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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Weekend notes: Pitching milestones harder to attain

Long Beach State players making mark in Majors; Rays cranking up power

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Weekend notes: Pitching milestones harder to attain play video for Weekend notes: Pitching milestones harder to attain

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

In the first decade of this century, the 300-win club added four members -- Roger Clemens in 2003, Greg Maddux in '04, Tom Glavine in '07 and Randy Johnson in '09 -- and speculation began that the game may never see another 300-game winner.

 

With Tim Hudson becoming the 110th pitcher to win 200 games last week, there are only three active 200 game winners. Hudson joined Andy Pettitte, 41, who has 248 career wins, and Roy Halladay, 36, who has won 201 games. CC Sabathia, with 195 career wins, will most likely join the 200-win club this season.

After Sabathia, however, the question is whether there will be another 200-game winner, much less a 300-game winner.

There are only 32 active pitchers with 100 career victories, only three of whom are 30 or younger. Justin Verlander, 30, has won 127 games, and Felix Hernandez, 27, and Jered Weaver, 30, have 102 wins apiece. Only four other pitchers younger than 30 have even won 75 games: Zack Greinke, 29, and Cole Hamels, 29, have each won 92 games; Jon Lester, 29, has won 89, and Matt Cain, 28, has won 85.

Hudson, who was All-SEC at Auburn as an outfielder, did hit a home run in win No. 200. The only other pitcher to hit a home run and win his 200th game in the same contest was Hall of Famer Bob Lemon, a converted third baseman.

• There are 13 former Long Beach State Dirt Bags currently in the big leagues, including three who are gathered at Coors Field this weekend: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, as well as Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria and left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos. The three of them actually lived together during the 2004-05 school year. Tulowitzki, with the Rockies, and Ramos, with San Diego, were first-round Draft picks in 2005, and Longoria was the Rays' first-round selection in 2006. The other first-round pick among the 13 is Weaver, who was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2004.

There are four former Long Beach players who were second-round picks: Cleveland designated hitter Jason Giambi, by Oakland in 1997; Angels left-hander Jason Vargas, by the Marlins in 2004; Oakland first baseman Shane Peterson, by St. Louis in 2008, and Cleveland right-hander Bryan Shaw, by Arizona also in '08.

Other former Long Beach State players who are currently active are: Twins right-hander Vance Worley, a third-round pick by Philadelphia in 2008; Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa, their third-round pick in '08; Pirates right-hander Jared Hughes, the club's fourth-round choice in 2006; Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada, Washington's sixth-round selection in 2005, and Marlins third baseman/outfielder Greg Dobbs, a free-agent signee by Seattle in 2001.

Quick hits

• Longoria has hit six home runs, but the first one didn't come until the 12th game of the season, April 15, against Boston. Tampa Bay only had four home runs as a team in the first 11 games of the season. But with Longoria leading the way, the Rays hit at least one home run, and a total of 31, over the next 17 going into Saturday.

• So much for Albert Pujols' lineup protection from the addition of Josh Hamilton. Pujols drew six intentional walks in the first 29 games of the season. Hamilton, who hits behind Pujols, was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in those situations.

• Arizona has a winning record (15-14), and went into Saturday two games out of first in the National League West, despite eight blown saves -- the most in the Majors. Arizona is 8-for-18 in saves, a success rate of 44.4 percent. The only other team that had failed to convert at least half of its saves was the Angels, who were 4-for-9, also 44.4 percent.

• Offensive failures have haunted the Blue Jays (10-20) and White Sox (12-15) -- two teams expected to contend but in last place in their divisions going into Saturday. They were two of three teams hitting below .200 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs were a Major League worst .178, with the White Sox at .196 and Blue Jays at .199. At the other extreme were the NL Central-leading Cardinals (.332), the Royals (.327) and the American League East-leading Red Sox (.300).

• Dexter Fowler, who had seven home runs in 310 April at-bats during the last four years, hit eight home runs in 95 at-bats this April. The leadoff hitter leads the Rockies in home runs and is second with a .621 slugging percentage behind Wilin Rosario, who went into Saturday slugging .650.

• Rays reliever Jamey Wright figures he has set a record. He has signed a Minor League contract and been an invited player to Spring Training the last eight seasons, and has made an Opening Day roster all eight times.

Out-of-left-field factoid of the week

With a single on Friday, Boston DH David Ortiz ran his hitting streak to 23 games, extending over 306 days. That's the third longest span for a streak of 20 games or more, according to Trent McCotter, vice chairman of the SABR Records Committee.

Dick Higham had a 29-game hit streak that extended over 642 days -- starting at the end of 1876 with the Hartford Dark Blues and picking up at the start of the 1878 season with the Providence Grays.

Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra had a 21-game streak that stretched from Sept. 10, 2000, through July 29, 2001.

Ortiz's streak began last July 2, and was put on hold at 11 games when he was sidelined with a right Achilles injury. He returned on Aug. 24, got a hit and aggravated the injury, bringing an end to his season. He's now hit in his first 11 games this season.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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