Tim Wakefield strikes out his 2000th batter

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Tim Wakefield tips cap.jpgActually, it’s probably more like his, I dunno, 900th batter, because you figure he’s gotten a lot of them more than once:

Not only did Tim Wakefield get a spot a start on Wednesday, but he
notched a milestone along the way. When he struck out Blue Jays center
fielder Vernon on — what else? — a knuckleball, it was No. 2,000 in
his career. The 43-year-old Wakefield is the fourth active pitcher to have 2,000
strikeouts. The others are Jamie Moyer (Phillies), Andy Pettitte and
Javier Vazquez of the Yankees.

I like how the MLB.com story only refers to his 2000th victim as “Vernon.” Wouldn’t it be cool if we started doing the one-name thing in baseball like they do in soccer? Wait, no it wouldn’t. Too many Jasons and Johns. Too boring.  I’d be all for doing it with Ubaldo, however, because that really works.

As for Wakefield, knuckleballers rule and long may his flutterball fly.

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.