MLB Notebook: Dickey making run at Triple Crown
Walter Johnson and Randy Johnson are two of the most accomplished and dominant pitchers in history. Combined, they captured 16 strikeout titles, with the left-handed Randy owning nine to Walter's seven.
However, right-hander gets bragging rights when it comes to Triple Crowns, owning three to Randy's one. The third of the Big Train's three came in 1924, when he was 36-years-old. Seventy-eight years later, the 39-year-old Big Unit won his.
R.A. Dickey may not share a surname, a "Big" nickname or an imposing presence like the other two, but with his 38th birthday a month away, Dickey may just be able to say that, like the Johnson duo, he captured a Triple Crown at an advanced age for a ballplayer.
Dickey allowed two runs in eight innings and picked up his 19th win of the year Saturday, as the Mets defeated the Marlins, 4-3. Dickey lowered his ERA to an National League-leading 2.66 while striking out four to take over the league lead in K's. His 19 wins trail Gio Gonzalez by one. The only Mets pitcher to lead the NL in wins, strikeouts and ERA in the same season was Dwight Gooden (1985).
Gio notches No. 20
Gonzalez allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings and picked up his Major League-leading 20th victory as the Nationals defeated the Brewers, 10-4. Gonzalez joined Ross Grimsley in 1978 as the only pitchers in Expos/Nationals history to reach 20 wins.
Gonzalez struck out five to push his season total to 201, which ranks fourth in the NL. He is the 25th southpaw since 1901 to have a 20-win, 200-strikeout season.
Besides leading the NL in wins and being fourth in K's, Gonzalez is also tied for fourth in ERA. He ranks third in strikeouts per nine, leads in hits allowed per nine, owns the lowest OPS against and is sixth in WHIP.
In a five-hour, 43-minute marathon in which the Yankees and Athletics combined for 19 runs, 31 hits, 512 pitches from 18 pitchers, and seven home runs (four of them in extra innings), New York defeated Oakland, 10-9, in 14 innings.
In the 13th inning, the Athletics took a four-run lead in the top half of the frame only to have the Yankees match that run output to send the game to another inning. Oakland's four runs came on three home runs, making them the 13th team since 1948 to hit at least three homers in extra-innings. Each of the first 12 were victorious.
Entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, Raul Ibanez finished the day with a double and two home runs, and his second homer was a two-run shot that tied the game in the bottom of the 13th. Ibanez was the third Yankees player since 1918 to begin a game on the bench and finish the contest with three extra-base hits. Tony Kubek did it on July 11, 1959, and Cody Ransom matched the feat on Sept. 26, 2008.
The Athletics finished the game with eight extra-base hits (four doubles and four homers). The most recent time they lost a game when collecting that many was on May 5, 2002. In between those two losses, they had won 41 consecutive games when having at least eight. That 41-game streak was the fourth longest since 1918. The Indians owned a 53-game streak that ran from '51-97, the Red Sox had a 47-game run from '38 -62, and the Senators/Twins had a 43-game streak from '36-80.
O's extra special
The Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 9-6, in 12 innings, improving their extra-inning winning streak to 16. The 16 consecutive victories in extra-inning games stands as the longest streak in franchise history and the longest in the Majors since the 1949 Indians captured 17 in a row.
Baltimore collected nine extra-base hits in the game -- its most at Fenway Park since July 13, 1967. Matt Wieters doubled twice to raise his extra-base hit total to 49, one shy of his career high set in 2011. Wieters' 99 extra-base hits since the start of last season are the most for any catcher in the Majors.
Adam Jones doubled and homered to bring his extra-base hit total to 71, tying him with Josh Hamilton for the fourth most in the AL. The 71 are the third most for a center fielder in franchise history. In 1996, Brady Anderson had 92 for the Orioles, while in '24, Baby Doll Jacobson had 72 for the Browns.
Jim Thome doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th, giving him 1,087 extra-base hits in his career, which ranks 20th on the all-time list.
Playing in his 1,093rd game, Ryan Howard hit his 300th home run. He is the 135th player in history to hit 300, and he's the second Phillies player to have that many, joining Mike Schmidt (548).
With the 300 homers in 1,093 games, Howard was the second quickest to reach 300. Ralph Kiner hit No. 300 in his 1,087th career game.
Howard is the sixth player in history to reach 300 through his first nine seasons. He joins Albert Pujols (366), Kiner (351), Eddie Mathews (338), Adam Dunn (316) and Mark Teixeira (314).
Pujols hit his 500th career double Saturday vs. the White Sox. He is the 57th player in history with 500.
Pujols is the first player in history to reach 500 doubles in his first 12 seasons. The previous high was 483, by Ducky Medwick.
In addition to owning the most doubles in history for any player through his first 12 seasons, Pujols also has the most home runs, total bases and extra-base hits, and he has the fourth-most RBIs.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.