Stat Speak: Cubs' 'Wildfire' a 20-20 visionary

Stat Speak: Cubs' 'Wildfire' a 20-20 visionary

From 1906-11, the Chicago Cubs won 622 games and lost only 297, for an extraordinary six-year winning percentage of .677.

(For present-day context, only three teams in the past 20 years -- the 1995 Indians, 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners -- compiled a winning percentage that good in one season).

For much or all of that run, the Cubs were blessed with an historically good infield (the fabled Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance triumvirate, assisted by the not-so-fabled Harry Steinfeldt at third) and an equally good pitching staff.

The outfield is less well-known, but was also populated by some fantastic talents. Jimmy Sheckard was a player who could do everything on the ballfield, just not necessarily in the same year. In different campaigns, he led the league in triples, home runs, runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and in 1911, he set a Major League record with 147 walks.

Sheckard was in one corner-outfield position, the other was often manned by Frank "Wildfire" Schulte. In 1911, Wildfire put together an all-around, fill-up-the-baseball-card type of season. In a year that would garner him an MVP award, Schulte hit 30 doubles, 21 triples, 21 home runs and stole 23 bases. And so, in 1911, Schulte became the first player in history to have 20 of each type of extra-base hit and also steal 20 bases. Since then, only three other players have done it -- Willie Mays, Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins.

And in looking at the numbers a different way, Schulte became just the third player in the still-infant history of Major League Baseball to have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases (Sam Thompson and Buck Freeman were the first two) in a season, a feat that has been achieved 346 additional times.

20-20 VISION
Bobby Abreu has nine seasons of at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Here are the players with the most 20-20 seasons:
PLAYER NO.
Barry Bonds 10
Bobby Bonds 10
Bobby Abreu 9
Carlos Beltran 7
Eric Davis 7
Hank Aaron 6
Willie Mays 6
Raul Mondesi 6
Alex Rodriguez 6

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The Angels' Bobby Abreu hit two home runs to give him 20 for the season. Abreu has 21 stolen bases and 20 homers this year, giving him his ninth 20-20 season, third-most in history. Bobby and Barry Bonds each had 10 such seasons.

The Indians' Shin-Soo Choo stole his 20th bases, giving him 20 steals and 20 home runs for the second straight year. Choo is the third player in franchise history to have at least two straight 20-20 seasons. Grady Sizemore did it in four consecutive years, from 2005-08, and Joe Carter did it in three straight seasons, from 1986-88.

* * *

The Mets surrendered their 12th grand slam of the season in their 6-2 loss to the Braves. New York leads the Majors in grand slams allowed, and are last in slams hit -- they are the only team without one this year.

* * *

Florida's Logan Morrison went 0-2 with two walks to extend his streak of reaching base via hit, walk or hit by pitch to 38 games. Morrison's streak is the third-longest in franchise history and the longest ever by a Marlins' rookie. Luis Castillo reached in 46 straight and Kevin Millar reached in 43 straight games in 2002.

* * *

Boston's Jon Lester threw seven shutout innings and picked up his 18th win of the season, the most for a Red Sox left-hander since Bruce Hurst won 18 in 1988. Lester and Hurst are the only two Red Sox left-handers in the past 50 years to win as many as 18 games (the last southpaw to do it before Hurst was Mickey McDermott in 1953).

* * *

The Astros' Brett Myers earned his 13th win with seven innings of shutout ball. Myers has thrown at least six innings in all 31 of his starts this season. It is the longest streak to start a season in franchise history. Myers is tied with Fergie Jenkins of the 1972 Cubs for the seventh-longest streak since 1969 to open a season.

Ahead of Myers on the list is Tom Seaver of the 1973 Mets (32), Andy Messersmith of the 1975 Dodgers (34), Seaver again (34 in 1970), Curt Schilling of the 2-002 D-backs (35), Bob Gibson of the 1969 Cardinals (35) and Steve Carlton of the 1980 Phillies (38).

Myers, who is in the top 10 in the Majors in ERA (2.76) and innings pitched (212), has 22 starts this season in which he has thrown at least six innings and allowed no more than two earned runs.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
The players with the most doubles through three seasons:
PLAYER NO.
Albert Pujols 138
Johnny Frederick 130
Paul Waner 127
Al Simmons 127
Dale Alexander 123
Hideki Matsui 121
Ted Williams 120
Evan Longoria 120
Pinky Whitney 119
Chuck Klein 118
Robinson Cano 116
Nick Markakis 116

* * *

Evan Longoria hit his 45th double of the year and is tied with Adrian Beltre with Miguel Cabrera for the most in the Majors. Longoria has 120 career doubles, equal to Ted Williams for the seventh-most by a player in his first three seasons.

* * *

Michael Brantley went 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest for a Cleveland rookie since Larry Doby hit safely in 21 straight in 1948. Brantley owns the second-longest rookie hitting streak in 2010. He had been tied with the Pirates' Neil Walker. Buster Posey (21-game hitting streak) owns the longest this season.

* * *

Bobby Cramer allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings and became the ninth Athletics starter since 1920 to earn a win in each of his first two appearances. The others: Fred Archer, Charlie Bishop, Wally Burnette, Dave Hamilton, Bill Krueger, Johnny Marcum, Vin Mazzaro and Jim Nash.

* * *

Adam Wainwright allowed one run in eight innings and earned his 19th win to match his victory total of last year. Wainwright is the first Cardinals pitcher since Joaquin Andujar in 1984-85 to win at least 19 games two years running.

Roger Schlueter is a senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.