Jose Bautista is one long ball away from becoming the 26th player in baseball history–and first since Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder in 2007–to hit 50 homers in a season, but he’s also on the verge of joining an even more exclusive club.
Bautista has 95 walks with 13 games left, making it likely that he’ll reach the century mark for the year. In the history of baseball there have been a grand total of 21 seasons of 50 homers and 100 walks produced by 13 different players.
Bautista would be the 14th and definitely the least likely member of the 50-100 club:
Babe Ruth 4
Mark McGwire 4
Mickey Mantle 2
Jimmie Foxx 2
Barry Bonds 1
David Ortiz 1
Sammy Sosa 1
Ryan Howard 1
Jim Thome 1
Luis Gonzalez 1
Hank Greenberg 1
Hack Wilson 1
Ralph Kiner 1
If his current rate stats hold Bautista would have the lowest batting average (.262), on-base percentage (.382), and slugging percentage (.617) of any 50-homer, 100-walk season, but that’s sort of like saying someone is the weakest World’s Strongest Man champion, ugliest Miss America winner, or least annoying Kardashian sister.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.