.241: The league leading BABIP of Jered Weaver which is one point better than his teammate, Ervin Santana. While it’s not logical to think either man will replicate that number in 2013, it should be noted that Weaver has always been a pretty darn impressive in his ability to hold the hits at bay. Weaver has posted a BABIP under .280 each of the past three years, and last season that mark was a mere .250. Santana is no slouch in his own right with marks of .288 and .272 the past two years.
.323: Dan Uggla’s batting average over his last 10 games. Uggla is batting a mere .214 on the year, but he is just the #2 away from a lot of statistical milestones. Uggla has 18 homers, 68 RBIs and 78 runs scored for the Braves.
1: The number of homers that Yadier Molina needs to record his first 20 homer effort. He’s also two runs scored from his first 60 run effort and three RBIs short of his first 70 RBI campaign. He’s not Buster Posey (.333-22-93-73), but Molina is darn close as he’s also rocking an impressive .320 batting average that is fourth in the NL.
1.014: The OPS of Rickie Weeks in the month of September. Weeks has been flat out killing it the last two plus weeks. In the 15 games in the month of September he has gone deep seven times, stolen four bases, knocked in 14 runners and scored 14 times. That is the definition of elite level production folks. The .231 hitter on the season has also hit .280 over his last 69 games putting behind in the dreadful start he had to the campaign.
2: The number of homers and steals that Andrew McCutchen needs to have his first 30/20 season. Andrew’s 28 homers are already a career best, he’s one off his career best of 89 RBIs, and he just reached 100 runs scored for the first time. He’s also those two steals from a 4th straight 20 theft season and he will also set career bests in AVG (.343), OBP (.412) and SLG (.569) as his previous career bests are .286/.365/.471. However, he’s now three points behind Melky Cabrera for the NL batting title lead as he he hit .252 in August. He’s rebounded to hit .327 in September so we will see if he can catch the admitted cheater.
2.5: According to Dave Smith, founder of Retrosheet.org, teams may be paying too much attention to who they have working the 9th inning. According to his research, teams leading by one run after eight innings have won nearly 86 percent of the time. Moreover, since Mariano Rivera became the Yankees closer in 1997 the Yankees have won 97.2 percent of the games that they were leading heading into the 9th inning. The lowly Pirates, to compare, have won 94.7 percent of those games which may lead to the following contention – teams are patently overpaying their 9th inning arms because, statistically speaking, there isn’t as much difference between an elite closer and a group of solid arms working the 9th inning.
3/5: The number of homers and steals that Mike Trout needs to complete his remarkable run to 30 homers and 50 steals (he obviously has 27 HRs and 45 SBs). There have only been two such seasons in the history of baseball. Eric Davis had 37 homers and 50 steals in 1987 (he went 27/80 in 1986) while Barry Bonds, then of the Pirates before his muscles outsized his brain, had 33 homers and 52 thefts in 1990. One other note. Since I’m obnoxious and wont let things go… Trout is hitting a robust .329 on the year, including .317 in the second half, but that average has dipped to .280 over his last 43 games.
16/19: The homer and steals total of Danny Espinosa this year. He’s undergoing an MRI on his left shoulder today so it remains to be seen how much he will be able to build on those numbers. He won’t get to 20/20, but 15/15 as a second baseman ain’t all that bad now is it?
By Ray Flowers