• Mike Moustakas of the Royals drove in nine runs in the Royals 14-6 win over the Orioles on Saturday, Sept. 12. Moustakas went 3-for-5 with a grand slam in the seventh inning and a three-run shot in the ninth. He also had a two-run single in the sixth. His nine RBI set a single-game franchise record for the Kansas City Royals and became the 36th player in major league history, since 1900, with nine or more RBI in a game.
• By becoming the 27th player to club 500 or more homers in MLB history, Boston’s David Ortiz accomplished the feat in 8,047 at-bats, ranking him as the 18th quickest to reach the 500-plateau in terms of at-bats. Those behind Ortiz are Eddie Mathew (8,280), Frank Robinson (8,427), Reggie Jackson (8,600), Hank Aaron (8,612), Gary Sheffield (8,954), Rafael Palmeiro (9,116), Ernie Banks (9,199), Mel Ott (9,249) and Eddie Murray (11,095).
• With two runs scored over the weekend, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees is four runs shy of becoming the eighth player in baseball history to score 2,000 or more runs—joining Rickey Henderson (2,295), Ty Cobb (2,244), Barry Bonds (2,227), Hank Aaron (2,174), Babe Ruth (2,174), Pete Rose (2,165) and Willie Mays (2,062). He also will become a member of the 2,000/2,000 club — players with 2,000 or more runs and RBI— with Aaron and Ruth.
• With Carlos Beltran of the Yankees becoming the 61st player to hit 500 or more lifetime doubles last Aug. 31, three more active players are pursuing that plateau and could reach the milestone before the end of the 2015 campaign. Those players are Torii Hunter of the Twins (496), Aramis Ramirez of the Pirates (492) and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers (491).
• National League Cy Young candidates Zack Greinke of the Dodgers and Jake Arrieta of the Cubs could join a relatively exclusive club of pitchers since 1920 if they finish the 2015 campaign with their ERA below 2.00. Greinke leads the majors with a 1.61 mark followed by Arrieta’s 1.99 reading. During the deadball era of baseball (1901-1919) in the American and National Leagues, 89 different pitchers—qualifying for a league ERA title—recorded a single-season earned run average below 2.00—a feat accomplished 160 times in that 19-year time frame. In the 93 seasons of the live ball (1920-2014), a pitcher, qualifying for an ERA championship, has recorded an ERA below two earned runs per game 44 times by 36 different hurlers. During those campaigns, only Hal Newhouser, Sandy Koufax, Luis Tiant, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw did it multiple times with Koufax the only pitcher to do it on three occasions. Clemens and Martinez joined Hippo Vaughn and Andy Coakley as the only pitchers to have a season ERA below 2.00 in both the American and National League. If Greinke and Arrieta can both finish with an ERA below 2.00, it will mark the first time since 1985 that two pitchers accomplished the feat. In 1985, Dwight Gooden of the Mets led the N.L. with a 1.53 ERA followed by John Tudor of the Cardinals who posted a 1.93 ERA.
• For the sixth time in baseball history, since 1900, two left-handed pitchers struck out 250 or more batters. This season, left-hander Clayton Kershaw leads the majors with 259 strikeouts and fellow lefty Chris Sale of the White Sox paces A.L. hurlers with 250 Ks. The other years in which two or more lefties fanned 250 or more batters are 1965 (Sandy Koufax, Sam McDowell and Bob Veale), 1969 (Sam McDowell and Mickey Lolich), 1971 (Mickey Lolich and Vida Blue), 1972 (Mickey Lolich and Steve Carlton) and 2004 (Randy Johnson and Johan Santana).
photo of Mike Moustakas by SportPics