Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are such old news.
Vance Worley just pitched eight innings of one-run ball to beat the Cubs and pick up his fourth consecutive win for the Phillies on Wednesday. It was the sixth straight start in which he’s given up one or no runs, matching the NL’s longest streak this season.
In fact, it’s just the 19th such streak since 2000:
8 – Johan Santana (2004 Twins)
8 – Derek Lowe (2008 Dodgers-2009 Braves)
8 – Josh Johnson (2010 Marlins)
7 – Kevin Brown (2003 Dodgers)
7 – Mike Hampton (2004-05 Braves)
7 – Chris Carpenter (2005 Cardinals)
7 – Wandy Rodriguez (2009 Astros)
7 – Justin Verlander (2011 Tigers)
6 – Frank Castillo (2000 Blue Jays-Red Sox)
6 – Jamie Moyer (2001 Mariners)
6 – Cory Lidle (2002 Athletics)
6 – Mark Prior (2003 Cubs)
6 – Matt Cain (2006 Giants)
6 – Zack Greinke (2008-09 Royals)
6 – Zack Greinke (2009 Royals)
6 – Chris Young (2010 Padres-2011 Mets)
6 – Justin Masterson (2010-11 Indians)
6 – Ryan Vogelsong (2011 Giants)
6 – Vance Worley (2011 Phillies)
Worley has a 0.93 ERA during the streak, having allowed four runs in 38 1/3 innings.
CC Sabathia actually has a chance to join this company on Thursday. He’s working on a streak of five straight starts with one or no runs allowed.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.