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Stat Speak: Lincecum, A-Rod join elite company

Stat Speak: Lincecum, A-Rod join elite company

Amos Rusie, known as the "Hoosier Thunderbolt," led the National League in strikeouts five times (over a six-year span), led the National League with a 2.78 ERA in the offense-crazy 1894 season (the league ERA that year was 5.33) en route to the pitching Triple Crown that year and struck out more batters (1,695) through his age-24 season than any pitcher before or since. Rusie was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1977, three-quarters of a century after he threw his last pitch in the Major Leagues.

Christy Mathewson, sometimes known as "Big Six," "The Christian Gentleman," or, more simply, as "Matty," led the league in strikeouts five times over a seven-year span, won five ERA titles, led the league in wins four times, shutouts four times, and won the pitching Triple Crown in 1905 (he'd win another in 1908). He capped off that wonderful '05 season by throwing three shutouts in the World Series. No pitcher since Matty has matched that feat. Mathewson was elected to the inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1936, 11 years after he died at the age of 45.

Tim Lincecum, known affectionately as "The Freak," stands just a few days away from joining Rusie and Mathewson as the only pitchers in Giants history to lead the league in strikeouts in three straight years. With four days left in the regularly scheduled regular season, Lincecum has 231 K's -- 12 more than Roy Halladay. I'm hoping Lincecum stays on top, if for no other reason than it creates a connection from the early days of the National League, through the greatest pitcher in Giants history, to the present.

Young guns
Players with the most games of 10 strikeouts or more in their first 123 games:
No. Player
35 Dwight Gooden
32 Kerry Wood
29 Roger Clemens
26 Herb Score
26 Sam McDowell
26 Tim Lincecum
24 Frank Tanana
22 Bob Feller
22 Randy Johnson
22 Hideo Nomo
Since 1920

• Lincecum struck out 11 batters and allowed one run on six hits in seven innings to earn his 16th win of the year.

• It is the 26th time in his career (a total of 123 appearances) that Lincecum has struck out at least 10 batters.

Fans in four
Pitchers with the most strikeouts in their first four seasons:
K's Player
907 Tim Lincecum
892 Dwight Gooden
870 Hideo Nomo
866 Tom Seaver
845 Bert Blyleven
799 Kerry Wood
795 Pete Alexander
783 Mark Langston
766 Teddy Higuera
757 Don Sutton
Since 1893
• Lincecum's effort increased his career strikeout total to 907 -- the most for a pitcher through his first four seasons since 1893.

* * *

Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin struck out seven to bring his season total to 138 -- setting a new franchise rookie record. Shawn Chacon owned the previous high, with 134 K's in 2001.

* * *

The Brewers' Yovani Gallardo struck out four to bring his season total to 200.

• Gallardo is the 14th pitcher this year to reach 200 strikeouts -- the most in a season since 1969, when 15 pitchers reached the plateau.

• Gallardo is the second pitcher in franchise history to have at least 200 strikeouts in consecutive seasons. Teddy Higuera reached the mark in 1986-87.

* * *

David Wright drove in two runs to reach 100 RBIs for the fifth time in his career. Wright is the only player in Mets history with that many 100-RBI seasons.

RBIs in N.Y.
Mets with the most 100+ RBI seasons:
No. Player
5 David Wright
3 Darryl Strawberry
3 Carlos Beltran
2 Gary Carter
2 Howard Johnson
2 Mike Piazza
2 Carlos Delgado

* * *

Jose Reyes hit his 10th triple to give him four seasons of 10 or more doubles, triples and home runs. Among players with 75 percent of their games at shortstop, the four seasons ranks second-most all-time.

Triple-Double shortstops
Shortstops with the most seasons of 10 or more doubles, triples and home runs:
No. Player
5 Jimmy Rollins
4 Jose Reyes
3 Zoilo Versalles
3 Robin Yount
3 Stephen Drew

* * *

R.A. Dickey allowed one run in seven innings and lowered his ERA to 2.86 -- the lowest for a Mets' qualifying right-hander since Pedro Martinez finished the 2005 season with a 2.82 mark.

* * *

The Braves beat the Marlins, 5-1, for their 90th win of the season. It is the 15th time manager Bobby Cox has led a team to 90 wins -- tied with Joe McCarthy for the most ever. Cox had been tied with John McGraw, at 14 seasons of 90 or more wins.

Touch'em all, Toronto
Most home runs by a team in a season:
No. Year Team
264 1997 Mariners
260 2005 Rangers
257 1996 Orioles
249 2000 Astros
247 2010 Blue Jays
246 2001 Rangers
245 1996 Mariners
244 1999 Mariners
244 2000 Blue Jays
244 2009 Yankees

* * *

Pitching on three days' rest, Derek Lowe allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings and struck out nine to win his 16th game of the season. In five September starts, Lowe is 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA. The appearance marks the second straight day a Braves starter has gone on three days' rest: Tuesday, Tim Hudson allowed one run in six innings.

* * *

The Blue Jays hit three home runs in their 8-4 victory over the Yankees. The three homers increased Toronto's total to 247 for the season -- a new franchise record and the fifth-highest total all-time.

* * *

Alex Rodriguez hit his 30th home run of the year, and 613th of his career. • Rodriguez has 14 seasons with 30+ homers -- tied with Barry Bonds for the second-most ever.

30 and over crowd
Players with the most seasons of 30 or more home runs:
No. Player
15 Hank Aaron
14 Barry Bonds
14 Alex Rodriguez
13 Babe Ruth
13 Mike Schmidt
12 Jimmie Foxx
12 Manny Ramirez
12 Jim Thome

• Rodriguez has hit 30 homers in 13 consecutive seasons -- tied with Bonds for the most ever.

30 rock
Players with the most consecutive seasons of 30 or more home runs:
No. Player Years
13 Alex Rodriguez 1998-2010
13 Barry Bonds 1992-2004
12 Jimmie Foxx 1929-1940
10 Sammy Sosa 1995-2004
10 Carlos Delgado 1997-2006
10 Albert Pujols 2001-2010

• Rodriguez has 14 seasons with 30 home runs and 100 RBI -- the most ever. Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Manny Ramirez are next with 12 each; Bonds had 11.

• Rodriguez has 13 consecutive seasons with 30 home runs and 100 RBI -- the most ever.

* * *

Brandon Lyon recorded his 20th save in the Astros' 2-0 shutout over the Reds. Lyon is the second Astros pitcher to have 20 saves this year, joining Matt Lindstrom (23). Houston is the first team since the 1992 Reds to feature a pair of 20-save pitchers.

30/100
Players with the most consecutive seasons of 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs:
No. Player Years
13 Alex Rodriguez 1998-2010
12 Jimmie Foxx 1929-1940
10 Albert Pujols 2001-2010
9 Lou Gehrig 1929-1937
9 Rafael Palmeiro 1995-2003
9 Sammy Sosa 1995-2003
9 Many Ramirez 1998-2006

* * *

The Orioles beat the Rays, 2-0, for their seventh team shutout of the season. Six of the seven have come since Buck Showalter took over as manager in early August.

* * *

Ryan Braun drove in two runs to give him 419 for his career, tying Dale Alexander for the 12th-most in history for a player through his first four seasons.

* * *

Delmon Young hit his 20th homer to become the fifth player in Senators/Twins franchise history to have at least 20 home runs, 40 doubles and 100 RBIs in a season. Young, whose 66 extra-base hits leads the Twins, joins Kirby Puckett (1988), Michael Cuddyer (2006), Torii Hunter (2007) and Justin Morneau (2008) in the 20-40-100 club.

* * *

double barrel
Teams to have two pitchers with 20 or more saves in the same season:
Year Team Pitcher 1 Pitcher 2
2010 Astros Matt Lindstrom Brandon Lyon
1992 Reds Norm Charlton Rob Dibble
1991 Blue Jays Tom Henke Duane Ward
1986 Mets Roger McDowell Jesse Orosco
1983 Giants Gary Lavelle Greg Minton
1965 White Sox Eddie Fisher Hoyt Wilhelm

The Padres beat the Cubs, 3-0, for their 20th team shutout of the season. San Diego, who is tied with the Phillies for the most team shutouts in the Majors, also tied the club record for most in a season. The 2007 Padres also had 20.

* * *

The Giants, Braves and Padres all won, maintaining the status of the NL West and NL Wild Card races. In the West, San Francisco leads San Diego by two games (each team has four games to play, including three against one another); in the Wild Card, the Braves own a 1 1/2 game lead over the Padres. The Braves have three games remaining.

* * *

The Yankees and Rays lost, while the Twins won. Tampa Bay owns a half-game lead over New York for the lead in the AL East while the Twins are a game behind the Rays for the best record in the league.

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

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