Every MLB season results in milestones and other significant statistical feats, as well as some quirky statistical oddities. The 2019 season was no exception, and whether it was a milestone home run, a no-hitter, a position player pitching or a pitcher playing another position, certain moments give us reason to look back at some notable, if sometimes strange, stats. Here's a breakdown by all 30 clubs.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Cavan Biggio joined his father, Craig, to form only the second father-son duo to hit for the cycle, achieving the feat against the Orioles on Sept. 17 at Camden Yards. It came 17 years after his father's, which was in 2002 against the Rockies.
Outfielder Stevie Wilkerson became the first position player to earn a save since it became an official stat in 1969, retiring the Angels in order in the bottom of the 16th inning of a 10-8 Baltimore victory in Anaheim on July 25. Wilkerson got Brian Goodwin to fly out to center, Kole Calhoun to ground out to second and Albert Pujols to fly out to short center to end the game.
On June 27 at Target Field, the Rays made history in a 5-2, 18-inning victory over the Twins. Both teams scored twice by the middle of the second, and neither scored again until Tampa Bay broke through for three in the 18th. It was the most innings between runs being scored in a game since Sept. 1, 1906.
Mookie Betts became the first player in MLB history to hit a leadoff home run and a home run in the 15th inning or later of the same game, doing so against the Angels during a 7-6, 15-inning victory in Anaheim on Aug. 30. Betts also put together the longest runs-scored streak in franchise history since Ted Williams in 1946, scoring at least once in 13 straight games from June 30-July 17 (Williams' streak was also 13, the longest in franchise history).
Gleyber Torres hit 13 home runs against the Orioles during the 2019 season, the most homers by any player against one opponent in the same season since the divisional era began in 1969.
On June 14 against the Tigers at Comerica Park, Jake Bauers hit for the cycle. He did so on the day following a cycle by the Angels' Shohei Ohtani. It marked the first time since 1912 that players hit for the cycle on back-to-back days in MLB.
On Sept. 3 against the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, Jorge Soler became the first Royals player to hit 40 home runs in one season. The Royals became the last franchise to have a player reach the 40-home run mark in one season.
On May 31 in Atlanta, Niko Goodrum homered twice as part of a five-hit game. It was the first time a player had a five-hit game in his first MLB game in his home state since 1934.
On Sept. 25 at Comerica Park, the Twins beat the Tigers, 5-1, before watching the Indians lose to the White Sox later that night to make Minnesota the AL Central champion for the first time in nine years. It also happened to take place on manager Rocco Baldelli's 38th birthday. It was the second time a team clinched a playoff spot on its manager's birthday.
Jose Abreu had an OPS of .834 in 2019, and also led the AL with 123 RBIs. He became the first player to lead the AL in RBIs with an OPS that low since Cecil Fielder in 1992 -- Fielder drove in 124 runs for the Tigers to lead the league that year, with a .783 OPS.
On July 23 at Dodger Stadium, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun each threw a runner out at home plate and homered in the same game, becoming the first set of teammates to do that in 20 years. Trout threw Max Muncy out at home on a Corey Seager single in the second inning, and later hit a 454-foot home run in the fifth. Calhoun launched a long homer of his own in the seventh, and then threw out Cody Bellinger trying to score the tying run on an Enrique Hernandez single in the ninth, ending the game. The Angels won, 5-4.
The American League champions became the first club in history to lead the Majors in strikeouts by its pitchers (1,671) while having its hitters strike out the fewest times (1,166) in baseball in the same season
Mike Fiers threw his second career no-hitter on May 7 against the Reds at the Oakland Coliseum. His ERA entering that contest was 6.81, the highest ERA entering a no-hitter by any pitcher (minimum 25 innings pitched on the season) in MLB history.
Mike Leake lasted just two-thirds of an inning on July 12 against the Angels in Anaheim, giving up seven runs (four earned) on eight hits. But in his very next start, on July 19 against those very same Angels in Seattle, Leake threw a one-hit shutout with a walk and six strikeouts.
On May 8 at PNC Park, Joey Gallo belted his 100th career home run, a two-run shot off the Pirates' Nick Kingham. At the time, Gallo had 93 career singles, the fewest singles at the time of a player's 100th career homer in MLB history. Gallo also hit his first career sacrifice fly earlier that season, on April 21. It came in his 1,337th career plate appearance, the most plate appearances by a player before his first sac fly in MLB history.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Rookie right-hander Mike Soroka, who made a great impression in his first taste of the Majors, had the lowest home run-per-nine-inning rate in the National League (0.7). He became the first rookie pitcher to lead his league in HR/9 since 1987, when the Cardinals' Joe Magrane had a 0.5 HR/9 ratio.
On Sept. 5 at PNC Park, Brian Moran made his Major League debut on the mound. He faced his brother, Colin, in the bottom of the fourth inning and struck him out. It marked the first brother-vs.-brother, pitcher-vs.-hitter matchup since 1900, and the first occasion on which such a matchup involved one of the brothers making his MLB debut. At the time, there had only been seven cases in MLB history in which a player's team faced his brother's team.
Jacob deGrom had two games in 2019 in which he struck out at least 13 batters while homering in the same contest -- he did it on April 3 against the Marlins in Miami (14 strikeouts), and on Aug. 23 against the Braves at Citi Field (13 strikeouts).
Stephen Strasburg only yielded four earned runs during the entire month of July. He also drove in six runs at the plate that month. He was the only pitcher in 2019 to drive in more runs than he allowed in a calendar month (minimum 30 innings pitched during the month).
In the 14th inning of a tied game against the White Sox on Aug. 3 at Citizens Bank Park, right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez played left field as a result of a position player (Roman Quinn) pitching and a shorthanded Phillies bullpen. He became the first pitcher to record an outfield assist since 1950 when he threw out Jose Abreu trying to score on a Brian McCann single. The throw, according to Statcast, was 94.7 mph (his fastball from the mound was averaging 94.5 mph at the time).
Lorenzo Cain's brilliance in center field can be examined from all kinds of angles. But here's one specific to 2019 -- Cain finished the season with 20 defensive runs saved, the most for any center fielder age 33 or older in MLB history.
St. Louis put up a stunning 10 runs in the first inning of NLDS Game 5 against the Braves in Atlanta, the most runs scored in the first inning of a game by any team in postseason history. In addition, Mike Shildt became the first manager to be named Manager of the Year after never having played professional baseball.
On May 17 against the Nationals in Washington, Kris Bryant launched three homers in a 14-6 Cubs win. It was the second three-homer game of his career -- the first came on June 17, 2016, against the Reds in Cincinnati. He became the third player in franchise history to have two or more three-homer games before his 28th birthday.
Cincinnati made all kinds of history in 2019. Joey Votto popped out to first base for the first time in his 13-year career on April 17 at Dodger Stadium. The popout came in his 6,829th career plate appearance, more than 3,000 plate appearances more than the next active player without a popout to first in his career. Then on Sept. 4, Michael Lorenzen became the first player since Babe Ruth to homer, play in the field and record a win in the same game. And finally, David Bell was ejected seven times, the most for a rookie manager since 1956.
Ketel Marte homered from both sides of the plate in three different games during the 2019 season, becoming the third player in MLB history to homer from both sides on three different occasions in the same season. And all of them came within the first 31 games of the year.
NL MVP Cody Bellinger hit 47 home runs during the 2019 regular season, and did so against 46 different pitchers. The only one he hit two homers off of during the year was Rockies reliever Jake McGee, doing so on Sept. 2 and Sept. 22.
Mike Yastrzemski hit 21 homers as a rookie for the Giants in 2019. His grandfather, Carl, hit 20 or more homers eight times during his Hall of Fame career. The two became the third grandfather-grandson tandem to hit 20 homers in a single season.
Though his rookie season was cut short due to injury, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit 22 home runs, the most for a shortstop 20 years old or younger in MLB history.
Trevor Story became the fastest shortstop to 100 home runs in MLB history on May 24, when he homered in the seventh inning for No. 100, and the hit a walk-off homer in the ninth to beat the Orioles, 8-6.