With the World Series barely 24 hours away, I thought I would take a step back and look at some of the numbers that popped out at me when looking at the regular season performance of the men on the diamond.
Daric Barton led the AL with 110 walks, 10 more than the only other fella in the Junior Circuit (Jose Bautista was the other with an even 100 walks). Miguel Cabrera was the only one of the top-5 AL walk getters who whiffed less than 100 times with 95 punchouts on the year. Over in the NL, Albert Pujols walked 103 times, a third straight year of triple-digit walks for the Cardinals’ star. Pujols career worst for Ks is 93, and that was back during his rookie season (2001) though it should be pointed out that for the first time in nine years he struck out more than 70-times with 76 punchouts in 2010.
Adrian Beltre posted a .919 OPS, the best amongst full-time third basemen in baseball this season (Jose Bautista was at .995), and it was the second best mark of his career behind the historic 1.017 mark he posted in 2004. For some historical perspective, the 1.017 mark of Beltre is the the 17th best mark in baseball history for a third basemen.
Did you know that Rodrigo Lopez led baseball with 37 homers allowed? That’s the same total as Roy Oswalt (19) and Tim Lincecum (18) allowed. The AL leader was James Shields and he allowed 34 while twirling on the hill for the Rays. His total was matched by the combined efforts of Felix Hernandez (17) and Dallas Braden (17).
Gio Gonzalez won 15 games which is one more than Francisco Liriano and two more than Felix Hernandez. Those 15 wins also tied Gio for the third most by a lefty in baseball with John Danks, Brett Cecil and C.J. Wilson. The only three lefties with more victories were CC Sabathia (21), David Price (19) and Jon Lester (19).
Josh Hamilton hit .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBI this season. Those three numbers made him just the eighth man in American league history to reach all three of those Triple-Crown marks in the same season. Here are the others: Babe Ruth (seven times), Lou Gehrig (three), Al Simmons (twice), Jimmie Foxx (twice) and then Ted Williams, Norm Cash and Joe DiMaggio all accomplished the feat once.
Shaun Marcum had a wonderful bounce back season after undergoing Tommy John surgery as he posted a 3.64 ERA and 13 victories in 31 starts covering 195.1 innings. However, it’s his WHIP that really stands out as he posted a 1.15 mark, this after a 1.16 mark in 2008. As great as Jon Lester has been the past two years (34 wins, 450 Ks), he has posted WHIP’s of 1.23 and 1.20. How is that for some perspective on how good Marcum has been his last two seasons?
Nick Markakis had hit at least 16 homers in each of his first four seasons before falling well off the map this year with just 12 big flies for the Orioles. Still, he posted a 4th straight season of at least 40-doubles, he hit 45, and that is ties him for the third longest 40-double streak in big league history (the record is jointly held by Joe Medwick and Wade Boggs at 7-straight). If we up the double mark to 43 a season, a total that Markakis has reached each of the past four years, he moves up to second on the list trailing only Joe Medwick’s 5-year run (Tris Speaker also hit 43 doubles in 4-straight years).
By Ray Flowers