MLB Notebook: Cano Becomes 3rd Active Member of 2,500-Hit Club

Robinson Cano delivers No. 2,500© Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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From the offices of Major League Baseball

Second baseman Robinson Canó of the New York Mets notched a season-best four hits on Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres. Canó became the 101st player in MLB history to reach the 2,500-hit milestone, and the third active Major Leaguer, joining Albert Pujols (3,106) and Miguel Cabrera (2,714). Ichiro Suzuki, who retired following the Opening Series in Japan, finished his career with 3,089 hits. In addition, the eight-time All-Star became the sixth Dominican-born player to reach the coveted mark, joining Adrián Beltré (3,166), Pujols, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero (2,590), Julio Franco (2,586) and Manny Ramirez (2,574).

Canó, who entered play Thursday with a career slash line of .304/.354/.492, 1,199 runs scored, 544 doubles, 33 triples, 314 home runs and 1,244 RBI over the course of his 15-year career. The left-handed-hitting slugger is on pace to become just the ninth player since at least 1871 to post a career batting average of .300-or-better with at least 2,500 hits, 540 doubles and 310 home runs, joining Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, George Brett and Chipper Jones, as well as Pujols, Cabrera, Ramirez and Todd Helton. Additionally, Canó would become the first second baseman to accomplish the feat.

The table below details each player’s historic career, sorted by hits.

DOMINANCE OUT OF THE ‘PEN

Relief pitcher Ryan Pressly of the Houston Astros delivered his 13th scoreless outing of the season on May 5th against the Los Angeles Angels. Entering play Thursday, the 30-year-old veteran has tossed 15.0 scoreless innings to go along with 15 strikeouts while not issuing a free pass. In addition, Ryan’s scoreless streak dates back to August 15th of last season and spans a franchise-record 33.0 innings, surpassing Roy Oswalt’s 32.1 innings streak set in 2008. His streak of 34 consecutive games is also a franchise record, eclipsing the previous mark of 26 appearances set by his bullpen-mate Will Harris in 2016.

Moreover, Pressly’s streak of 34 consecutive scoreless outings ranks fifth among Major League pitchers since at least 1908. Adam Ottavino was the last hurler to post a streak of 34-or-more games, doing so across three seasons from 2014-16, and Craig Kimbrel holds the Major League record with 38 consecutive scoreless outings during his All-Star and Rookie of the Year-winning 2011 season. Below is a table displaying each reliever’s dominant streak.

Below is a table displaying each reliever’s dominant streak.

In addition, Pressly entered play Thursday in the midst of a 13-outing streak in which he has not allowed a run or walk. Ryan’s streak is tied for fifth-longest to begin a Major League season, trailing Paul Quantrill’s record of 17 consecutive appearances, as well as Hall of Famers Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera and Dennis Eckersley.

The table below depicts each reliever’s impressive start to their respective seasons.

Following his outing on Sunday, New York Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle also posted an impressive streak, becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to not allow a hit or run in 11 straight appearances, dating back to April 14th. In addition, Kahnle logged at least one strikeout in each of his 11 outings, becoming just the third pitcher in MLB history to post such a streak, joining Ernesto Frieri, who holds the MLB record with 13 consecutive outings, as well as Koji Uehara.

The table below details each hurler’s outstanding stretch.

Entering play on Thursday, 12 starting pitchers have begun the 2019 season with a perfect record of 2-0 or better. The Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers are the only Clubs in Baseball with a pair of such hurlers.

Below is a look at the complete list:

On Wednesday, against the Toronto Blue Jays, shortstop Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins was 5-for-5 with a double, home run and two RBI. In his 35th team game for the Twins, the performance was his second five-hit game of the 2019 campaign. The 25-year- old became the 12th player in Major League history, and the first since Yunel Escobar in 2015, to post a pair of such games in his club’s first 35 games of a season. In addition, Polanco became the first player in to homer in each of his five-hit performances.

The table below details each player’s cumulative stats from their prolific games.

LINE DRIVES (Compiled from Club Game Notes)

(All stats through Wednesday)

HIS MIDDLE NAME IS COBB: Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is batting .350 (28-for-80) with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 16 RBI over his past 18 games since April 16th. Blackmon hit his second leadoff home run of the season on Tuesday, the 32nd of his career. His 32 leadoff home runs are the fourth-most among active players, and he passed Chuck Knoblauch for the 13th-most leadoff home runs in Major League history.

K-ALEB KEEPS ROLLING: Miami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA over his first seven starts this season, striking out 56 and walking just 12. He has also posted a 0.89 WHIP and a held opponents to a .176 batting average, third-best among qualified Major League pitchers. Smith ranks fourth in swing-and- miss percentage (35%), sixth in ERA (2.11) and ninth in strikeouts per nine innings (11.89). Further, he is the first Marlins starting pitcher to win his first three decisions in a season since José Fernández won his first six decisions in 2015.

20/20 THEN, 30/30 NOW?: Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox is 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts this season and leads the Majors in steals and stolen base percentage (minimum ten attempts). Anderson is on pace for 28 homers and 56 steals. Only six shortstops in Major League history have recorded 30 home runs and 30 steals in a season: Howard Johnson (1987, 1989, 1991), Hall of Famer Barry Larkin (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Brandon Phillips (2007), Jimmy Rollins (2007) and Hanley Ramirez (2008). In 2018, Anderson became the first shortstop in franchise history to record at least 20 home runs and 20 steals.

YET ANOTHER WIN OF THE WALK-OFF VARIETY: Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs hit a walk-off solo homer last night to give the Cubs their second straight walk-off win over the Miami Marlins. The evening before, Kris Bryant belted a walk-off three-run homer to give Chicago a 5-2 win over the Marlins. This marked the first time that Chicago won consecutive games with walk-off home runs since September 12–13, 1998 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

ULTIMATE UTILITY: On Monday night, Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants hit a home run, stole a base and pitched a scoreless inning against the Cincinnati Reds. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sandoval became only the second player since 1900 to throw a scoreless outing, hit a home run and steal a base in the same game, joining Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson, who accomplished the feat on May 23, 1905.

NO FREE BAGS FOR YOU: Across four starts from April 13th–May 2nd, Matt Strahm of the San Diego Padres pitched at least five innings while issuing no walks. Since 1976, Strahm is now one of only seven Padres starters to have at least four straight starts of at least five innings without allowing a walk. In franchise history, the feat has been accomplished nine times, with David Wells and Randy Jones doing so twice.

GOODBYE BASEBALL: Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers hit his 100th career home run during yesterday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Along with his 100 home runs, Gallo has hit 93 singles, becoming the first player in Major League history to record 100 home runs before 100 singles in their career. Further, according to Elias, Gallo became the third-fastest player in history to hit 100 career home runs (377 games), trailing Ryan Howard

(325) and Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner (376).

STEPHEN’S STRIKEOUTS: With a strikeout of Dakota Hudson in the fifth inning on May 2nd, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg reached 1,500 strikeouts for his career. According to Elias, Strasburg became the fastest pitcher to amass 1,500 career strikeouts in Major League history, reaching the feat in 1,272.2 innings pitched.

KC HAS GRAND TIME IN HOUSTON: For just the second time in franchise history, the Kansas City Royals hit a pair of grand slams in the same game, with Ryan O’Hearn and Whit Merrifield each hitting the first of their careers to lead the Royals to a 12-2 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. O’Hearn’s grand slam came in the third inning to give Kansas City a 6-0 lead, while Merrifield’s home run extended the Royals lead to 12-1 in the seventh inning. In the contest, Merrifield posted his sixth career game with at least four hits, and his second five-RBI game.

INTERNATIONAL MEN OF MYSTERY: With their starts on Saturday night in Mexico, Trevor Cahill of the Los Angeles Angels and Wade Miley of the Houston Astros became the first pitchers in Major League history to make a regular season start in four different countries (including Puerto Rico games). Cahill and Miley both started games for the Arizona Diamondbacks during 2014 season when the team traveled to Australia, in addition to their starts in the United States and Canada.

RED HOT: On Tuesday night, Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers became the 25th player in franchise history to club three-or-more home runs in a contest. He was the first Dodger to accomplish the feat since Yasiel Puig logged three round-trippers on September 15, 2018 at St. Louis. Turner finished the game with a career-high six RBI, while matching his career-best with four hits. Over his last 11 games, Turner is batting .391 (18-for-46) with five home runs and nine RBI. He has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games, while recording a 1.189 OPS during that span.

DOING IT ALL ON HIS OWN: On May 2nd in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets pitched a complete-game shutout and scored the only run of the game by hitting a home run. According to Elias, Syndergaard became just the 10th player in Major League history to pitch a complete-game shutout and hit a home run in a game ending with a final score of 1-0. The last player to accomplish the feat was Bob Welch of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 17, 1983.

BLANK SPACE: The New York Yankees have not been shut out in 118 consecutive games, dating back to June 30, 2018 against the Boston Red Sox. The streak is the longest active streak in the Majors, and the Yankees are one of three teams to not be shut out this year (also: Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres). Across the Majors, it is the second-longest streak without being shut out in the last 11 seasons (since 2009), behind the Detroit Tigers’ 158-game streak from July 17, 2011 - July 16, 2012.

TAKE A BOW, BRYCE: Last Friday night, at 26 years and 199 days old, Bryce Harper collected his 400th career extra-base hit on a double in the fourth inning. According to Elias, only a dozen other players have reached 400 extra-base hits at a younger age than Harper since Mickey Mantle did so in 1957 at 25 years, 284 days. The last three players to accomplish the feat were Mike Trout on May 3, 2017 (25 years, 269 days), Miguel Cabrera on September 17, 2008 (25, 152) and Albert Pujols on July 5, 2005 (25, 170).

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