I don’t get it; there really should have been a ceremony.
Alex Rodriguez became just the fifth player in major league history to strike out 2,000 times when he went down swinging against Felix Hernandez in the sixth inning tonight.
Rodriguez clearly looked the video board after the strikeout, obviously expecting at least some sort of an announcement. Particularly since the event happened in Seattle. It really was quite surprising the Mariners didn’t set off fireworks or release some doves or something.
A-Rod overtook Jose Canseco for fifth place on the all-time strikeout list earlier this year, though he currently has Adam Dunn gaining ground on him there. He’s just four strikeouts away from moving into fourth place:
1. Reggie Jackson – 2,597
2. Jim Thome – 2,530
3. Sammy Sosa – 2,306
4. Andres Galarraga – 2,003
5. Alex Rodriguez – 2,000
6. Adam Dunn – 1,953
7. Jose Canseco – 1,942
8. Willie Stargell – 1,936
9. Mike Cameron – 1,901
10. Mike Schmidt – 1,883
A-Rod recorded the first 616 of his strikeouts with the Mariners. He fanned 379 times for the Rangers, and he’s now at 1,005 strikeouts with the Yankees. Considering that he’s signed for five more years after this one, he has a shot to eventually replace Reggie atop the strikeout list if he can stay relatively healthy. He averaged 116 strikeouts per season from his first full year in 1996 through 2011.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.