MLB Notebook: Goldy golden in the clutch
D-backs slugger ties game in ninth, clubs third walk-off homer of year in 11th
In 1959, Milwaukee Braves outfielder Hank Aaron produced career highs in hits (223), batting average (.355), extra-base hits (92) and total bases (400). All of these figures led the National League that year, as did his final season numbers in slugging (.636) and OPS (1.037).
The 400 total bases were particular noteworthy, for they made Aaron just the 10th player in NL history to reach the milestone. He was also the only NL player between 1947 and 2012 to be in his age-25 season and top the Senior Circuit in the category. But if Paul Goldschmidt keeps on producing like he has for much of this current season, Aaron may have to share that honor with the D-backs' first baseman.
In Arizona's 4-3 win over Baltimore on Tuesday, Goldschmidt hit a leadoff home run in the ninth to tie the game, and then won it in the bottom of the 11th with another home run to lead off the inning.
Goldschmidt was the second player this season to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning (or later) and follow that drama with a walk-off home run. On June 4, the Phillies' John Mayberry Jr. tied the game with a solo homer in the bottom of the 10th and then won it with a grand slam in the 11th. Goldschmidt was the first D-backs player in the franchise's 16-year history to do this.
Goldschmidt has four walk-off hits this season, with three of them coming on home runs. His three walk-off homers are the most for a D-backs player in one season, and they're the most in the Majors in one season since Matt Kemp also had three in 2011.
Goldschmidt's four walk-off hits are the most for the D-backs in one season since Justin Upton also had four in 2011, and the most in the Majors since Upton and Matt Kemp shared the Major League lead in 2011. Goldschmidt has 10 home runs this season from the seventh inning through the end of the game -- the second most in the Majors behind Chris Davis' 12.
Goldschmidt currently leads the NL in home runs, RBIs, OPS+ and total bases. The most recent three NL players to finish the year as league leaders in homers, RBIs and total bases were Kemp (2011), Ryan Howard ('06) and Dante Bichette (1995).
Leading off with a bang
The Mariners defeated the Rays 5-4, with each team's leadoff hitter -- Seattle's Brad Miller and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist -- homering twice. Each player homered to lead off the first.
The contest was the third since 1916 to feature multihomer games from each leadoff hitter. The other two:
• July 8, 1965: The Astros' Joe Morgan (including a home run to lead off the first) and the Braves' Felipe Alou
• June 5, 1994: The Twins' Chuck Knoblauch and the Tigers' Tony Phillips, with each homering in the first
Tuesday's game was the first this season to feature each leadoff hitter going deep in the first. It had last happened on Aug. 31, 2011, when Rafael Furcal and Corey Hart did it in a Cardinals win over the Brewers.
Fernandez outduels Chen
In the Marlins' 1-0 win over the Royals, Miami starter Jose Fernandez and Kansas City starter Bruce Chen each allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings.
Fernandez dropped his WHIP (he also walked one) to 1.017 and his hits per nine innings to 6.06. Since 1893, among all qualifying pitchers in their age-20 season, that WHIP would be the fourth lowest and the hits per nine innings would be the lowest.
Chen continued his remarkable work as a starter this season, lowering his ERA (in six starts) to 0.93, and seeing his WHIP actually rise to 0.672. Chen and 91 other pitchers have made at least five starts since the All-Star break; among this group, his 1.10 second-half ERA is the lowest.
Davis clubs No. 44
Baltimore's Davis hit his 44th home run of the season, and he has collected one extra-base hit in seven straight games.
Davis' 44 home runs through 119 team games are the most for any player since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 51 and Luis Gonzalez had 45. Those two went on to reach 100 extra-base hits that season.
Davis now has 77 extra-base hits. The pace sets him up for about 104 for the year. Five players in history have collected as many as 105: Babe Ruth in 1921 (119), Lou Gehrig in '27 (117), Chuck Klein in '30 (107), Bonds in 2001 (107) and Todd Helton in '01 (105).
Davis' night at the plate gave him 294 total bases. The most recent player to have at least 294 through 119 team games was Derrek Lee, who had 299 at this point in 2005. Lee finished with 393. No player has reached 400 total bases since '01, and the American League has not produced a player with 400 total bases since 1978, when Jim Rice had 406.
Ryu keeps Dodgers rolling
Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed one run in seven innings and came away with his 12th win of the year, as the Dodgers defeated the Mets, 4-2.
Ryu owns a 2.91 ERA, which currently translates to a 122 ERA+. In the live-ball era, five first-year southpaws have finished the year with at least a dozen victories and an ERA+ of at least 120: Cliff Melton in 1937 (20 wins, 148 ERA+), Herb Score in '55 (16 wins, 141 ERA+), Emil Yde in '24 (16 wins, 136 ERA+), Ernie Wingard in '24 (13 wins, 129 ERA+) and Dontrelle Willis in 2003 (14 wins, 127 ERA+).
The Dodgers now have 39 wins in their past 47 games, a remarkable stretch that has seen them win 12 of their 13 games in August after taking 19 of 25 in July. Focusing just on August, seven teams since 1916 have produced a winning percentage of at least .800 in a full August (so, not counting the August records in the short 1994 season). For the Dodgers to surpass the highest winning percentage of this group, they would have to win 14 of their remaining 16 games this month.
The .800-or-better-in-August group, since 1916:
• 1936 Giants: 24-3 (.889)
• 2002 Athletics: 24-4 (.857)
• 1944 Cardinals: 23-4 (.852)
• 1932 Yankees: 23-5 (.821)
• 1954 Indians: 26-6 (.813)
• 1953 Dodgers: 25-6 (.806)
• 1950 Red Sox: 24-6 (.800)
Redbirds stun Bucs
Facing a Pirates team that owned a 58-1 record when leading after eight innings, the Cardinals got a game-tying two-out RBI single from Allen Craig in the ninth and won the game in 14 innings.
With the victory, St. Louis moved to within two games of Pittsburgh for first place in the NL Central. Craig's game-tying hit gave him a Major League-leading .469 batting average with runners in scoring position (in this game, he was 1-for-1 in this situation, with two walks). In the Division Era (since 1969), the highest batting average with RISP (minimum 150 plate appearances -- Craig is now at 133), is owned by George Brett, who hit .469 in 1980.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.