8/19/2013 10:30 A.M. ET
MLB Notebook: Miggy rewriting record book
Teammate Scherzer making run at unparalleled season totals
By Roger Schlueter / MLB.com
The 1932 season saw the Philadelphia Athletics come up short in their bid to capture a fourth straight American League pennant, but it could hardly be pinned on the efforts of their first baseman, AL MVP Award winner Jimmie Foxx. Foxx topped the circuit in runs, slugging, OPS, extra-base hits, total bases (with 438, still the fifth-highest total all-time), and also captured two-thirds of the Triple Crown, pacing the league with 58 homers and 169 RBIs.
Foxx came up short for the batting title due to Dale Alexander, another first baseman, who just outdistanced Foxx, .367 to .364. So Foxx came back the next year, and although his numbers in all three Triple Crown categories were lower than in '32, his 48 homers, 163 RBIs and .356 batting average were all good enough to lead the league.
Ty Cobb won two of the three parts of the Triple Crown in 1908, the year before he led the league in homers, RBIs and batting. In 1921, Rogers Hornsby took two-thirds of the crown and then followed with all three pieces in 1922. And in 1941, Ted Williams preceded his Triple Crown in 1942 by leading in batting and homers, but not RBIs. In 2013, Miguel Cabrera is turning this narrative around, making a very real run at leading the league in batting, homers and RBIs a year after establishing himself as a Triple Crown winner.
- Cabrera hit his 40th home run of the season and also drove in three runs to push his league-leading total to 120.
- Cabrera -- who clubbed 44 homers and drove in 139 runs in 2012 -- is the third Tigers player to post back-to-back 40-120 seasons. Hank Greenberg did it in 1937-38, hitting .326 with a 1.113 OPS in those years combined. In 1990-91, Cecil Fielder did it, with a .269 batting average and a .912 OPS over those two seasons. Cabrera's average from 2012-13 stands at .342, and his OPS for the two seasons is 1.059.
- Cabrera leads the AL in batting by 27 points and leads in RBIs (over Chris Davis ) by five, while he trails Davis in homers by five. So far in this season's second half, Cabrera has hit the most homers (10); in the second half of the 2012 season, Cabrera hit the most homers (26).
Scherzer just as hot as teammate
- Max Scherzer allowed two runs on five hits and no walks in eight innings, improving to 18-1 on the season.
- Scherzer is the fifth pitcher to win at least 18 of his first 19 decisions in a season. In 1912, Rube Marquard opened his season 19-0; in 1955, Don Newcombe began 18-1; in 1959, Roy Face was 18-1 with all 19 decisions coming in relief; and in 2001, Roger Clemens opened 18-1.
- Scherzer lowered his WHIP to 0.899. That number, along with some of his others (aside from winning percentage) could place him in some lonely company when the season is complete. Among AL pitchers in the DH era:
- Only one pitcher -- Pedro Martinez, with his 0.737 in 2000 -- finished with a lower WHIP than the one currently being authored by Scherzer.
- Only eight hurlers have finished a year with a lower hits-per-nine than Scherzer's current 6.11 mark.
- Only five (Pedro Martinez three times and Johan Santana twice) have finished a year with a strikeout rate at or above nine per nine and a walk rate below two per nine (Scherzer is at 9.66 and 1.98). *Felix Hernandez and Chris Sale currently have numbers that fit these criteria, as well.
Davis doing his thing
- Davis and Adam Jones each doubled and homered in the Orioles' 7-2 win, with each also contributing two RBIs.
- Davis now has 80 extra-base hits in 123 team games, a rate that projects him to reach 100 for the season. The franchise record for extra-base hits is 92, set by Brady Anderson in 1996. Anderson's total is tied for the 23rd most in AL history, with six players in league history having reached the century mark. Two did it in the 1920s (Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig), three did it in the 1930s (Foxx, Gehrig and Greenberg) and Albert Belle did it in 1995.
- Davis and Jones have combined for 204 RBIs, the second most in the Majors for any pair of teammates. Cabrera and Prince Fielder have 205. The most for a pair of Brewers/Browns/Orioles in a season is 264, by Ken Williams (155) and Marty McManus (109) in 1922.
D-backs enjoying extra time on field
The D-backs defeated the Pirates, 4-2, in 16 innings, improving to 13-5 in extra-inning games this season.
- The 13 extra-inning wins are the most for the franchise, and with a .722 winning percentage in these games, the clubs is threatening the team record for that category. In 2002, the D-backs played .750 ball (9-3) in extra-inning games.
- Arizona allowed a run in the first and third innings and then held Pittsburgh scoreless the rest of the way. With two in the sixth and two in the 16th, Arizona picked up its 36th comeback win -- second most in the NL, behind the Braves' 38.
- The Pirates used only four pitchers, thanks in large part to Kris Johnson, who was making his Major League debut. Johnson went the final six innings, and with the two runs allowed in that final frame, took the loss. Johnson is the 70th pitcher since 1916 to have a relief stint of at least six innings in his Major League debut, and the first to do it since Mike Bacsik on Aug. 5, 2001. Fifty-nine of the 70 occurrences took place from 1916-59. Johnson is the third Pirates pitcher to make this list, joining Hal Carson (April 13, 1917) and Bill Werle (April 22, 1949).
Around The Show
Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo had a pair of singles and three walks as Cincinnati cruised by Milwaukee, 9-1. Choo's day at the plate gave him an .894 OPS as a leadoff hitter this season -- the highest for any payer with at least 400 plate appearances in that slot. The .894 mark would be the second highest for any Reds leadoff hitter since 1916, with Pete Rose owning a .941 mark in 1969.
After Cole Hamels gave them seven innings of two-run ball, the Phillies enjoyed a walk-off win over the Dodgers and Jonathan Papelbon picked up the win. Hamels has seven non-wins this season in which he has finished his start with seven-or-more innings and two-or-fewer runs allowed. Those seven tie him with Matt Harvey, Gio Gonzalez, Patrick Corbin and Matt Cain for the most in the Majors. Dating back to 1916, the most such games in a season is 11, a mark shared by Roger Craig in 1963, Claude Osteen in '65 and Jose Rijo in '93.
Oakland's Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson combined for four hits, two runs, and three RBIs and the Athletics defeated Indians, 7-3. Lowrie owns 41 extra-base hits, while Donaldson has collected 45. They are one of three shortstop/third base combinations in the Majors to each have at least 40, with the Orioles' J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado and the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta and Cabrera the other two.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.