You remember back in April when Kay Adams bet me that Willie Bloomquist would steal at least 26 bases this season, one more than his career best? Willie ain’t gonna make it. What a shock. Bloomquist has 19 steals on the year, only 12 after the month of April, and for the first time ever he has been caught more than six times with 10 CS. @heykayadams on Twitter better get ready to sing that Neil Diamond song and to make that video she promised she would if she lost.
Melky Cabrera has 18 homers and 20 steals. So the team will push him hard the final couple of days to give him a shot at 20/20, right? Wrong. The Royals have already said that as soon as he gets to 200 hits that they will shut him down to give others some playing time. Cabrera has 199 hits making his dream of 20/20 likely nothing more than a pipe dream. Don’t worry Royals’ fans. Jeff Francoeur pulled off the 20/20 trick with 20 homers and 22 steals. That outing was shocking given that the last time he hit 20 homers was 2006, and that he had never swiped more than eight bases in a season. Since I mentioned both of those Royals outfielders, why not mention the third as well. Alex Gordon had the breakout season that was long predicted of him as he hit .303 with 23 homers, 87 RBI, 101 runs and 17 steals. How good was that trio of outfielders? Their average 5×5 line was .297-20-87-91-20. How amazing is that?
Albert Pujols is trying to extend his major league record run of .300-30-100 to 11-straight seasons. He’s already at 37 homers, but after going 0-for-7 the past two days his average has dipped to an even .300. He’ll need to keep the hits coming while knocking in two runs to extend his streak (he has 98 RBI on the year). He’s also scored at least 100 runs in 10 of 11 seasons. The one time he missed was 2007 when he scored 99 times.
Ben Zobrist has had an uneven season no doubt, but in the end he has been highly productive. The question now is will he get to some significant statistical milestones this year. He has 19 homers, 89 RBI, 97 runs and 20 steals. A big final couple of days could give him a 20-90-100-20 season. Since 2000, there have only been three players in the AL East who have reached all four of those totals in one season: Alex Rodriguez did it three times, Alfonso Soriano twice, and Bobby Abreu once.
Last week in Exclusive Clubs, I listed a whole bunch of players with unique power/speed combos. With three days left in the season, there have been some changes.
Jacoby Ellsbury went deep three times the last two days for the Red Sox and he now has 31 homers and 38 steals. What a bounce back season.
Matt Kemp has 37 homers and 40 steals. He could, could, sneak into the 40/40 club.
Ian Kinsler went deep twice in the last four games and he also swiped four bases. That leaves him one steal from a second 30/30 effort in three seasons.
By Ray Flowers