In 1976, Reds second baseman Joe Morgan put together the 16th 20-homer, 40-steal season in baseball history. While it was the third time in his career Morgan had reached each of those two marks in the same season, the rest of his line in '76 was a bit more mind-blowing.
Morgan, the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, led the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+, he finished second in runs scored, RBIs, walks, steals, extra-base hits and times on base, and fifth in total bases and home runs.
That year, Morgan was playing in his age-32 season. At the time, and up until Thursday night, the youngest member of the 20-40 club had been Morgan's former teammate Cesar Cedeno, who had 22 homers and 55 stolen bases in his age-21 season in 1972.
With two stolen bases Thursday night, Angels rookie Mike Trout -- playing in his age-20 season -- is now the youngest. And like Morgan in 1976, Trout is present all across the leaderboards in his league. He's at the top in runs, batting, slugging, OPS, OPS+ and steals, he is second in on-base percentage, tied for fourth in triples, sixth in total bases and tied for sixth in hits.
Trout also went 3-for-6, scored twice and drove in two runs in the Angels' 14-13 win over the Red Sox. He's had four games this season with at least two runs, two hits, two RBIs and two steals. Those four are tied for the most since 1918, with Yankees outfielder Ben Chapman also having four in '31.
Trout has had 11 games in which he's collected at least two runs, two hits and two RBIs while batting leadoff. Those 11 tie Trout with Darin Erstad (in 2000) for the most in a season in Angels history, and for the second most in a season for any player since 1918. Nomar Garciaparra had 14 such games in '97. Garciaparra, like Trout this year, was a rookie that season.
More Angels-Red Sox
The Angels outhit the Red Sox, 20-18, in their 10-inning win. It was the first game since Sept. 19, 2008, in which both teams collected at least 18 hits. That contest also involved the Angels, who outhit the Rangers, 22-19, in a 15-13 win.
This game marked the second time this season the Red Sox collected at least 18 hits in a loss, the other taking place on April 8 against the Tigers. The most recent previous season in which Boston had multiple losses when having at least 18 hits was 1933.
In the Tigers' 11-inning, 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays, Justin Verlander went the first nine, allowing two runs, four hits, two walks and striking out 12.
The 12 strikeouts lifted Verlander's season total to 192 (most in the American League) and his rate of K's per nine to 9.06 (fourth in the league). With Verlander above 9.00 and his teammate Max Scherzer at 11.34, the two could become one of 13 pairs of teammates in history to each qualify for the ERA title and finish the year with a rate of at least nine strikeouts per nine innings. The Nationals' Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg are also both currently at more than nine K's per nine. Verlander and Scherzer would be the first pair of AL teammates in the designated hitter era to accomplish this feat.
Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher to throw nine innings in a no-decision since Scherzer on Sept. 1, 2010. In that game, Scherzer allowed one run on four hits and struck out nine.
Making his Major League debut vs. the Rockies, Mets right-hander Collin McHugh allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings and struck out nine. McHugh's nine K's were the second most for a Mets pitcher in his debut, behind the 11 recorded by Matt Harvey on July 26.
McHugh is the first pitcher to have his debut feature at least seven innings, no runs and no more than two hits since Baltimore's Chris Waters (eight innings, one hit) on Aug. 5, 2008. No pitcher had hit all of these marks and struck out as many as nine since Milwaukee's Steve Woodard (eight innings, one hit, 12 K's) on July 28, 1997.
McHugh's line produced a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 81 , the second highest for a Mets pitcher in his Major League debut. On June 10, 1966, Dick Rusteck threw a four-hit shutout with four K's and a walk for a score of 82.
Rays starter Alex Cobb, in his first start since allowing 12 hits and eight runs in two-thirds of an inning, threw a four-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over the Athletics.
Cobb's first career shutout gave the Rays 13 team shutouts this season, which rank second in the Majors to the Angels' 15. Tampa Bay's 13 are tied for the most in a season for the franchise, matching last season's total. Seven of the 13 have come in 39 games since the All-Star break.
The shutout lowered Tampa Bay's second-half team ERA to 2.19 in 361 1/3 innings. The second-half team ERA is the best in the Majors, with the Mariners ranked second at 3.00.
The Rangers defeated the Twins, 10-6, giving manager Ron Washington his 500th win with the club.
Most American League Wins Since 2007
Joe Torre, Joe Girardi
Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine
Washington is the third skipper in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Bobby Valentine (581 wins with Texas) and Johnny Oates (506). Since Washington took over in 2007, the Rangers' 500 victories are the fifth most in the AL.
The Giants beat the Braves, 5-2, with Barry Zito (eight innings, two runs) picking up his 10th win of the season. It is the first time he's reached double-digit victories since 2009.
Zito is the 44th left-handed pitcher in the modern era to have at least 10 seasons with 10 or more wins, and one of five active (meaning they pitched in 2012) southpaws to have as many as 10. Among the left-handers who've worked in 2012, Andy Pettitte and Jamie Moyer each own 15 seasons with 10-plus wins, while Mark Buehrle and CC Sabathia each have 12.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.