Last month I angered a bunch of Rangers fans by using Michael Young reaching 2,000 hits to point out that the 2,000-hit club has a relatively big membership compared to similar statistical milestones that receive much less attention.
Some people–including A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy–took that as a knock on Young, whereas my intention was merely to show that reaching 2,000 hits is something multiple players accomplish every season, at rates similar to reaching 250 homers or 150 wins.
In fact, yesterday Juan Pierre became the eighth player to reach 2,000 hits this year alone. Preceding him into the 2,000-hit club this season were Young, Carlos Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Paul Konerko, Scott Rolen, and Adrian Beltre.
Next in line for membership? Placido Polanco (1,948), Jason Giambi (1,945), Derrek Lee (1,940), Carlos Beltran (1,895), Andruw Jones (1,880), and Jimmy Rollins (1,846). So there might only be four or five new members in 2012.
To quote Konerko: “It’s nice. It’s a round number.”
(I apologize in advance to everyone offended by this post. I’m just a menace to society.)
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.