Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Dickey pinpointing knuckler

MLB Notebook: Dickey pinpointing knuckler

MLB Notebook: Dickey pinpointing knuckler
A day after seeing his teammate Johan Santana throw the first no-hitter in Mets history, R.A. Dickey allowed seven more hits than Santana, but also threw a shutout, and improved to 8-1 on the season in New York's 5-0 win over St. Louis on Saturday. Dickey struck out nine and walked none.

Over his past three starts, Dickey has struck out 30 and walked one batter. He has struck out at least nine in all three starts, making him the fifth pitcher in Mets history to have at least three consecutive games with at least nine K's and no more than one walk. Dwight Gooden ran off four consecutive starts like that in 1984, had another three-game streak that same season and then a three-game streak in '85. Pedro Martinez had a three-game streak in 2005.

Dickey is currently ninth in the National League with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.12. No knuckleballer in the modern era who qualified for the ERA title has finished a season with a ratio that high.

The back-to-back efforts by Santana and Dickey marked the first time since 2010 that Mets pitchers hurled consecutive shutouts. On Aug. 12, 2010, Santana beat the Rockies on a four-hitter, and the next day, Dickey threw a one-hit shutout against the Phillies.

When Miguel Cabrera powered out two home runs on Saturday -- two homers that traveled an estimated 910 combined feet -- he increased his career total of extra-base hits to 662.

Although that mark didn't set any records, and doesn't end with a nice-looking zero that is usually reserved for milestones, his total does hold some interesting significance. Cabrera was 29 years and 45 days old on Saturday. When Hank Aaron was 29 years and 45 days old, the all-time leader in extra-base hits had 663 to that point in his career.

Cabrera's two home runs in the Tigers' 4-3 win over the Yankees gave him 110 career games with at least two extra-base hits. Those 110 through his first 1,404 career games tied Cabrera with Alex Rodriguez, Larry Walker and Lance Berkman for 24th most since 1918. Hank Greenberg owns the top mark, with 147, and is followed by Babe Ruth (146), Albert Belle (143), Stan Musial (134) and Albert Pujols (132).

Matt Cain picked up his sixth victory of the year, allowing one run on five hits in eight innings in the Giants' 2-1 win over the Cubs.

More than "quality" starts
Since 2005: Most games with eight or more innings pitched and one run or fewer allowed.
Pitcher Games W-L in games
Roy Halladay 48 44-2
Cliff Lee 45 33-2
CC Sabathia 40 36-1
Felix Hernandez 40 30-1
Chris Carpenter 35 28-1
Cole Hamels 30 24-2
Carlos Zambrano 29 22-1
Roy Oswalt 28 26-1
Mark Buehrle 27 23-0
Justin Verlander 27 25-0
Johan Santana 25 20-0
Dan Haren 25 20-1
Matt Cain 25 19-2
Since his debut season in 2005, Cain has finished with at least eight innings pitched and no more than one run allowed 25 times. Only 10 pitchers have had more, with Roy Halladay leading the way with 48.

Stephen Strasburg allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings and combined with two relievers on a 2-0 shutout of the Braves.

Strasburg's effort marked the ninth time this season a Nationals starter had finished his day with at least six innings and no runs allowed. Those nine are tied for the most in the Majors. Strasburg is responsible for three of Washington's nine, Gio Gonzalez has four and Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler each have one.

The Angels, who also received their ninth such effort on Saturday (from C.J. Wilson), have gotten two from Wilson, four from Jered Weaver and one apiece from Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Jerome Williams.

Batting in the leadoff spot for the second time this season, Ichiro Suzuki began the Mariners' 10-8 win over the White Sox with a home run, then hit another homer in the third, for his first multihomer run game since 2010.

The leadoff home run was the 37th of Suzuki's career -- the sixth most in history, behind Rickey Henderson's 81, Alfonso Soriano's 54, Craig Biggio's 53, Brady Anderson's 44 and Jimmy Rollins' 38.

Joey Votto produced his fourth four-hit game of the season, homered and drew a walk, helping lead the Reds to a 12-9 win over the Astros. Votto leads the NL in doubles (22), walks (44), on-base percentage (.475) and OPS (1.097).

The Reds' single-season records in each of these categories:

• Doubles: 51, by Frank Robinson in 1962 and Pete Rose in '78
• Walks: 132, by Joe Morgan in 1975
• On-base percentage: .466, by Morgan in 1975
• OPS: 1.110, Kevin Mitchell in 1994

Brian Matusz allowed one run on two hits in 7 1/3 innings and two Orioles relievers finished with hitless ball to guide Baltimore to a 2-1 victory over the Rays.

It marked the third time this season that the Orioles' staff had held the opposition to no more than two hits in a game. Those three are the most in the Majors.

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