MLB Notebook: Sabathia the first lefty in elite club
In the history of the national pastime, 140 pitchers have accumulated at least 190 wins, 53 pitchers have compiled at least 2,200 strikeouts and 49 pitchers have reached both markers. Among those 49, only five got there before the start of their age-32 season. Two of the five -- Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson -- shared the distinction of being members of the first Hall of Fame induction class.
The same calendar year in which the Big Train and Matty were honored -- 1936 -- was also the debut season of the next of the five, Bob Feller. Feller's final season in 1956 was the debut year of the fourth member of the quintet, Don Drysdale. Four Hall of Famers, four right-handers, four men whose days of hurling baseballs on Major League mounds were distant memories by the time the fifth member of the club made his big league debut.
That debut came on April 8, 2001, when Indians southpaw CC Sabathia pitched his first Major League game and ended that day with three strikeouts and a no-decision.
Wednesday, in the Yankees' 8-2 win over the Twins, Sabathia allowed two runs in eight innings and struck out 10 to improve to 14-6.
Sabathia has 190 career victories and 2,207 career strikeouts. The 190 wins are the 16th most since 1893 for any pitcher through his age-31 season. Among pitchers who debuted in the live-ball era, those 190 give Sabathia the ninth most.
Sabathia's 10 strikeouts pushed him past Roger Clemens into 11th place for the most strikeouts since 1893 for any pitcher through his age-31 season. The big lefty also has 34 career double-digit strikeout games, tying Bob Veale for the 30th most since 1918.
Atlanta's Jason Heyward swiped his 20th base of the season in the Braves' 3-0 win over the Marlins. Paired with his 27 home runs, Heyward is the 19th player in history to have a 20-20 campaign in his age-22 or younger season, and the third Braves player to do it. Andruw Jones accomplished the feat in his age-21 season in 1998, and then again in '99.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out four batters in a scoreless ninth inning to record his 40th save of the season. Kimbrel is the 67th pitcher (and eighth this season) to record four K's in an inning. In 2012, he joins Bud Norris (April 24), Ryan Cook (April 27), Francisco Liriano (June 5), Steve Delabar (Aug. 13), Phil Hughes (Sept. 20), Jason Berken (Sept. 20) and Zack Greinke (Tuesday). The eight occurrences are the most for a season.
With the four strikeouts, Kimbrel is averaging 16.56 strikeouts for every nine innings pitched (111 K's in 60 1/3 innings). Among all pitchers in history with at least 50 innings, that rate would be the highest.
The following players are the all-time hit leaders for their clubs.
Hit king Wright
David Wright singled in the third inning for his 1,419th career hit and became the Mets' all-time leader in the category, passing Ed Kranepool.
Ty Cobb's 3,900 hits with the Tigers are the most for any club leader, while Luis Castillo's 1,273 with the Marlins are the fewest.
Matt Cain allowed four hits in seven shutout innings vs. the D-backs and picked up the win to improve to 16-5 for the season. Cain has won six consecutive decisions. Over the course of the winning streak, he has made nine starts, thrown 62 innings and posted a 2.18 ERA.
Cain's .762 winning percentage is the fifth highest in the Majors this season. From 2006-11, he owned a .482 winning percentage (54th among the 67 pitchers with at least 800 innings during that span) despite having a 3.39 ERA (11th among the 67).
The Giants' 6-0 win represented one of five team shutouts on Wednesday (all taking place in the National League), bringing the 2012 Major League total up to 294. This season's total is third highest since expansion to 30 teams in 1998, with the top two marks coming in the past two seasons. The '10 campaign produced 329 team shutouts, while there were 323 of them last year.
The Orioles set a season high with seven home runs in a 12-2 win over the Blue Jays. Among the seven, Manny Machado hit two -- his second career multihomer game.
At 20 years and 82 days old, Machado was the 16th player since 1918 to have multiple multihomer games by that age. Mel Ott had five, Tony Conigliaro had four, and Al Kaline, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Jones each had three.
Along with Machado, the others to have two: Miguel Cabrera, Orlando Cepeda, Bryce Harper, Bob Horner, Kranepool, Carlos May, Willie Mays, Boog Powell, Frank Robinson and Giancarlo Stanton.
Harper hit his 20th home run and ninth triple, and he stole his 17th base in the Nationals' 8-4 win over the Phillies. Harper is now four homers shy of tying Conigliaro (1964) for the most in a teenage season.
Harper's 52 extra-base hits are the most for a player in his age-19 or younger season, and his 17 steals tie him with Ben Conroy (1890) and Cesar Cedeno (1970) for the third most.
Here and there
Robinson Cano doubled twice in the Yankees' win, with the two moving him past Todd Helton for the fourth most in history for any player through his first eight seasons. Ducky Medwick (353), Albert Pujols (342) and Paul Waner (337) are ahead of Cano and his 329 doubles.
The Royals' Alex Gordon doubled twice to push his American League-leading total to 51. The 51 tie Gordon with Billy Butler (2009) for the second most in Royals history. Hal McRae had 54 in 1977.
San Diego's Chase Headley went 1-for-3 with a walk, and he has reached base safely in 139 games -- the most in the Majors. The 139 also represent the third-highest total in Padres history. Tony Gwynn reached safely in 144 games in 1987 and 142 games in '86.
The Athletics -- on a night when they set a new AL record for most strikeouts in a season -- defeated the Rangers, 9-3, to close to within three games of Texas for first in the AL West. Oakland's batters fanned 11 times to bring their season total to 1,333, eclipsing the old record of 1,324 by the 2007 Devil Rays.