1. In with the newThe Yankees played more than 60,000 innings at the old Yankee Stadium and never once allowed 14 runs in any of those innings. But on Saturday, in just the 20th inning in the life of the new Yankee Stadium, they managed to cough up 14 runs to the Indians. Amazing. Meanwhile, as loyal reader Eric Orns reports, the Diamondbacks haven't scored 14 runs in any of their past 394 games (starting Aug. 1, 2006). But the Indians scored 14 in one inning.
2. Extra, extraThe Royals have played 105 consecutive games without getting as many as eight extra-base hits in a game. But in that second inning Saturday in New York, the Indians racked up eight extra-base hits within one inning. As loyal reader Trent McCotter reports, they were the first team to have an eight-XBH inning since Sept. 6, 1883, when the Chicago White Stockings did it against the Detroit Wolverines.
3. Taking it on the Chien-MingWe don't even know where to start in trying to sum up Chien-Ming Wang's nightmare Saturday, and all season. So we'll turn this back over to Eric Orns, who sums up that nightmare brilliantly:
- Wang has faced 45 hitters this year -- and 30 of them have reached base. (Yep, twice as many baserunners as outs. Hard to do, folks.)
- And Wang has faced those 45 hitters in just six innings. That means he's averaging 7.5 batters faced per inning.
- He's gone to an 0-2 count on just six hitters all season -- and those hitters have gone 4-for-6 against him, with two doubles.
- He has at least gotten to two strikes at some point against 21 of those batters -- and those 21 have gone an insane 11-for-18 (.611), with three walks, six doubles and only two strikeouts.
- And all told, opposing hitters have gone 13-for-17 (.765) with runners in scoring position, 16-for-21 (.762) with men on base and an incomprehensible 19-for-21 (.905) on balls that made it past the infield. Isn't that impossible?
4. It's all cyclicalAre cycles infectious? Jason Kubel of the Twins became the third player in just five days to hit for the cycle Friday. But here's what separates Kubel from all the other cyclists in history: He's the only cyclist to finish off a cycle with a go-ahead grand slam (in his case, an eighth-inning game-winner). The only other cyclists since 1900 to top off a cycle with a slam of any kind, according to Elias Sports Bureau, were Tony Lazzeri on June 3, 1932, and Miguel Tejada on Sept. 29, 2001. But both their teams were leading at the time.
5. Three for fiveAs we mentioned a few sentences ago, we had three cycles in five days last week (from Orlando Hudson, Ian Kinsler and Kubel). The insatiable Eric Orns reports that this is only the second time since 1885 when three cycles have been bunched so close together. Amazingly, the only other time was this past September (Cristian Guzman, Stephen Drew and Adrian Beltre). So we went 123 consecutive seasons without this happening once. Then it happened in back-to-back baseball months. What a sport!
6. Hot to trotThe Phillies are the first defending World Series champ in the past half century -- and just the fourth team overall -- to kick off a season by serving up at least one gopher ball in every one of the first 11 games of their season. The only other teams to start a season like that, according to baseball-reference.com's fabulous Play Index: Allen Levrault's 2001 Brewers (14 games), Beiker Graterol's 1999 Tigers (11) and Brad Pennington's 1993 Orioles (12). But then, the Phillies seem to enjoy giving up all those homers so they can practice their come-from-behind act. In their five wins, they've roared back from seven, four, four, two and one run behind to win -- meaning they've trailed by an average of 3.6 runs in the games they've won this year.
7. Young at heartMichael Young finally hit the first walk-off homer of his career Sunday. But that isn't what interested our favorite walk-off-homer guru, Mark Simon of ESPN Research. It's the fact that Young, well, isn't that young. At age 32, he's the oldest Young to hit a walk-off in the past 55 years -- beating out Kevin, Chris, Eric, Dmitri, Delmon and Mike Young for that prestigious honor.
8. Oye como vaOne more Mark Simon classic: Johan Santana has won five games as a Met in which he has allowed zero runs. The scores: 5-0, 4-0, 3-0, 2-0, 1-0 -- in that order. This guy should work for NASA.
9. The .900-.100 clubWhen the 10-1 Marlins played the 1-9 Nationals on Sunday, it inspired loyal reader Matt McCall to wonder: Has any team with a .900 winning percentage ever played a team with a .100 winning percentage that many games deep into a season? So he started searching. Last matchup of a .900 juggernaut versus a .100 disaster: April 29, 1892, when the 10-1 Boston Beaneaters met the 1-9 St. Louis Browns -- and the Browns actually won (4-0). Closest call in the last century: a 1980 duel between the 9-1 Reds and the 1-8 Braves. Definitely the loyal-reader note of the year.
10. He ain't heavyAfter 218-pound Jason Kubel hit for his cycle, the sight of Kubel's legging out his triple inspired loyal reader Dusty Schuett to ask: Who's the heaviest player to hit for the cycle? Well, if we go by official weights, the answer is: 230-pounder Daryle Ward, who heavyweighted his way through one as an Astro on May 26, 2004.
Reader challenge resultFinally, remember last week, when we posed the question: What was the quickest cycle ever? We promised that whichever loyal reader got us that answer first would get his name in lights -- or at least in this blog! Well, 15 different readers correctly identified Mike Lansing, who finished off his cycle by the fourth inning on June 18, 2000. But the reader who came up with that answer first now gets his 15 seconds of fame. It was Ryan Calcaterra, who figured it out within two hours. Nice going, Ryan!
Now here's this week's reader challenge: After watching sweet-swinging Nationals pitcher Daniel Cabrera run his career hitting mark to 0-for-18, with 18 strikeouts, before finally making contact (and grounding out) on Sunday, loyal reader Jonathan Fisch wondered: Where does that rank among the longest strikeout streaks, over multiple seasons, in baseball history? Help us out with those lists, and we'll make you famous, too.