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.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.