The 2017 Major League season featured plenty of unforgettable moments, from four-homer games by Scooter Gennett and J.D. Martinez to Rich Hill taking his no-hit bid into the 10th inning to Madison Bumgarner's two-homer performance way back on Opening Day. But it also featured a lot more history under the
The 2017 Major League season featured plenty of unforgettable moments, from four-homer games by Scooter Gennett and J.D. Martinez to Rich Hill taking his no-hit bid into the 10th inning to Madison Bumgarner's two-homer performance way back on Opening Day. But it also featured a lot more history under the surface -- ranging from the unthinkable to the truly bizarre -- that shouldn't go unnoticed.
Here are 15 of the weirdest statistics from the regular season, for your enjoyment:
• The Blue Jays went homer crazy this year, scoring roughly half their total runs via the long ball. But Toronto was also historically averse to the triple. The Blue Jays recorded only five triples all season, which ranks as the lowest single-season total by any team on record since 1913. The previous record low of six triples, totaled by the 2016 Orioles, lasted just one season.
• Meanwhile, Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo nearly matched the Blue Jays by himself. The second-year righty recorded his fourth triple on the final day of the season Sunday, setting a new Statcast™ benchmark for the fastest time on a triple -- 11.52 seconds -- recorded by any pitcher on the basepaths since the technology was launched in 2015. Perdomo is the first player to hit four triples in a season exclusively as a pitcher since Hall of Famer Bob Feller in 1941. Fellow Hall of Famer Robin Roberts also hit four triples in 1955, but one of them came as a pinch-hitter.
• A total of three players -- Joey Gallo, Matt Olson and Kyle Schwarber -- took the homer craze to another level. Each of these three players finished with more than 20 home runs, but also with RBI totals that were less than or equal to two times their dinger count. (Olson, for example, recorded 24 home runs but only 45 RBIs.)
Prior to 2017, only seven players had finished with 20-plus homer seasons while also recording RBI totals that were less than or equal to twice their home run count -- and never more than two in the same year.
• Gallo was in a category all his own, finishing with 41 home runs and just 32 singles. Gallo joined Mark McGwire (1998 and '99) and Barry Bonds (2001) as the only players in history to qualify for the season-end batting title while knocking more homers than singles.
• This year's homer craze wasn't fueled only by fence-clearing blasts. MLB hitters combined to record 20 inside-the-park home runs, the first time the leagues have combined for that total since 2000.
• Twins catcher Chris Gimenez found his own niche on the bump, appearing as a pitcher in six different games for Minnesota this season. That's the most pitching appearances by a position player not named Brooks Kieschnick (who was a two-way player from 2003-04) since Los Angeles Angels outfielder Willie Smith appeared in 11 games back in 1963.
• Andrew McCutchen hit the long overdue first grand slam of his career just five days before the end of the season. McCutchen, incredibly, had hit the first 201 big league dingers in every kind of situation possible except with the bases loaded.
McCutchen's performance Tuesday was notable in one other way, too. McCutchen finished with a 4-for-4 night against the Orioles, while also scoring four runs and driving in eight. It marked just the second time on record (since 1913) that a player finished with a 4-4-4-8 in the first four lines of his box score. The other game was recorded by Giants legend Hank Thompson against the Cardinals, way back on June 3, 1954.
• Reds first baseman Joey Votto was operating on another level from the rest of MLB this season when it came to patience and selectivity at the plate. Votto finished with an MLB-high 134 walks against just 83 strikeouts, for a margin of +51. Only four other qualified hitters finished with more walks than strikeouts, and none had a margin greater than +4.
• Aaron Judge had just as good a season for the Yankees, but he got there in a very different way. With 52 home runs, 127 walks and 208 strikeouts, Judge became the first player to lead his league in each of the "Three True Outcomes" since Dale Murphy of the Braves in 1985.
• The "Never Bunt, Hit Dingers" movement is in full swing, as the 2017 season was the first in modern history to feature fewer than 1,000 combined sacrifice hits recorded in the Major Leagues. Hitters combined to lay down just 925 sacrifice hits this year, shattering the previous low of 1,025 set in 2016.
• Chris Sale slung his way past the 300-strikeout mark this season, finishing with 308. That's amazing enough on its own, but consider this -- the southpaw piled up 267 of those K's against right-handed batters. No other pitcher in the Majors struck out a righty more than 168 times.
• Whether or not he wins the NL MVP Award, Charlie Blackmon's 2017 season will go down as one for the ages. From the leadoff spot, Blackmon became the first player in history to lead the Major Leagues in hits (213), runs (137), triples (14) and total bases (387).
• Jose Ramirez, simply put, was an extra-base machine this season. The Indians' MVP candidate finished the regular season with 56 doubles, 29 home runs and six triples, making him the first player in the history of the American League to reach all of those totals in a season. Only two players in NL history had ever reached those benchmarks, and both are Hall of Famers: Joe Medwick for the Cardinals in 1937 and Chuck Klein for the Phillies in 1930.
• Angels catcher Martin Maldonado walked just 15 times this season, including one intentional pass, accounting for a little more than 3 percent of his 471 plate appearances -- one of the lowest rates in MLB. However, Maldonado somewhat made up for the lack of walks by getting hit by a pitch 18 times -- second in the AL behind only the Rangers' Carlos Gomez. In doing so, Maldonado became the first player to log at least 400 plate appearances while racking up more HBP than BB in nearly 100 years. Ollie O'Mara of the 1918 Brooklyn Robins (later Dodgers) was the last to do it, with 10 HBP and seven BB in 487 PA.
• Maldonado's teammate Jose Pujols had a down year by his lofty standards, but the Hall of Fame-bound first baseman still made history in 2017. In finishing with 101 RBIs and just 93 strikeouts, Pujols completed his 14th Major League season with at least 100 RBIs and fewer than 100 strikeouts. That passed the great Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (13 seasons) for the most such campaigns of any player in modern baseball history.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.