MLB Notebook: Rare coup in Chipper's reach

MLB Notebook: Rare coup in Chipper's reach

MLB Notebook: Rare coup in Chipper's reach
In his final season in 1968, Mickey Mantle finished the year with a .237 batting average, a .385 on-base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage for a .782 OPS. The American League line in this Year of the Pitcher was .230/.297/.339/.637, giving Mantle (when adjusted for his ballpark) an OPS+ that was good enough to be the eighth highest in the league.

But Mantle's final season numbers did famously push his career batting average to .298 (with little more than a third left in the 1968 season, it was still at .300), and thus kept Mantle from being the first -- and as of today, the only -- switch-hitter in baseball history to finish a career with at least 5,000 plate appearances and a .300 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. Chipper Jones is not going to reach 500 home runs or 3,000 hits, but he is now two and a half weeks away from possibly finishing with that rare .300/.400/.500 line and joining an even more exclusive club than those opened for the 3,000-hit or 500-home run members.

• The Braves defeated the Nationals, 5-1, to complete a three-game sweep and move to within 5 1/2 games of Washington for first in the National League East. Atlanta owns a seven-game lead over St. Louis for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race.

• The Braves had last swept a three-game series from Washington in Atlanta in 2009, from April 10-12.

• Jones went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. The night left Jones with a career slash line of .304/.401/.530. Only 18 players in baseball history have finished their careers with batting average at or above .300, an on-base percentage at or above .400 and a slugging percentage at or above .500.

• Mike Minor picked up the win, allowing one run and five hits in six innings. In his past 13 starts, Minor owns a 2.32 ERA in 81 1/3 innings. Prior to this stretch, he had a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 starts. In those first 15 starts, Minor was averaging 7.56 K's and 3.99 walks per nine innings; in his past 13 starts, he is averaging 6.97 strikeouts and 1.88 walks per nine.

Nationals
Bryce Harper went 1-for-4 with his 22nd double of the season, giving him 48 extra-base hits. Those 48 tie Harper with Mel Ott in 1928 and Phil Cavarretta in '35 for the most for a player in his age-19 or younger season.

Brewers
The Brewers defeated the Mets, 3-0, with Ryan Braun homering twice to reach 40 for the season.

All-Time Most HRs Through First Six Seasons
Player HRs
Ralph Kiner 257
Albert Pujols 250
Eddie Mathews 222
Ryan Howard 222
Mark Teixeira 203
Frank Robinson 202
Ryan Braun 201
• Braun is the fifth player to hit at least 40 for the Brewers. Gorman Thomas hit 45 in 1979 to lead the AL, and a year later Ben Oglivie's 41 tied for the league lead. Richie Sexson hit 45 in both 2001 and '03, while Prince Fielder led the NL with 50 in '07 and then hit 46 in '09.

• Braun leads the NL in home runs, slugging (.602), OPS (.989), total bases (324) and extra-base hits (73), and is second in runs (95), third in hits (168), second in RBIs (103) and fifth in batting (.312).

• Braun's first home run of the day gave him 200 for his career. He is one of seven players in history with at least 200 in their first six seasons.

Cubs
Anthony Rizzo collected three extra-base hits (two home runs and a double) and drove in six runs as the Cubs defeated the Pirates, 13-9. At 23 years and 39 days, Rizzo is the third-youngest Cubs player since 1918 to have a six-RBI game. Starlin Castro was 20 years and 44 days old when he had six on May 7, 2010 (his Major League debut), and Ron Santo was 21 years and 123 days old when he drove in seven runs on June 28, 1961.

Pirates
Andrew McCutchen drew two walks and singled twice, giving the outfielder 16 games this season in which he's reached safely at least four times. Those 16 are the most in the Majors in 2012 and the most in the NL since Albert Pujols had 17 such games in 2009.

Tigers
Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

• In the Triple Crown categories, Cabrera leads the AL in batting (.330) and is tied with Josh Hamilton for the league lead with 123 RBIs. Cabrera is fifth in home runs, four behind the leader Hamilton. Since the start of July, Cabrera leads the Majors in home runs (22) and is second in RBIs (61), behind Chase Headley and his 66.

• With a league-leading 74 extra-base hits this season, Cabrera has 710 for his career. Among all players in history through their age-29 season, Cabrera's total is seventh highest. The players ahead of him: Alex Rodriguez (792), Jimmie Foxx (785), Pujols (767), Ken Griffey Jr. (748), Hank Aaron (740) and Ott (739).

Rangers
Matt Harrison allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings and picked up his 17th win of the season as Texas defeated Seattle, 2-1. Harrison's 17 wins tie him with Kenny Rogers in 1995 for the second most in Senators/Rangers history for a southpaw. In 2004, Rogers won 18 games. In 2011-12 combined, Harrison's 31 wins are the fourth most in the Majors among left-handers, and his 3.32 ERA is ninth best among Major League southpaws (minimum 300 innings pitched).

Padres
In a game more reminiscent of a Coors Field contest, the Padres defeated the Rockies, 12-11, at Petco Park.

• The game marked only the second at Petco (which opened in 2004) to see both teams score in double digits. The other game took place on July 14, 2006, when the Braves beat the Padres, 15-12. In contrast, since 2004, there have been 16 games at Coors Field to see both teams score at least 10 runs.

• The Padres and the Rockies combined for 27 hits, with San Diego collecting 16. The game marked the 27th time a Petco contest has seen each team collect at least 11 hits; in contrast, Coors Field -- in 2012 alone -- has seen 24 such contests.

• Headley hit his 28th home run as part of a two-hit, two-walk game, and has reached base safely in a Major League-leading 132 games. With 15 team games remaining in the season, Headley needs to reach safely in 13 of them to pass Tony Gwynn's 1987 team record for the most in a season.

D-backs
Patrick Corbin allowed two runs in eight innings, drove in four runs with a triple and a single and picked up the win as Arizona defeated San Francisco, 10-2. Corbin is the second D-backs pitcher to record a win on the mound while driving in at least four runs. On Aug. 18, 2007, Micah Owings allowed three runs in seven innings and went 4-for-5 with six RBIs. That day, Owings doubled and hit two home runs.

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