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MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Dodgers vying for 29th ERA title

Club leads category since 1912; Greinke, Kershaw, Ryu helping with 12 wins apiece

MLB Notebook: Dodgers vying for 29th ERA title play video for MLB Notebook: Dodgers vying for 29th ERA title

On page 114 of the 2014 edition of "The Elias Book of Baseball Records," the franchises with the most ERA titles (since 1912 in the National League and '13 for the American League) are identified. The Yankees franchise leads all AL teams, with an impressive 26 of them, but the Dodgers do their AL counterparts just a little better, with 28.

If the Dodgers are going to add to their record total, they have some work to do, as the 2014 club's 3.35 ERA currently comes in fourth in the Senior Circuit, behind the Nationals' 3.07, the Padres' 3.21 and the Braves' 3.32. Dodgers starters are certainly doing their part to push for that 29th crown, as the staff -- headlined by a trio of 12-game winners -- owns a collective 3.15 ERA that is the lowest in the NL. 

• The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Giants, defeating them, 4-3, on Sunday. Los Angeles now owns a 1 1/2-game lead over San Francisco for first place in the NL West.

In the victory, Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up his 12th win, making it wins for all three Dodgers starters in the series. In Game 1, Zack Greinke picked up his 12th win, and in Game 2, Clayton Kershaw did the same. For the series, the trio combined for 22 innings, 13 hits, three runs and three walks allowed, and fanned 24.

With the outcomes in the three games, this season marks the fourth time since 1914 that three Dodgers pitchers have had at least 12 wins through the club's first 106 games of the year:

1951: Clyde King (12), Carl Erskine (12), Preacher Roe (15), Don Newcombe (15)
1969: Don Sutton (12), Bill Singer (13), Claude Osteen (14)
1977: Tommy John (12), Doug Rau (12), Rick Rhoden (12)
2014: Greinke (12), Kershaw (12), Ryu (12)

Mets' deGrom bringing sizzle in July
• In the Mets' 2-0 win against the Brewers on Sunday, Jacob deGrom went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. deGrom improved to 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA and 38 strikeouts in July. Dating back to 1914, he is one of three first-year pitchers with at least four wins, at least 35 K's and an ERA below 1.50 in any monthly split, joining the Mets' Dwight Gooden (4-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 62 K's in September 1984) and the Dodgers' Hideo Nomo (6-0 with a 0.89 ERA and 60 K's in June 1995).

For Tribe's Santana, power and patience go hand in hand
• In a 3-for-3, four-RBI, one-walk day at the plate against the Royals on Sunday, Cleveland's Carlos Santana hit a pair of home runs -- his 19th and 20th of the season and his seventh and eighth of the month (six of these eight have come in his past six games). 

Santana has drawn an AL-leading 72 walks and looks to be on his way to a fourth straight 90-walk season. If he gets there, it will also mark the third time in his career he has combined a 90-walk campaign with a 20-homer season.

Among switch-hitters, there are six who have assembled at least four straight 90-walk seasons: Mickey Mantle and Lance Berkman each had nine straight; Mickey Tettleton had seven in a row; Tony Phillips and Chipper Jones each had six-year runs; and Ken Singleton drew at least 90 in four straight.

With a 90-walk season in 2014, Santana would become the fifth switch-hitter in history to have -- through his age-28 season -- at least three campaigns with at least 20 home runs and 90 walks. The others: Mantle (seven), Berkman (four), Jones (three) and Nick Swisher (three).

Wainwright going for ultimate stinginess
• Behind Adam Wainwright's seven innings of five-hit ball at Wrigley Field on Sunday, the Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 1-0. Wainwright picked up his NL-leading 13th win and lowered his ERA to 1.92, but saw his WHIP go up to 0.962. Wainwright does not lead the NL in either WHIP or ERA.

There have been three qualifying Cards pitchers since 1893 to finish a year with both a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP. In 1942, Mort Cooper had a 1.78 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP and came away with an MVP as St. Louis captured the pennant; in 1968, Bob Gibson owned a 1.12 ERA and a 0.853 WHIP, took home the NL Cy Young Award and the NL MVP Award, and helped the Cardinals capture the pennant; in 1985, John Tudor's 1.93 ERA and 0.938 WHIP were only good enough to get him a second-place finish in the NL Cy Young Award voting, but his Cards did win the pennant.

Since 1893, there have been 69 (54 of them did this between 1901-19) qualifying right-handers to finish a year with a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP, with the most recent being Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2000. The Mariners' Felix Hernandez is also under these two marks in 2014. Baseball hasn't see two qualifying right-handers finish under these lines since 1968, when there were four (Gibson, Luis Tiant, Bobby Bolin and Denny McLain)

Of the 69, the last one to not lead his league in either category was Gaylord Perry in 1972. That season, Perry (1.92) finished second (to Tiant and his 1.91) in ERA and third in WHIP, with his 0.978 trailing Roger Nelson's 0.871 and Catfish Hunter's 0.914.

1920-2014: Most team shutouts through 104 team games
Shutouts Teams
19 1968 Cardinals, 1981 Dodgers, 1981 Astros, 1992 Braves
18 1944 Cardinals, 1968 Indians, 1969 Cubs, 2014 Cardinals

Cardinals laying goose eggs
• The Cards' 1-0 win gives the club 18 shutouts through 104 team games, tying for the fifth most in the live-ball era.

Orioles' extra effort gets results
• In Seattle, Manny Machado's 10th-inning sac fly proved to be the difference as the Orioles defeated the Mariners, 3-2, on Sunday. Baltimore is 11-3 in extra-inning games this season and holds first place in the AL East by three games. In 2012, when the O's captured an AL Wild Card spot with 93 victories, the team was 16-2 in extra-inning affairs. In '13, when the Orioles slipped to 85 wins and a third-place finish in the AL East, the team was 8-7 in extra-inning games.

Kazmir upholding A's lefty tradition
• In Oakland's 9-3 win over Texas on Sunday, Scott Kazmir improved to 12-3 (.800 winning percentage) as he allowed two runs in five innings. Kazmir's ERA stands at 2.37, and works out to a current 159 ERA+.

There have been 26 qualifying AL left-handers to finish a year with a winning percentage of at least .750 and an ERA+ of at least 150, with seven of the 26 being representatives of the Athletics: Rube Waddell in 1902, Lefty Grove in 1928, '30 and '31, Bobby Shantz in '52, Vida Blue in '71, and Barry Zito in 2002. No other AL franchise can claim that many, with the Yankees having five for the second most (Lefty Gomez, Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry and Rudy May).

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

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