23 MLB facts for July 23

  1. The Triple Crown watch is on! Miguel Cabrera is batting .347; he trails Josh Hamilton who is hitting .353. He has 85 RBI, which leads the majors. He has 24 home runs, which puts him two behind Jose Bautista, but if Bautista is traded, as many speculate, his home run may slow down as he has 15 of his 26 at home, in Toronto. The last Triple Crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 who hit .326, with 44 homers, and 121 RBI.
  2. Last night, Alex Rodriguez became the seventh player in major league history to hit 599 home runs and is the youngest player ever to hit that many homers. In defeating the Royals last night, 10-4, the Yankees now have 60 wins, exactly double the Baltimore Orioles.
  3. There were five shutouts in the bigs yesterday including Carl Pavano and the Twins over the Orioles 5-0 at Camden Yards. Pavano is now 12-6 after tossing his second shutout of the year. In 2004, for the Marlins, Pavano had his best season finishing 18-8 with two shutouts.
  4. Hiroki Kuroda and the Dodgers defeated Hisanori Takahashi and the Mets last night, 2-0. Kuroda is now 5-0 against Takahashi throughout their professional careers in the US and Japan. The Mets haven’t scored in 17 innings.
  5. Pavano and Kuroda were the only complete games among the five team-shutouts. Tim Hudson threw seven innings of four-hit ball as the Braves topped the Padres. The Braves seven-game lead in the NL East is the largest in baseball. The Braves are 56-39 with the best record in the NL and have won 20 of their last 21 series since May 10, going 16-1-4 in that span.
  6. Matt Cain threw eight innings of three-hit ball as the Giants topped the D-Backs, 3-0. Andres Torres hit a solo homer off Rodrigo Lopez, the 24th allowed by Lopez, the most in the bigs. Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest by rookie this season. Josh Hamilton has the longest streak this season hitting in 23 straight games.
  7. The pitching performance of the day came from Cole Hamels who threw eight innings of one-hit ball, but it took 11 innings for the Phils to end the Cardinals eight game winning streak, 2-0. Placido Polanco homered leading off the 11th inning as the Phillies out hit St. Louis 12-1. Adam Wainwright struck out six and allowed six hits in six scoreless innings for the Cards. Both pitchers had no-decisions.
  8. John Lackey had his best pitching performance for the Red Sox but also had a ND. Lackey had a no-hitter going for 7.1 and left the game having given up two hits, one unearned run and his team up 6-1. The Mariners then cobbled together five runs on three hits and two Boston errors off of Manny Delcarmen and closer Jonathan Papelbon before winning 8-6 in 13. Josh Beckett returns for the Sox tonight for his first appearance since May 18. The Sox used six relievers last night and Tim Wakefield will be the long man in the pen tonight.
  9. Cliff Lee held the Angels to two runs and five hits in 8.1 as Texas topped the Jered Weaver and Halos, 3-2. Texas extended its American League West lead to six games.
  10. In response to the through the roof popularity of Twilight and True Blood, Major League Baseball will immediately expand its drug-testing program by drawing blood from minor league players to test for human growth hormone. MLB is considering the slogan This time it’s the blood count!
  11. Albert Pujols will make his first visit to the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, on Monday, July 26. In addition to his interview with Dave, Pujols will also participate in an outdoor batting demonstration during the broadcast.
  12. By beating the Jays starter Ricky Romero, 5-2, the Tigers increased their record against left-handed starters to 12-3.
  13. After losing to the Nationals, 7-1, the Reds are now 4-6 in their last 10, 10-10 in their last 20, and 16-14 in their last 30 and trail the Cards by a game and a half.
  14. Today is Nomar Garciaparra’s 37th birthday.
  15. The Orioles, Royals, Indians, and Mariners are the only AL teams under .500.
  16. One year ago today, Mark Buehrle of the White Sox pitched the 18th perfect game in major league history, a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay.
  17. The Angels acquired Kansas City third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who has two extra-base hits in his last 25 games, in exchange for pitcher Sean O’Sullivan and actor Will Smith. The current group of Angels’ third basemen have combined to hit .214.
  18. Brett Gardner had two assists for the Yankees from left field last night. He has a 14 Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average rating in left.
  19. The Padres haven’t lost more than three consecutive games this season.
  20. Miguel Cabrera is hitting .354 with runners in scoring position, .436 with runners at first and second and .538 with runners at first and third. On 1-1 counts, Miggy is hitting .529, but on 2-2 he is hitting .191.
  21. Worth $12.5 million? In the 43 games from June 1 to July 22, David Ortiz is hitting .233 with 7 homers and 29 RBI.
  22. What do Jeff Francoeur, Sean Rodriguez, Orlando Cabrera, Andy LaRoche, and Gordon Beckham have in common? They all have a .297 OBP this season.
  23. With his 23rd homer of the season yesterday, Adam Dunn tied Boog Powell, Tino Martinez, and Dave Parker for 84th place on the all time HR list, with 339.