Alex Rodriguez Nearing 600th Home Run
Alex Rodriguez needs only two home runs to become the seventh member of the exclusive 600 homers club and hopes to join the even more exclusive 700 homers club in about three years. The 700 homers club only has three members in Babe Ruth with 714, Hank Aaron with 755 and Barry Bonds with 762.
Rodriguez needs 21 runs batted in to become the 20th member of the 1,800 RBI club. He needs only 221 runs batted in to become the fourth member of the 2000 RBI club joining Cap Anson with 2,075, Babe Ruth 2,213 and Hank Aaron 2,297.
Jim Thome with 574 home runs is 26 homers short of joining the 600 home run club and could join the club in 2011 which should insure him of being admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Players Nearing 3,000 Hits Plateau
Derek Jeter with 2,850 hits needs only 150 hits to join the 3,000 hits club and should reach that plateau in 2011. His teammate Alex Rodriguez with 2,619 hits needs 381 hits for 3,000 and should reach that mark in 2012.
Ex-Yankee Johnny Damon is a little further down the list with 2,510 hits and needs 490 hits for 3,000 should reach the mark by late 2013 or early 2014.
Manny Ramirez has 2,553 hits but after 102 hits in 2009 and 59 so far in 2010 he is not likely to reach 3,000 since he is 38. Even though he is ahead of Damon right now he probably won’t get nearly as many at bats as Damon in the next three years. His 50 game suspension last season may have prevented him from reaching 3,000 hits.
Around the Infield
Only 11 of the 30 major league clubs have seen an increase in attendance in 2010. The Nationals are on the brink of becoming the 20th team to lose attendance compared to this point in the 2009 season. They have only 716 more fans in their 46 home games and they are only averaging 16 more fans a game than in 2009.
Major league attendance is down 421,238 this season but that number would be much worse if not for the Minnesota Twins opening Target Field this season. They are drawing 532,873 more fans after 46 home games than they drew in their first 46 home games in 2009 and are averaging 11,584 more fans per game.
Rookie Travis Wood of the Reds has been on the mound for consecutive 1-0 losses to the Phillies and Rockies leaving him with a 0-1 record with a 2.03 ERA, opponent batting average of .130 and a 0.79 WHIP after four starts.
He has allowed only 12 hits in 26 innings and in his last starts Wood has allowed only one run in 16 innings while allowing only four hits.
The AL has 24 batters hitting .300 this season while the NL has only 14 players hitting over .300. The AL has nine players hitting .329 or higher while the NL has only two.
Jose Bautista is leading the majors in home runs with 25 which is three more than any other major league player.
He has hit his 25 home runs in 317 at bats after hitting 13 in 336 at bats in 2009. It arouses suspicion when a player that has hit a home run every 24.7 at bats during his career is hitting a home run every 12.7 at bats in 2010.
Brian McCann who hit the game winning double in the All Star game for the NL hit a grand slam against the Brewers in the 11-6 Braves win while driving in five runs….Ex-Brave Yunel Escobar who traded earlier this week to the Blue Jays hit his first home run of the 2010 season and the first grand slam of his career as the Blue Jays pounded the Orioles 10-1. Only 14,032 attended the game which represented 29.1 percent of capacity.
The Red Sox have been 7-8 since losing Dustin Pedroia and have lost eight of their last 11 games. They were one game behind the first place Yankees and Rays in the AL East a month ago today but now are six and half games behind the first place Yankees.
It looked like the White Sox had a 6-3 win locked up over the Twins when closer Bobby Jenks took the mound for the White Sox in the ninth inning but by the time the smoke had cleared Jenks and reliever Sergio Santos had allowed the Twins to post a 7-6 win after neither pitcher could retire a Twin before the game ended. When they relieve the closer it is not a good sign and it wasn’t for the White Sox yesterday.
The crosstown Cubs fared much better as they pounded Roy Halladay and the Phillies 11-6. Tom Gorzelanny won his third consecutive start since replacing Carlos Zambrano in the Cubs starting rotation.
One of the hottest teams in the majors are the Athletics who with the Cardinals have a five game winning streak and have outscored their opponents 40-15 during the streak. They have moved to within two and a half games of the second place Angels in the AL West.
Kurt Suzuki is the only Athletics player to reach double figures in home runs with 10. Their top RBI man Kevin Kouzmanoff has 47 which 32 behind the league leading Miguel Cabrera with 79.
However the team ERA is 3.83 which is second best in the AL and seventh in the majors. They also lead the AL in shutouts with nine. Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Vin Mazzaro are a combined 22-11. The other six Athletics starters who have started at least one game are a combined 13-21.