MLB Notebook: Price, Altuve, Jeter stay hot
Through his first 100 games in the Major Leagues, David Price's top-level strikeout games can broken down like this: he has fanned 10 batters in three different games, has reached 11 K's on three occasions, has even notched 12 strikeouts in three contests, and achieved his career high of 14 in a single game. In 1956 alone, southpaw Herb Score struck out 15 in one game, and 14 in two others. Totals like that were seemingly just more of a hint of what was to come for the 23-year-old who had turned baseball heads in 1955 when he set a new modern-era rookie strikeout record. Perhaps the most astonishing pair of statements about Score are these: in 1955, he averaged 9.70 strikeouts per nine innings, and in '56, he averaged 9.49 per nine, with those two ratios being the two highest in the Majors since 1893, and with his lower of the two being a full strikeout better than the value produced by the number three man. That's really just the first statement. The second is this: When that astonishing sophomore season was completed in 1956 (in that second season he also gave up the sixth fewest hits per nine innings since 1893), Score had pitched a career total of 68 Major League games.
In his 100th career appearance, David Price fanned 12 and allowed one run on three hits in eight innings, and improved to 5-1 for the season. Price has 10 career double-digit strikeout games, tying him with Clayton Kershaw for the 14th most by any liveball-era left-handed pitcher through his first 100 games.
Most Games with 10+ K's, First 100 Career Games (Since 1920)
|10+ K Games||Pitcher(s)|
|14||Mark Langston, Scott Kazmir|
|12||Al Downing, Ron Guidry, Sid Fernandez|
|11||Vida Blue, Teddy Higuera, Cole Hamels|
|10||Clayton Kershaw, David Price|
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a three-run home run, and now has 14 multi-hit games for the season.
Altuve's 14 multi-hit games through the team's first 26 are the most in franchise history, eclipsing the 13 by Billy Hatcher (1987) and Derek Bell (1998).
Altuve's 14 multi-hit games are the most in the National League, and second in the Majors to Derek Jeter's 15.
Altuve has 36 hits for the season; that hit total through 26 games ties him with Bell in 1996 for the sixth-most in Astros history. Bell had 42 hits through 26 games in 1998, Hatcher had 39 in 1987, Bell had 38 in 1995, Brian Hunter had 38 in 1996, and Jose Cruz had 37 in 1985.
Jeter singled and homered, scored two runs and compiled his 15th multi-hit game of the season.
With the performance, Jeter tied Willie Mays for eighth-all-time in total career multi-hit games, at 922 (since 1918).
Jeter leads the Majors with 15 multi-hit games. His 15 through 26 games ties Jeter with Joe Dugan in 1926 and Thurman Munson in 1975 for the third-most by a Yankees player since 1918. Earle Combs (1925) and Alfonso Soriano (2003) each had 16 multi-hit games.
Jeter has a Major League-leading 46 hits. That total of 46 through 26 team games is tied for the fifth most for any player since 1961:
Players with at least 46 hits through their team's first 26 games, since start of expansion era
Johnny Cueto went the distance on a seven-hitter and improved to 4-0 for the season, as the Reds defeated the Pirates 6-1. Cueto has gone at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run in four of his six starts this season; those four tie him with Felix Hernandez for the most in the Majors.
The Rays victory over the Athletics improved their overall record to 19-8 (best in the Majors) and their mark at home to 13-1. In baseball's expansion era, Tampa Bay is the fifth team to start the season with 13 wins in their first 14 home contests. The other teams: 1972 White Sox, 1987 Yankees, 2002 Twins, and 2009 Dodgers.
The Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 6-4, in 13 innings to improve to 17-9 on the season. Since moving to Baltimore in 1954, the franchise has won at least 17 of its first 26 games 10 different times. The O's were 18-8 in 1969, 1970 and 1997. In addition to the 2012 season, Baltimore was also 17-9 in 1966, 1979, 1985, 1992, 1994 and 2005.
The Diamondbacks beat the Mets, 5-4, to snap of streak of losing nine straight one-run games. Arizona, who won each of its first three games of the season by one run, is now 4-9 in one-run games. The club's 13 one-run games played are tied with the Dodgers for the second-most in the Majors. The Nationals have played 14 such games.
Jordan Schafer went 0-for-4 with a walk, extending his streak of reaching base safely (by a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch) to 25 games. Schafer's streak tied Denis Menke's 25-game run in 1969 for the longest in Astros history. Over the past 10 seasons, Schafer is the 26th player to begin the season by reaching base safely in at least his first 25 games.
CC Sabathia struck out five and allowed two runs in eight innings to improve to 4-0 for the season. Sabathia -- pitching in his age-31 season this year -- has 180 career victories and 2,060 career strikeouts. Since 1901, for all pitchers through their age-31 season, Sabathia's strikeout total is 15th highest (another 167 this season would tie him with Bob Feller for 10th) and his win total is 20th (14 more wins would tie him with Jim Palmer for 10th).
In his fifth start of the season, Atlanta's Eric Hinske had his second four-hit game of 2012. Entering this season, Hinske owned a total of six four-hit games in 937 career starts.
In Miami's 11-inning win over San Diego, the Marlins Heath Bell was charged with his fourth blown save of the season (in seven opportunities). From 2009-2011, Bell had 14 blown saves in 146 opportunities. During that three-year stretch, he collected a Major League-leading 132 saves; among the seven pitchers with at least 100 saves over that three-year span, Bell's save percentage of 90% was bettered only by Jose Valverde (93%) and Mariano Rivera (91%).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.