In the 19 seasons between 1901-19, there were 77 individual pitching seasons in which a hurler threw enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and finished the year with a WHIP below 1.00. In the 92 seasons between 1920-2011, there were 84 of those lines.
In other words, a WHIP below 1.00 in the live-ball era is something to be celebrated, for it is quite rare.
Since 1920, only two clubs -- the '64 Dodgers and the 2002 Red Sox -- have managed to have a pair of pitchers accomplish this feat in the same season. In '64, a couple of future Hall of Famers named Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax managed the achievement, which was matched by Boston's Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe not long after the century turned.
Six qualifying pitchers this season are currently below the 1.00 WHIP line, with the Mets (R.A. Dickey), Giants (Matt Cain), Tigers (Justin Verlander) and Angels (Jered Weaver) each having one representative. And then there are the White Sox, who have the honor of having two, with Chris Sale and Jake Peavy.
In Chicago's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays on Friday, Peavy allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings, struck out seven and picked up his seventh win of the season. Peavy, who is in the top six in the American League in ERA, K's, WHIP and OPS against, combined with two relievers to give the White Sox their 32nd game this season of allowing no more than two runs. Those 32 are the second most in the AL, behind Oakland's 33, and rank third in the Majors (the Dodgers also have 33).
Making his 15th career appearance, Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly struck out 10 and issued no walks in a 4-2 victory.
Smyly is the only Tigers pitcher in the live-ball era to have a 10-strikeout, no-walk performance within his first 15 career games. Before Smyly, seven other Tigers pitchers had struck out at least 10, but all of them had issued at least one walk.
Smyly is the first left-hander to have a start within his first 15 games with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks since Toronto's David Purcey did it in his eighth game on Aug. 27, 2008. Smyly is the 10th southpaw since 1920 to do it.
Tyler Colvin went 3-for-4 with two home runs, leading the Rockies past the Nationals, 5-1.
Colvin has hit safely in 18 of his past 21 games, a stretch dating back to June 9. In those 21 contests, he batted .372 (29-for-78), slugged .897 and hit seven doubles, two triples and 10 home runs with 27 RBIs.
Although Colvin doesn't have enough plate appearances to qualify for rate-stat categories, his extra-base-hit percentage (percentage of all plate appearances ending with an extra-base hit) stands at 15.1. That percentage is the highest for all NL players with at least 150 plate appearances (Colvin has 192).
In the Yankees' 10-8 win over the Red Sox, Robinson Cano went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He has collected at least one RBI in nine straight games, tying the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran for the longest streak this season. Before Cano, the most recent Yankees player to have a nine-game RBI streak was Derek Jeter in 2004.
1876-2012: Most Doubles Through Eight Seasons
Cano's double gave him 310 in his career, moving him out of a tie with Earl Averill for the eighth most in history for a player through his first eight seasons. Cano is four behind Ted Williams and Wade Boggs for the sixth most.
The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo went 4-for-5 with a three-run home run, as the Cubs defeated the Mets, 8-7.
At 22 years and 333 days, Rizzo was the seventh-youngest Cubs player since 1918 to have a four-hit, one-homer game. The younger achievers: Starlin Castro in 2011 (21 years and 23 days), Ron Santo in 1961 (21 years and 99 days and 21 years and 123 days), Charlie Hollocher in '18 (22 years and 67 days), Gabby Hartnett in '23 (22 years and 149 days) and Billy Williams in '61 (22 years and 321 days).
Bronson Arroyo twirled a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and a walk, and improved to 4-5 on the season as the Reds defeated the Padres, 6-0.
Arroyo's line produced a game score [an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance] of 88. It was the highest of his career in 308 starts and the highest for a Reds pitcher since Travis Wood's 93 (nine innings, one hit, zero runs, eight K's, zero walks) on July 10, 2010.
Here and there
Brian McCann hit his ninth career grand slam as part of a five-run eighth inning, and the Braves blanked the Phillies, 5-0. McCann's nine moved him past Eddie Mathews and tied him with Joe Adcock for the second most in Braves franchise history. Hank Aaron is the all-time leader, with 16.
In the Giants' 6-5 win over the Pirates, Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 and hit his eighth home run of the year. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Cabrera's 319 hits and 100 multihit games are the most in the Majors.
Jeter went 2-for-5 for his 938th career multihit game. His next will tie him with Paul Waner for the sixth most for any player since 1918.
Logan Morrison went 1-for-2 with a home run, and the Marlins defeated the Cardinals, 3-2. On June 15, Morrison was inserted into the cleanup spot in the batting order and has stayed there. From that date forward, he has batted .288, slugged .652, and has collected six doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs. These numbers include three pinch-hitting appearances.
Playing in his 232nd game, Mark Trumbo hit his 50th career home run. With the milestone homer, Trumbo has reached 50 in fewer games than any other player in Angels history. Through his first 232 games, Tim Salmon had 47 homers.
In the Athletics' 11-inning victory over the Mariners, starter Tommy Milone allowed one run in seven innings -- his sixth game this season in which he has finished with at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed. Those six are the most on the Oakland pitching staff. The A's own the lowest starters' ERA in the AL, and the fifth lowest in the Majors. The top four are the Nationals, Dodgers, Mets and Giants.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.