Lead Story - 2/12/2018
End of Season OdditiesIt’s the end of the regular season, and it was quite an interesting one from a statistical perspective. Records that pundits claimed would stand forever fell like dominoes as the season went on.
To begin with, congratulations to Matt Olson of the Pirates for unseating Barry Bonds as the single season home run king! The 24 year old launched his 73rd home run in game 159 to move past the former Giants star and claim sole possession of the HR crown. Olson credits his secretive training regimen with the drastic improvement. Giancarlo Stanton of the Blue Jays checked in with 68 HRs as well, to go along with 163 RBIs.
Harold Burns might have taken a while to reach the bigs, but the unanimous rookie of the year in the AL posted a campaign that none will soon forget. Burns became the first player to steal more than 100 bases since Vince Coleman in 1987, finishing with a whopping 103 in 138 attempts. Perhaps even more impressively, the Rays’ speedster notched 25 triples on the season --- a feat not attained since the turn of the century… the 19th century. The rookie was no slouch at the plate either, collecting 197 total hits on the season.
Burns was not the only rookie making waves this season. Gil York of the Reds led all players in saves with 42, blowing only 2 in the process. Like Burns, York was a prospect overlooked by most scouts, but the Reds took a gamble by thrusting him into the closing role out of spring training, and that move paid major dividends on the year.
Chad Green became the first relief pitcher to win Cy Young since Eric Gagne in 2003. The Red Sox workhorse smashed the record for most strikeouts in a season by an RP, finishing the season with a whopping 215 whiffed batters. Green cruised to a cool 9-1 record with a 1.34 ERA and a .56 WHIP.
Corey Kluber of the Padres poster arguably the most dominant season of any starter in MLB history. The big righty went 25-6 with a 1.62 ERA, a .70 WHIP (good for best all-time for a starter), 320 SO, 15 CG, and 4 shutouts. Next season he will look to join Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson as the only players to win 3 consecutive Cy Young awards.
Congratulations also to Bryce Harper of the Cubs and Carlos Correa of the Athletics for winning the batting titles in their respective leagues.
Some less honorable records:
The New York Mets failed to have a hit batsmen for the second consecutive year. Allegations of fearful players continue.
Wil Myers (also Mets) struck out 225 times, breaking the single season record formerly held by Mark Reynolds.
Andrew Moore of the Twins posted the worst ERA in history (8.06) for pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched, somehow limping to 8 wins on the season to go with 20 losses. Nice work, Andrew!
That’s all, congrats on a weird season everyone, and good luck to the teams remaining in the playoffs!
DeJong delivers in clutch, Pirates win
Paul DeJong drove in 4 runs, carrying Pittsburgh to a 9-1 victory over the Mariners. Matt Olson recorded 4 hits. | Box
Zunino delivers in clutch, Pirates win
Mike Zunino drove in 4 runs, carrying Pittsburgh to a 6-5 victory over the Mariners. | Box
Giolito baffles Mariners, Pirates win
Lucas Giolito struckout 8 Seattle batters in a 7-3 win for the Pirates. | Box
WHO'S HOT - Last 5 Games
|M. Olson, Pirates|| ||.450||3 HR||8 RBI|
|M. Zunino, Pirates|| ||.429||2 HR||5 RBI|
|P. DeJong, Pirates|| ||.381||1 HR||6 RBI|
|M. Sano, Mariners|| ||.316||2 HR||4 RBI|
|K. Vargas, Mariners|| ||.438||1 HR||5 RBI|
WHO'S NOT - Last 5 Games
|W. Contreras, Mariners|| ||2 for 20 (.100)|
|E. Rosario, Mariners|| ||3 for 20 (.150)|
|M. Taylor, Pirates|| ||5 for 20 (.250)|
|B. Goodwin, Pirates|| ||2 for 18 (.111)|
|Y. Moncada, Pirates|| ||3 for 19 (.158)|
|B. Harper, Cubs|| ||.952|
|M. Conforto, Cubs|| ||.939|
|J. Gallo, Red Sox|| ||.934|
|G. Stanton, Blue Jays|| ||.916|
|M. Olson, Pirates|| ||.906|
|C. Green, Red Sox|| ||12.1|
|L. Severino, Mets|| ||11.1|
|R. Ray, Red Sox|| ||11.1|
|C. Kluber, Padres|| ||11.0|
|Z. Godley, Reds|| ||11.0|