After a seven-game debut season with the Cardinals in 1952, left-hander Harvey Haddix won 20 games in '53, and then another 18 in '54.
In 1953, the 27-year-old Haddix entered the All-Star break tied for fifth in the National League in victories, with 10. And the following year, he was tied with the Giants' Johnny Antonelli for the league lead with 13 wins when the All-Star Game was played.
While the southpaw would never again enter the All-Star break with double-digit victories, Haddix had been the only Cardinals pitcher to have at least 10 wins by the All-Star break in two of his first three seasons -- until Lance Lynn.
Thursday, Lynn allowed one run in six innings and matched the Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann and teammate Adam Wainwright for the league lead in wins (10), as the Cardinals topped the Cubs, 6-1. With his 11 victories at the All-Star break last year, Lynn's 21 first-half victories over the past two seasons are the most in the Majors, with Max Scherzer and R.A. Dickey tied for the second most (18).
This is the 12th time the Cardinals have had at least two pitchers reach 10 wins before the All-Star break. Mark Mulder, Matt Morris and Chris Carpenter were the most recent to do it, in 2005.
Angels rally to dethrone King
The Angels collected 17 hits (15 singles and a pair of home runs) and defeated the Mariners, 10-9.
The Angels entered the bottom of the third down, 7-0, to Felix Hernandez, who was charged with 12 hits and seven runs. It was the fourth time in his career Hernandez had finished an outing with at least 12 hits and seven runs allowed, with the most recent previous occurrence having taken place on Oct. 1, 2012, also against the Angels.
The seven-run deficit was the largest the Angels had overcome in a win since May 31, 2009, when they found themselves down, 8-1, to the Mariners before going on to win, 9-8.
The Angels have twice had at least 15 singles in a game this season, with both of the efforts coming against the Mariners (the other took place on Monday). Before this month, they hadn't had such a game against Seattle since 1996.
Angels star Mike Trout was 4-for-4 with a walk, a run and a stolen base. Through his first 73 games in 2012, Trout had a .354/.407/.596 slash line with 38 extra-base hits and 31 steals. Through 73 games this year, Trout has a .317/.395/.556 line with 40 extra-base hits, and he has swiped 16 bags.
Zimmermann notches 10th win
Zimmermann allowed one unearned run in eight innings and improved to 10-3, as the Nationals defeated the Rockies, 5-1.
Zimmermann is the 20th pitcher in Expos/Nationals history (and the second in as many years) to have at least 10 victories before the All-Star break. His current 2.26 ERA ranks as the fifth lowest among this group of 20. Pedro Martinez, who had 10 wins at the break for the Expos in 1997, had the lowest ERA, at 1.74.
In 2012, Nats lefty Gio Gonzalez finished the first half with a 12-3 record to become the first pitcher for the franchise since Livan Hernandez in '05 to win 10 before the break.
Oswalt's K's not enough in Rox debut
Making his season (and team) debut, Rockies right-hander Roy Oswalt fanned 11 in five innings, but he also allowed four runs and took the loss.
Oswalt was the 17th pitcher since 1916 to have at least 11 K's in a stint lasting no more than five innings. More than one-third of those occurrences have taken place since the beginning of the 2011 season. With Oswalt suffering the loss, the combined record of the 17 pitchers is 4-5.
Of the 17 pitchers in this group, Oswalt is the second to issue no walks. Rick Ankiel was the first. On June 4, 2000, the St. Louis southpaw allowed two runs on five hits in five innings with 11 K's, and he got a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Indians.
Oswalt is the first Rockies pitcher with at least 11 strikeouts since Jhoulys Chacin fanned 12 on June 27, 2010.
Alvarez drives in five
Pedro Alvarez drove in all five of the Pirates' runs, as Pittsburgh defeated Cincinnati, 5-3.
Alvarez has five games with at least five RBIs, with a high of six. The five tie him for the second most for any Pirates player (since 1916) through his first 383 games. Ralph Kiner had six, while Wally Westlake and Aramis Ramirez each had five.
Alvarez's five since the start of the 2010 season tie him for the third most in the Majors. Adam Dunn (eight) and Jose Bautista (six) are at the top of the list, with Alvarez tied with Robinson Cano, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin and Mark Teixeira.
Here and there
• The Twins homered four times in beating the White Sox, 8-4, at Target Field. Minnesota has hit four home runs in a home game three times this season through 36 home games. From 2010 (the year Target Field opened) through '12, the Twins had one four-homer game in 243 contests at the park.
• Chicago's Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless seventh inning vs. the Twins, extending his streak of scoreless appearances to a new team record of 28. Crain had been tied with J.J. Putz, whose 27-game streak occurred in 2010. During Crain's streak, he has thrown 28 innings, allowed 18 hits and seven walks, and he has fanned 37. For the season, Crain owns a 0.55 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.
• The Rangers' Ian Kinsler collected his 161st career stolen base, tying Bump Wills for the franchise record. Kinsler, who also has 150 home runs, is one of 16 players in history with at least 150 homers and 150 steals through his first eight seasons (now in his age-31 season, he is the oldest of the group). Kinsler is one of seven active players on the list, joining Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.
• In the Dodgers' 6-3 loss to the Padres, Yasiel Puig hit his sixth home run. Dating back to 1916, Puig's six home runs through his first 16 games are the second most for a Dodgers player, behind the seven hit by Kemp.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.