Hear’s what you should be talking about, reading about, writing about, and sharing in baseball today.
- Yu Darvish was very impressive last night pitching 8.1 scoreless innings allowing seven hits, walking just two while striking out 10 Yankees in the Rangrs 2-0 victory. This was the 38th time since 2000 that a pitcher has held the Yankees scoreless for at least eight innings. Darvish is the 34th pitcher to do it as Roy Halladay has done it three times and Pedro Martinez and Felix Hernandez have done it twice each.
- David Price pitched a five-hitter (all singles) for his second career shutout as the Rays beat the Angels, 5-0. James Shields is the Rays all-time leader with six shutouts followed by Jeff Niemann and Matt Garza three each. The Rays have 32 complete game shutouts in their team history.
- In last night’s Rays win over the Angels they hit four homers. Like the Rangers and the Yankees, this is the second time the Rays have had at least four homers in a game among the 13 times it has been done this season. Last season, 4+ homers were hit by one team in a game 110 times led by the Rangers who did it 10 times. The Rays did it three times last season.
- The Indians defeated the Royals last night, 4-3. The story here is that Kansas City suffered their 12th straight loss. The Royals also lost 12 straight in 1997 and 2008, 13 straight in 2006 and had a team-record 19 consecutive losses in 2005. That 2005 streak is the longest in baseball since 2000 only challenged last season by the Mariners who lost 17 straight. Since 2000, there have been 52 streaks of 10+ losses and 19 have been 12+.
- The Indians improved to 5-0 in one-run games with last night’s 4-3 win over the Royals who are now 0-6 in one-run games. The Angels are 0-3. The Nats are 6-2 and the Dodgers are 6-3.
- On the subject of W-L records, the Rangers have the best in baseball at 14-4 and the Nationals have the best in the NL at 13-4, a half game better than the Dodgers at 13-5. Then comes the Tigers and Cardinals at 11-7. What I find interesting are the teams at 10-7, which include the Tigers and White Sox in the AL Central, and the four tied for the lead in the AL East: the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays and Yankees. That’s 20% of the teams in baseball at 10-7.
- As we look at the record that Texas has put together, there are a host of interesting stats, but one that stood out in the Billy-Ball.com newsroom was that they have played 18 games and in every one of them their starter has gone at least five innings. Toronto and the White Sox have each played 17 games with their pitchers going at least five in all of them as well. We looked into that after watching 49-year-old Rockies starter Jamie Moyer allow just one run over six innings (the Pirates won this game, 4-3. Moyer got a no-decision). Moyer has now made four starts and gone at least five in all of those starts. The Rockies are tied with the Royals for the fewest five inning starts with only 11. Moyer leads the Rockies while Bruce Chen leads the Royals also 4-for-4 in starts.
- The Cubs beat the Cardinals last night 3-2 for the second night in a row and the second straight walkoff win. Alfonso Soriano picked up the walkoff single. Soriano had three hits last night and is now hitting .233, going 14-for-60. Of his 14 hits, he has one double and 13 singles. On the subject of 13 singles, MLB has now had 17 walkoff hits this season and 13 have been singles. There have been two doubles (Gaby Sanchez, George Kottaras) and two walkoff homers (Todd Helton, Alex Avila). Andre Ethier has picked up the only walkoff walk of the year, Jonny Gomes took one for the team in the only walkoff HBP of the season, Melky Cabrera reached on the only walkoff error of the season, and Ian Desmond, Ryan Braun, and Matt Carpenter have hit the three walkoff sac flies of 2012.
- Finally, here are the players who have been to the plate the most this season without a home run. The player you are looking for is number eight on the list.