Pittsburgh downs St. Louis on clutch hits in 10th by Cervelli, Polanco
By Roger Schlueter
Special to MLB.com |
Here are five interesting items from around the big leagues this weekend ...
• On Sunday, the Pirates -- down 5-3 to the Cardinals in the bottom of the 10th -- got a game-tying single from Francisco Cervelli and a walk-off single from Gregory Polanco. The Bucs have nine extra-inning game-tying or go-ahead hits this season, with four of them coming in the past two games. Those nine for the season are tied for the most in the Majors, with the Cubs also having nine. The Cards have the next most in the Majors, with eight. Since the start of the 2013 season, St. Louis (.594) and Pittsburgh (.572) own the top-two first-half winning percentages in the Majors. The Cardinals finished the first half of the season with a 2.71 team ERA (first in the Majors), while the Pirates finished at 2.86 (second).
• On Friday, Mike Trout added another two home runs to his first-half resume to give him 26 on the season. With the two homers, Trout tied Garret Anderson (2000) and Albert Pujols ('15) for the most by an Angels player at the All-Star break. Trout and Pujols are the first set of teammates to each have at least 26 home runs by the break since the Cardinals' Jim Edmonds (28) and Pujols (27) in 2003.
• In addition to Trout -- playing in his age-23 season in 2015 -- Bryce Harper (age-22 season) also has 26 homers, and Giancarlo Stanton (age-25 season) has 27. No season in the All-Star era before 2015 had seen three players in age-25 or younger seasons crack at least 26 home runs by the break. Harper's 26th home run came on Saturday, and he enters the break with a 1.168 OPS. There have been 25 players to reach the All-Star break with at least 300 plate appearances and an OPS of at least 1.168, with the first -- Jimmie Foxx -- doing it in 1933. Harper is the first of the 25 to be in an age-22 or younger season. No player has done this in an age-23 season, and Mickey Mantle (in 1956) is the only one to do it in an age-24 season.
• On Sunday, Athletics righty Sonny Gray controlled the Indians for a two-hit shutout and lowered his ERA to 2.04 (in 18 starts). Among A's hurlers with at least 15 starts by the All-Star break, that ERA stands as the fifth lowest, behind marks from Vida Blue (1.42 in 1971), Bobby Shantz (1.75 in 1952), Justin Duchscherer (1.82 in 2008) and Jim Nash (2.01 in 1968).
• With his effort on Sunday, Max Scherzer lowered his 2015 WHIP to 0.780. Among all pitchers in the All-Star era to have at least 130 innings by the break, that mark stands as the lowest. Juan Marichal posted a 0.802 in 1966.
Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.