MLB Notebook: Headley in heady Padres company
The 1987 Padres played a full slate of 162 games, with star right fielder Tony Gwynn participating in 157 of them. Gwynn batted a (then) career-high .370 that season, and he also drew a (forever) career-high 82 walks. With all of this prowess at the plate, Gwynn reached base safely in 144 games -- the most for any Padres player.
The 2012 Padres have now played 139 games, with their superb third baseman Chase Headley participating in 138 of them. Headley has reached base safely in 124 games, meaning he'll have to get on in 21 of the Padres' 23 remaining contests to pass Gwynn.
Headley hit a pair of home runs on Friday, giving him 26 on the year, and drove in four runs to up his RBI total to 98 in the Padres' 6-5 win over the D-backs. His line for the season now stands at .287/.370/.488, which currently works out to a 142 OPS+.
Headley's batting average and on-base percentage are basically where they stood last year, but he has raised his slugging percentage 89 points. Headley's 142 OPS+ is the third highest for any qualifying third baseman in the Majors, behind Miguel Cabrera's 164 and David Wright's 149.
Since the start of August, Headley's 14 home runs and 46 RBIs are both tops in the Majors.
Ryan Braun's solo home run in the 13th inning pushed the Brewers to an eventual 5-4 victory over the Cardinals and gave him 100 RBIs for the season. Braun leads the National League in home runs (38), RBIs, slugging (.606), OPS (.993), total bases (307) and extra-base hits (70).
Braun's 30-100 season in 2012 is the fourth of his six-year career. He is one of 14 players in history to have at least four through six. Albert Pujols had six, while Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Ralph Kiner and Mark Teixeira each had five. Joining Braun with the four are Chuck Klein, Jose Canseco, Frank Thomas, Vladimir Guerrero, Todd Helton, Magglio Ordonez, Cabrera, and Ryan Howard.
For all players through their first six seasons, Braun's 199 homers are seventh most, his 631 RBIs are 19th most, his 1,927 total bases are seventh most and his 444 extra-base hits are sixth most.
Detroit's Max Scherzer struck out nine with no walks in an eight-inning no-decision vs. the Angels.
Scherzer's outing gave him 10 straight starts with at least eight K's -- the longest streak for any Tigers pitcher since 1918, and tied for the ninth longest single-season streak for any pitcher since '18. Randy Johnson had 15 straight in both '99 and 2000.
During Scherzer's 10-game streak, he has struck out 88 in 68 1/3 innings, owns a 2.37 ERA and has walked 20. Scherzer's current strikeout rate stands at 11.23 K's per nine innings, which would be the 10th best in history for a right-handed pitcher.
In the 2,364th NL meeting between the Giants and Dodgers franchises, San Francisco defeated Los Angeles, 5-2. With the victory, the Giants opened up a 5 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers for first in the NL West.
Sergio Romo threw the final 1 1/3 innings for the Giants and picked up his 10th save of the season. Romo owns a 0.826 WHIP and a strikeout rate of 10.17 K's per nine innings. If he finishes the season with a WHIP below 1.00 and a strikeout rate above 10.00, it will be the third consecutive season he has reached those qualifications while making at least 50 appearances.
Entering this season, only two pitchers had ever strung together three straight seasons of at least 50 appearances, a WHIP below 1.00 and a strikeout-per-nine rate at or above 10.00: Eric Gagne in 2002-04 and Joe Nathan in '04-06.
Angel Pagan went 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Pagan has 49 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases on the season. With one more of each, he would join Mike Donlin (1905), Willie Mays (every season from '56-60) and Marvin Benard ('99) as Giants center fielders in the modern era to have at least 50 extra-base hits and 25 steals in a season.
Here and there
In New York's 8-5 win over the Baltimore, Alex Rodriguez hit his 645th career homer and his 300th as a member of the Yankees. Rodriguez is the sixth player to hit at least 300 for the franchise, joining Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. The six are the most claimed by any one franchise, with the Braves and Red Sox each having five.
The Marlins defeated the Nationals, 9-7, with Giancarlo Stanton collecting his 29th double and 31st home run. Stanton's homer was the 87th of his career, tying him with Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Jr. for the eighth most in history for a player through his age-22 season.
The Cubs' Starlin Castro went 3-for-5 with a double and reached 500 hits for his career. Castro (now with 501 hits) is the 31st player in history to have at least 500 through his age-22 season, with Ty Cobb topping the list with 765. Among the 31, Castro is one of six shortstops. The others: Robin Yount (717 hits), Rodriguez (648), Edgar Renteria (611), Arky Vaughan (524) and Travis Jackson (513).
The Astros defeated the Reds, 5-3, with Matt Dominguez hitting a three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the top of the ninth to a turn around a 3-2 deficit. Chapman had converted 27 consecutive save opportunities prior to the homer. Before Dominguez, the most recent Astros player to hit a go-ahead (or game-winning) homer in the ninth inning or later with his team trailing was Brian Bogusevic on Aug. 16, 2011, when he hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with his team down by three.
Paul Maholm threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings, five Braves relievers combined for 3 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball and Atlanta defeated the Mets, 3-0. The Braves have posted three consecutive team shutouts for the first time since Sept. 4-7, 2002.
Minnesota's Josh Willingham doubled twice and drove in three runs to increase his RBI total to 101. Willingham (33 homers) is the first right-handed hitter to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs for the Twins since Gary Gaetti in 1987.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.