Posted at 9:46 PM on July 14, 2008
by Chris Dall
Even though this year's Twins are proving otherwise, baseball is generally a numbers game. Beyond wins and losses, numbers are what we use to define players and careers and debate the history of the game. So I thought I'd take a look at some of the numbers that stand out from the first half of the season.
95 That's the number of RBI by Texas slugger Josh Hamilton. At this pace, Hamilton could surpass the 165 RBI put up by Manny Ramirez in 1999, but probably won't be touching the 184 runs knocked in by Lou Gehrig in 1931.
.376 The batting average of Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. Though it seems unlikely that Chipper will hit .400, it's tradition to monitor anyone who's hitting over .370 this deep into the year. Plus, you have to give kudos to Jones, now in his 15th season with the Braves.
129 The number of strikeouts by Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. Ryan struck out 199 times last year, and looks to be on pace to be near that mark again. Yes, he also leads the National League in home runs and RBI, but that's a lot of whiffs. According to the best baseball site ever, no one has ever surpassed the 200 mark in a season.
7 The number of complete games thrown by Toronto's Roy Halladay. I had to do a double take when I saw this number, since I can't even remember the last time I saw a complete game. Halladay had 7 all of last year, and the most thrown this decade is 9, by our very own Livan Hernandez. For some perspective on how the game has changed over the last few decades, Curt Schilling had 15 complete games in 1998, and Bert Blyleven had 24 in 1985. In 1901, good ol' Noodles Hahn had 41.
0.865 The WHIP of Oakland pitcher Justin Duchscherer, who is 10-5 with a 1.82 ERA. I don't even know what to say about that, but it's pretty darn good.
.287 Carlos Gomez's on-base percentage. Carlos has been exciting at times this season, but he's got to figure out a way to get on base more, or Denard Span is going to be spending more time in centerfield.
22 Home runs hit tonight by home run derby winner Justin Morneau. Congratulations Justin! Let's hope you haven't messed up you swing for the rest of the season.