MLB Notebook: Cub's Darvish is In Control -- 2 or Fewer Walks Last 16 Starts

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In Tuesday night’s contest against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field, Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs tossed 7.0 innings with 13 strikeouts while permitting just one walk. The outing was his fifth double-digit strikeout effort of the season, and marked his 16th this year in which he did not allow more than one free pass. Overall, Darvish has logged 217 strikeouts to go along with 56 walks in 2019.

Moreover, the Japanese native has been particularly effective since June 15th. Across 16 starts, Darvish has posted a 3.31 ERA while logging a 136:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Included in his dominant stretch was a five-start streak from July 30th - August 21st in which the right-hander did not surrender a walk, becoming the first Cubs hurler to do so since Bill Faul (July 25 - August 14, 1965). Additionally, the four-time All-Star became the first pitcher in MLB history to also log at least eight strikeout in five consecutive starts in which he did not permit a walk, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In addition, Darvish has tallied at least six strikeouts while not allowing more than two free passes since June 15th. The 16-start streak is the second-longest of its kind since at least 1908, trailing only Clayton Kershaw, who recorded a 20-outing streak during his historic MVP and Cy Young Award-winning 2004 campaign. The table below depicts pitchers who have registered a streak of at least 14 such starts and their corresponding statistics.

HISTORY IN D.C.

On Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, Patrick Corbin tossed 6.0 innings without surrendering an earned run to go along with a season-best-matching 11 strikeouts, giving him 224 for the season. Corbin is the third member of the Washington Nationals’ rotation to cross the 220-strikeout threshold, joining Max Scherzer (222) and Stephen Strasburg (235).

The 2019 Nationals became just the second Club in Major League history to have three different pitchers reach the 220-strikeout mark in a single season, joining last year’s Cleveland Indians, who featured Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber. The table below illustrates the two Clubs’ strikeout prowess with each pitcher’s season statistics.

HISTORY CUT SHORT

Five days after losing one of the top NL MVP candidates in Christian Yelich, Mike Trout, a favorite for the AL MVP Award, was shut down for the remainder of the season after undergoing season-ending surgery on his foot. Trout, who was on pace for one of the best seasons of his career, finished with a slash line of .291/.438/.645 to go along with 110 runs scored, 137 hits, 27 doubles, 104 RBI, 110 walks and a personal-best 45 home runs across 134 games played

The New Jersey native finished with his eighth consecutive season with at

least 25 home runs and 10 stolen bases (11), becoming the first American Leaguer in history, and the fourth in Major League history, to accomplish the feat, joining Hall of Famer Willie Mays (1955-62), as well as Barry Bonds (1990-2001) and Darryl Strawberry (1983-91). Earlier this season, Trout also became the first player ever with 275 home runs and 200 stolen bases before their age-28 season, and just the seventh player in AL history to reach those marks in a career, joining Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and George Brett, as well as Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco, Joe Carter and Don Baylor.

In addition, Trout, an eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP, became only the third player in Baseball history to log at least 45 round-trippers and an on-base percentage of .435-or-better in a single season while playing 140 games-or-fewer, joining Bonds (2003) and Mark McGwire (1996). He is the first player to accomplish the feat with more than 10 stolen bases. The table below details each player’s impressive, but shortened campaign.

In Wednesday night’s outing against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field, Aaron Civale of the Cleveland Indians fired 7.2 innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts. Civale, who made his Major League debut on June 22nd, has a 3-3 record to go along with 42 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 1.82 ERA across nine starts and 54.1 innings pitched.

Since his debut, the rookie hurler has tossed at least 5.0 innings in each of his starts, while not permitting more than two earned runs. Civale’s streak to begin his career is the longest since 1920, and Jered Weaver is the only other pitcher to have begun his career in such fashion since World War II. The table below details the three pitchers’ streaks to begin their careers in which they did not permit more than two earned runs across at least 5.0 innings, since 1920.

LINE DRIVES (Compiled from Club Game Notes)

WHEN YOU’RE CAVAN A HISTORIC NIGHT: Rookie Cavan Biggio recorded the third cycle in franchise history on Tuesday night, joining Kelly Gruber (April 16, 1989) and Jeff Frye (August 17, 2001). Biggio’s cycle was the 26th ever achieved by a rookie (last: Cody Bellinger - July 15, 2017). Along with his dad, Craig (April 8, 2002), Biggio formed the second father/son duo all-time to record cycles, joining Gary and Daryle Ward.

SOLER IN AL HOME RUN DRIVER’S SEAT: Jorge Soler of the Kansas City Royals clubbed his 45th home run of the year on Monday night, matching All-Star Mike Trout for the American League lead. With 10 games remaining in 2019, Soler’s Club-record 45 home runs are seven more than KC’s previous single-season record set in 2017 by Mike Moustakas, and he now has a chance to be the first Royal to ever lead the AL in home runs.

ROLLING MEADOWS: In last night’s contest, All-Star Austin Meadows of the Tampa Bay Rays homered in the 11th inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest of his career. Meadows’ ongoing streak is the longest by a Ray since Tommy Pham hit in 17 straight games back in 2018 (August 21th-September 14th).

MIGGY’S RIBBIES: Miguel Rojas of the Miami Marlins set a career high with six RBI on Tuesday night, falling one short of tying the Club record for a single game, which has been done four times. He was the first Marlin with six-or-more RBI since Justin Bour also had six on April 30, 2017 against Pittsburgh. Overall, he became the 15th player in team history to have exactly six RBI in a game.

KEEPIN’ IT 100: With their next win, the Yankees will secure their second consecutive 100-win season (100-62 in 2018). The Bronx Bombers have just one instance of consecutive 100-win seasons in the last 41 years since 1979 (2002-04). It would be their Major League-record 21st 100-win season in their 117-year history.

RUNNING MEN: The Minnesota Twins have now scored 877 runs this season, matching the Club record set in 1996. The Twins need 23 runs to become the 33rd team in Baseball history to reach 900 runs.

YAZ KEEPS SLUGGIN’: Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski of the San Francisco Giants hit his 20th home run of the season on Tuesday night to become the first Giants rookie to hit 20-or-more homers in a season since Dave Kingman (29) during his rookie year in 1972.

OUR MVP: All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon is sitting on 43 doubles for the season. The slugger needs just one more to match his career high of 44 in 2018. He is four doubles shy of matching Daniel Murphy (47 in 2016) and Ryan Zimmerman (47 in 2006) for the most doubles in a single season in Nationals history (2005-present).

ANOTHER RECORD: All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso has now homered in 15 different ballparks, the most parks with at least one home run by a rookie in a single season. Preston Wilson (1999 Marlins) and Josh Bell (2017 Pittsburgh) held the old mark with 14 ballparks. Hall of Famer Mike Piazza (18 ballparks in 2000) is the only Met with more home runs in different ballparks in one year.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: All-Star Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers are the first Red Sox teammates ever with at least 50 doubles each in a single season. The pair also became the first tandem all- time to hit for 30-or-more homers and 50-or-more doubles in the same season.

SEAGER BELIEVER: Since 2012, third baseman Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners has recorded 95 RBI during Interleague play, sixth-most in the Majors among all active players during that stretch. Seager trails only Nolan Arenado (102), Miguel Cabrera (101), Albert Pujols (100), Nelson Cruz (98) and Edwin Encarnación (98).

HITTIN’ SEASON: Since Charlie Manuel was named hitting coach on August 13th, the Phillies have scored 171 runs over 32 games, an average of 5.34 runs per game. As a team, they have slashed .254/.324/.471 compared to .245/.322/.417 prior to that. They have hit 51 home runs and totaled 130 extra-base hits and the team is 18-14.

ELITE COMPANY: Outfielder Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs has clubbed a team-leading 37 home runs this season, the most by a Cubs left-handed hitter since Hall of Famer Billy Williams hit 37 in 1972.

IT’S TRUE: All-Star shortstop Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies recorded his 14th career multi-home run game on Friday, his fourth of the season. Since 2018, his nine multi-home run games are tied for the most in the NL with Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

COMING THROUGH IN A PINCH: Arizona Diamondback pinch-hitters have totaled 10 home runs in 2019, the third-most in Club history and most since hitting 12 in 2007.

ABOUT THE RECORD: The Houston Astros’ 100 wins rank fourth in franchise history, trailing only the 2018 (103-59), 1998 (102-60) and 2017 (101-61) seasons. At 100-53, the Astros have posted their best 153-game record in franchise history, besting the 1998 Club by two games (98-55).

EVERYDAY IS A WINDING ROAD: Infielder Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles is one of five players in the Majors to appear in each of their team’s games this season. The last Orioles player to appear in every game in a season was Jonathan Schoop (162 games), who did so in 2016.

IN SEPTEMBER: The Oakland Athletics are 12-4 (.750) in September, which is tied for the best record with the Milwaukee Brewers in the Majors.

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