Ober's efficiency, Henderson's historic HR pace and other wild stats

June 28th, 2024

Here’s our weekly look at 10 mind-blowing notes from the last week in baseball (June 21-27).

Efficient: Bailey Ober threw just 89 pitches in a 10-strikeout complete game on Saturday. It was just the second nine-inning complete game by a pitcher with 10+ strikeouts on fewer than 90 pitches since pitch counts have been tracked (1988), joining David Cone in his July 18, 1999 perfect game. It was the Twins’ first nine-inning complete game on fewer than 90 pitches since Carlos Silva’s on May 20, 2005, on 74 pitches.

Skenes Day: Through his eighth MLB start on Sunday, Paul Skenes has 61 strikeouts and just eight walks. He’s the second pitcher with at least 60 strikeouts and fewer than 10 walks in his first eight career appearances since at least 1901. He joins 2014 Masahiro Tanaka, who had 66 strikeouts and seven walks. Skenes has thrown 70 MLB pitches at 100.0+ mph this season. No other starter has more than 36 (José Soriano). Skenes’ 101.5 mph strikeout to end his outing was the fastest strikeout by a Pirates starter in the pitch-tracking era (2008). He broke his own record.

New York, New York: Sunday was the sixth time in his career Luis Severino had 10+ strikeouts and no walks in a game, and his first 10-strikeout game of any kind with the Mets. He’s the fourth pitcher with at least one 10+ strikeout game with both the Mets and Yankees, joining Al Leiter, David Cone and Orlando Hernández.

For Willie: Willie Mays’ 15 career walk-off RBIs and 16 walk-off plate appearances are each the most for the Giants since RBI became official (1920), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. So of course, in the Giants’ first home game since his passing, with the entire team wearing No. 24 on Monday in his honor, they won on a walk-off. Baseball is the best.

First at-bat’s the charm: Jhonkensy Noel debuted for the Guardians on Wednesday and made an immediate impact, homering in his first trip to the plate. He became the fourth player in Cleveland franchise history to homer in his first career at-bat, joining Kevin Kouzmanoff (9/2/06), Jay Bell (9/29/86) and Earl Averill (4/16/29).

Just keep winning: The Dodgers are now 24-0 when Miguel Rojas has at least one hit this season, through Wednesday. That extends the longest streak of team wins when a certain player has a hit to start a season since 1900, per Elias, ahead of 2010 Carlos Peña (20), 1931 Jimmie Foxx (19), 1962 Don Drysdale (18) and 1903 Long Tom Hughes (18).

The Sweet Escape: Gunnar Henderson hit his 26th homer of the season on Wednesday, in the Orioles’ 80th game. That’s tied for the most homers as a shortstop in a team’s first 80 games of season, with 1998 Alex Rodriguez and 1960 Ernie Banks. The most home runs by a shortstop in a season is 2002 Rodriguez’s 57 and ’01 Rodriguez’s 52 – the only two 50-homer seasons as shortstop. 25 of Henderson’s homers are out of the leadoff spot, second-most in a team’s first 80 games of a season, behind Brady Anderson’s 26 in 1996, also for the Orioles. The most home runs in a season out of the leadoff spot is 41, by Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2023.

Stone cold: Gavin Stone’s shutout on Wednesday was the Dodgers’ first complete game of any kind since a Walker Buehler shutout on April 25, 2022. At 25 years and 255 days old, Stone became the youngest Dodger to throw a shutout since Clayton Kershaw on July 2, 2013 at 25 years and 105 days.

This is 30: Aaron Judge hit his 30th homer of the season in his 80th game on Wednesday, matching his 2022 pace. He’s the ninth player to hit 30+ homers in his first 80 games of a season multiple times, joining Babe Ruth (four times), Mark McGwire (four), Barry Bonds (four), Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris, Jose Canseco and Ken Griffey Jr. Judge now has 287 career homers, eight more than any other player in his first 1,000 career games. It was his 915th game.

Current Ironman: Matt Olson has played 537 consecutive games entering Friday, dating to May 2, 2021. There have been only six other streaks of at least 500 since 2000, per Elias. They belong to 2000-07 Miguel Tejada (1,152 consecutive games), 2018-22 Whit Merrifield (553), 2010-14 Prince Fielder (547), 2000-03 Alex Rodriguez (546), 2003-06 Hideki Matsui (518) and 2004-07 Mark Teixeira (507).