Moreno, on June 21, 1980.
Minnesota's Josh Willingham went 1-for-4 with a three-run double to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Willingham and Kirby Puckett (in 1994) are the only two players since '61 (the franchise's first year in Minnesota) to have a hit in each of the Twins' first 14 games of the year.
Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to begin the season to 13 games. Sandoval is the first Giants player since Willie Mays in 1960 to have at least one hit in each of the team's first 13 games.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.