Posted by John Autin on August 18, 2011
-- Mike Stanton homered for the 4th straight game and is 2nd in the NL with 29 HRs, one behind Albert Pujols. The youngest modern player to lead either league in home runs was Tony Conigliaro in 1965, with 32 HRs at age 20. Eddie Mathews (21) was the youngest NL HR champ in the live-ball era, with 47 HRs in 1953; Stanton is about a month younger than Mathews was that year.
- With 51 career HRs, Stanton is 13th on the list of most HRs through age 21 (see table below); he needs 3 more to crack the top 10. He's the 7th player with 50+ HRs within his first 2 seasons through age 21.
- I've never heard this mentioned on TV: Stanton's defensive metrics are also excellent. He leads the NL with 1.7 defensive Wins Above Replacement this year, and was 10th with 1.4 dWAR last year; for more traditional stats, he's among the leaders in both range factor and assists. The two-way combination makes him 10th in NL position-player WAR.
- Ricky Nolasco allowed 11 runs on 11 hits in 3 innings, the most runs he's ever allowed and the most by any pitcher this year in a start of 3 IP or less. The outing added more than half a run to his ERA.
- Nolasco has allowed 3 runs or less in 18 of 26 games this year, but this was his 4th "disaster start" (more runs than IP). Prior disasters were 9 runs in 1.1 IP, 9 runs in 3 IP, and 8 runs (on 15 hits) in 5 IP. He's the only pitcher this year with 4 games of 8+ runs allowed or 3 games of 9+ runs.
-- Johnny Cueto (1 run in 8 IP) qualified for the ERA title and trimmed his ERA to 1.89. That would be a Reds franchise record for the live-ball era; Dolf Luque (1.93 in 1923) and Gary Nolan (1.99 in '72) are the only Reds to post a sub-2 ERA since 1920.
-- On paper, Bruce Chen vs. the Yankees was a fight that should have been stopped before the posters were printed. Chen's career record against the Bombers was 1-5 with a 6.71 ERA, with a 1.73 WHIP and 19 HRs in 63 IP. Current Yanks had a combined .333 BA and 1.002 OPS against him; Mark Teixeira was 9 for 16 with 6 HRs and 2 doubles, Derek Jeter was 14-35 with 3 HRs.
- "And that's why they play the games": Chen did allow 2 HRs (HRs:Chen :: spots:leopard), but both were solo shots, and he allowed just 1 other run in helping the Royals scrape out a 5-4 win. Teixeira went 0-3 with 2 popups against Chen, and 0-4 with a walk overall; the Yanks went 1-10 with RISP.
- Trailing by 2 in the 7th, New York put the tying runs on with no out, but KC rookie Louis Coleman struck out Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher in succession. Coleman (1.64 ERA, 29 hits in 49 IP) was followed by Greg Holland (1.61 ERA, 0.94 WHIP in 45 IP), who tossed a perfect 8th. Joakim Soria ended a rocky 9th by fanning Jorge Posada on 3 called strikes.
- Curtis Granderson extended his AL leads in Runs, RBI and extra-base hits, going 4-2-3-1 with a double and his 34th HR.
-- Belated note: The pinch-hit grand slam by Brian Bogusevic that gave Houston a 6-5 win Tuesday earned him a 0.815 Win Probability Added. That's the 12th-highest batter WPA this year, and the highest in over a year for any hitter with just 1 PA. It was the 2nd HR in the young career of this converted pitcher, and the first of his 23 hits that gave his team a lead.
Most HRs through seasonal age 21: