MLB Notebook: Jones on track for grand exit
Ted Williams' final plate appearance in the Major Leagues (a home run against Jack Fisher in the bottom of the eighth on Sept. 28, 1960) is as mythic and iconic as just about anything ever seen in the national pastime. It also concluded a most remarkable season, one that still stands (at least from an OPS perspective) above the rest when it comes to going out with a bang.
1901-2011: 300-plus PA and .900 OPS in final Major League Season
Williams hit that final home run -- his 29th of the season and the 521st of his career -- four weeks past his 42nd birthday, putting the finishing touches on a 1.096 OPS season.
Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 with a double and a single on Thursday. This raised Jones' OPS for the year to .904.
Between 1901 and 2011, seven players have seen their final Major League season include at least 300 plate appearances and an OPS above .900. Jones currently has 266 plate appearances.
Heyward went 3-for-5 in the Braves' win over the Marlins on Thursday, driving in one run while scoring twice.
Since the beginning of June, Heyward has played 52 games and owns a .914 OPS, with 23 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs and 38 runs scored.
Reyes went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. He is the sixth player this season to hit in at least 20 consecutive games.
The other five players with such streaks are Robinson Cano (23), Michael Brantley (22), Pablo Sandoval (20), Angel Pagan (20) and Adam Jones (20).
Reyes joining Sandoval and Pagan with 20-game hitting streaks makes the 2012 season the first season since '05 to see three switch-hitters have a 20-game hitting streak.
In 2005, Jimmy Rollins hit in 36 straight, and Brian Roberts and Reyes each hit in 20 straight.
Reyes is the seventh player in Marlins history to have a hitting streak of at least 20 games. Luis Castillo owns the longest streak, with 35 straight in 2002.
The other five 20-game hitting streaks in Marlins history were authored by Emilio Bonifacio (26 in 2011), Kevin Millar (25 in '02), Edgar Renteria (22 in 1996), Castillo (22 in '99) and Greg Colbrunn (21 in '96).
Johnny Cueto tied a season high with nine strikeouts, Todd Frazier hit his 13th home run and the Reds defeated the Padres, 9-4.
Despite allowing four runs in 7 1/3 innings, Cueto picked up his 14th win of the season, to tie for the National League lead. The most recent Reds pitcher to lead the NL in victories was Aaron Harang, with 16 in 2006.
The most recent Reds pitcher to lead the Major Leagues in wins and post an ERA below 2.50 (Cueto is at 2.52) was Ewell Blackwell in 1947. That year, Blackwell won 22 games and finished with a 2.47 ERA.
Among all rookies in the Major Leagues with at least 200 plate appearances, Frazier's .538 slugging percentage is second to Mike Trout's .599 mark.
The Reds have won 20 of their past 23 games. During that run, they have outscored their opponents 117-78.
Rodriguez became the 112th player, and second within the past eight days, to homer in his first Major League at-bat. The other player to do it this season was Pittsburgh's Starling Marte on July 26.
Rodriguez is the second Padres player to achieve the feat, joining pitcher Dave Eiland, who homered against Bob Ojeda on April 10, 1992.
Rodriguez's home run came against Cueto, who entered the contest with the lowest home runs per nine innings rate (0.323) in the Major Leagues.
Cabrera singled, doubled, tripled and increased his Major League-leading hit total to 145.
Cabrera's total of 145 hits through 105 team games is the highest for an NL player since Albert Pujols had 147 hits in 2003.
Detwiler (seven innings, three hits) and two Nationals relievers combined on a three-hit shutout, as Washington defeated Philadelphia, 3-0.
Detwiler's line marked the 19th time this season a Nationals hurler has finished a start with at least six innings and no more than three hits allowed. Those 19 are the most in the Major Leagues.
Detwiler is responsible for three of the 19, as is Edwin Jackson. Gio Gonzalez has nine such starts (the most in the Majors), while Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg each have two.
Deduno (six innings, two hits) and two relievers combined on a two-hit shutout, as Minnesota blanked the Red Sox, 5-0.
Deduno has won each of his past three starts (the third, fourth and fifth starts of his career) and has allowed two runs in 19 1/3 innings in those starts. He has 12 walks and 11 strikeouts in those starts.
The Twins hadn't shut out the Red Sox on two or fewer hits since Aug. 16, 2002, when they beat them 5-0 and Joe Mays went the distance on a two-hitter to beat Pedro Martinez.
Texas collected 18 hits (the sixth time this season it has reached that total) and defeated the Angels, 15-9, to split the four-game series with the now third-place Angels.
Texas' six games with 18-plus hits are the most in the Major Leagues -- no other club has more than three. The Rangers leads the Major Leagues with 1,010 hits, just ahead of the Cardinals' 1,006.
Eight of the Rangers' 18 hits went for extra bases. Texas has 343 extra-base hits this season and is sixth in the Major Leagues in that category.
Hamilton drove in four runs on Thursday. This was Hamilton's 22nd multi-RBI game of the year.
In 1999, Rafael Palmeiro had 41 multi-RBI games for the Rangers, which is the most in any season for the franchise. Hamilton's 22 are the second most in the Major Leagues, behind Miguel Cabrera's 24.
Playing in his 18th career game, 23-year-old Rutledge homered in his fourth straight contest, helping the Rockies to a win over the Cardinals. Overall, Rutledge has five home runs.
Rutledge is the first Rockies rookie to homer in four consecutive games. His homer streak is tied with 14 others for the third longest in franchise history. The longest streak is five games, first accomplished by Dante Bichette in 1995 and then matched by Larry Walker in '99.
Behind Colon's eight shutout innings, the Athletics defeated the Blue Jays, 4-1, and moved into second place in the AL West, 4 1/2 games behind the Rangers.
Since the start of the 2011 season, Colon has five starts in which he has finished with at least eight scoreless innings (sixth most in the Majors). From 2006-09, Colon had one such game.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.