MLB Notebook: Bumgarner, Kershaw put on show

MLB Notebook: Bumgarner, Kershaw put on show

MLB Notebook: Bumgarner, Kershaw put on show
It doesn't require much space to list all of the National League southpaws since 1893 who qualified for the ERA title and finished the season with a WHIP below 1.00.

Jesse Tannehill was the first to do it in 1902, and was quickly joined by Noodles Hahn in '04. Then the Cubs' Jack Pfiester posted back-to-back sub-1.00 WHIP seasons in 1906 and '07. It didn't happen again until 1933, when Carl Hubbell had a 0.982 season. After Hubbell, Ray Prim added his name to the list in 1945. And then Sandy Koufax did it in four straight seasons, from 1963-66. Next came Steve Carlton in 1972, John Tudor in '85, Odalis Perez in 2002 and Randy Johnson in '04.

Looking at the group up to this point, it's interesting to note that no season had more than one. That all changed in 2011, when Cole Hamels and Clayton Kershaw each finished the season below 1.00. And just a year later, it may happen again. After their brilliant duel on Monday evening, Madison Bumgarner's WHIP stands at a league-leading 0.990, while Kershaw is just above the line, at 1.002.

Madison Bumgarner (eight innings, four hits, no runs, 10 K's, no walks) got the better of the Clayton Kershaw (eight innings, six hits, two runs, 10 K's, no walks), and improved to 14-7 as the Giants defeated the Dodgers, 2-1.

The game marked the first in the live-ball era that saw a pair of left-handers each reach double digits in strikeouts and issue no walks. Only two other games since 1920, regardless of the pitchers' handedness, have seen both starters fan at least 10 and issue no walks. On July 12, 1997, Toronto's Roger Clemens fanned 16 and Boston's Aaron Sele had 11 K's. On April 9, 2003, Montreal's Javier Vazquez struck out 14 and Chicago's Mark Prior collected 12 K's.

Kershaw (with 920 career strikeouts) is one of 14 pitchers since 1893 to have at least 900 K's under the age of 25. Among these 14, his current K:BB ratio of 2.88 is sixth best. He trails Bert Blyleven, Walter Johnson, Dwight Gooden, Frank Tanana and Felix Hernandez. Kershaw's ratio is better than those owned by Denny McLain, Smoky Joe Wood, Larry Dierker, Christy Mathewson, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela, Sam McDowell and Bob Feller.

Bumgarner currently owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2012 of 5.00. Since 1893, for all qualifying pitchers in their age-22 season or younger, that ratio would be the highest. In 2003, Prior -- at 22 years old -- finished with a ratio of 4.90 strikeouts for every walk.

With the lines from Bumgarner and Kershaw, the 2012 season has seen 81 performances in which a pitcher has struck out at least 10 and walked no more than one. Those 81 tie 2012 with 2010 for the third most in any season since expansion in 1998. In 2011, there were 91 such games, and in 1998, there were 88.

Juan Pierre
In the Phillies' 12-5 win over the Reds, Pierre went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two steals. The two stolen bases gave him 31 for the year, making Pierre the 17th player to have at least 11 30-steal seasons. Pierre is 20th on the all-time list for stolen bases, one successful swipe behind Maury Wills.

Scott Rolen
Rolen became the 12th player in history to play 2,000 games at third. Among all players with at least 75 percent of their career games at the position, Rolen is 13th in home runs, ninth in RBIs, third in doubles, fourth in extra-base hits, 11th in total bases and 12th in times on base.

Rays hurlers
Tampa Bay defeated the Royals, 5-1, to run its current winning streak to five games (the Rays are 5-0 since being the victims of Felix Hernandez's perfect game), with Jeremy Hellickson picking up his eighth win with seven innings of one-run ball. Tampa Bay's second-half team ERA dropped to 2.32 (best in the Majors), with the starters' ERA at 2.78 (best in the Majors) and the relievers' ERA at 1.35 (best in the Majors).

Derek Jeter
Jeter doubled and homered in a four-hit night and raised his career hit total to 3,255. With his first hit of the game, Jeter tied Nap Lajoie for 12th on the all-time list. With his fourth hit of the game, Jeter tied Eddie Murray.

The two extra-base hits gave Jeter 835 in his career and 38 for the season. The 835 are the second most for a player with at least 75 percent of his career games at shortstop, behind Cal Ripken's 1,078.

The 38 are the fourth most for any shortstop at the age of 38 or older. Honus Wagner had 62 in 1912 and 55 in '15, and Barry Larkin had 46 in 2002.

Jeter is batting .326 with an .809 OPS. Only one qualifying shortstop in his age-38 season or older has hit at least .320 with an OPS of at least .800: Honus Wagner in 1912, when he batted .324 with an .891 OPS.

Jeter leads the Majors in hits (167) and is third in multihit games (51).

Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton hit a pair of home runs to give him 26 for the season and 82 for his career. Stanton's 82 tie him with Al Kaline for the 12th most in history for any player through his age-22 season. Since returning from the disabled list, Stanton owns a .313/.346/.833 line in 13 games, and has hit seven home runs.

Jose Reyes
Reyes collected three doubles to give him 29 for the season. Reyes needs one triple and one home run for his fifth season with double digits in all three extra-base hit categories. A fifth season would give tie him with Jimmy Rollins for the most ever for a switch-hitter.

Mariners
At Safeco Field, the Mariners got a pair of homers from Michael Saunders and defeated the Indians, 5-3. Seattle, which owns the worst home OPS in the Majors, is averaging 4.29 runs per game in its past 14 home games, and is 13-1 during this stretch. With this recent explosion, the Mariners are averaging 3.16 runs per game in their 61 home contests this year.

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