Carl Crawford became the third major leaguer, in the modern era, to steal six bases in a single game yesterday. His stolen bases were two more than the Braves have stolen in 24 games. Crawford lead the league in steals with 17.
Otis Nixon had stolen six bases in a game for the Braves in 1991 in a game which I happened to watch on television. Eric Young matched the feat in 1996 by stealing six bases for the Rockies. That makes Crawford the first American League player to accomplish the feat.
Jason Varitek is not known for throwing out steals having a .248 lifetime percentage but his .280 percentage after yesterday’s game is the best mark he has recorded in a season.
Crawford is only 27 and has 319 stolen bases during his career. He also has 1144 hits which could give him a shot at 3000 hits for his career.
Notes From Yesterday….The Dodgers are the only remaining unbeaten team at home this season with a 10-0 record….Not many baseball prognosticators picked the Blue Jays, Royals and Mariners to win their divisions in 2009. However all three teams find themselves atop their division on May 4th in the American League.
The Dodgers are the only team from the NL playoffs in 2008 to be in first place this season. The Marlins and Cardinals are leading their divisions so that makes five new division leaders if those teams can hold their leads all season.
Barry Zito pitched his third consecutive quality start and allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings in the Giants 1-0 defeat of the Rockies yesterday. Zito lowered his ERA from 5.24 at the start of the game to 3.99. The sad part is that he still has a 0-2 record despite his excellent pitching.
It took the Mariners fifteen innings to defeat the Athletics 8-7. Both teams scored three times in the thirteenth inning to prolong the game. The Athletics used only three relievers before calling Dana Eveland in to pitch the fifteenth inning.
Kevin Youkilis is taking his game to a different level and has to be considered as a AL MVP candidate in the early going of the 2009 season. He is dominating the percentage stats for batters leading in all four categories.
AL Rookie statistics show, amazingly that Elvis Andrus is the only rookie to hit a home run this season. Ramiro Pena of the Yankees is leading AL rookies in batting with a .313 averge. However he won’t be playing much once Alex Rodriguez returns to the lineup. Andrus is second with a .254 average.
Andrew Bailey of the Athletics leads AL rookies in pitching with a 3-0 record.
Jordan Schafer leads NL rookies in home runs with two while the only other rookie to have a homer is Colby Rasmus. Walter Silva and Everth Cabrera of the Padres lead the NL in batting with .333 and .308 averages respectively.
Jordan Zimmermann with a 2-1 record leads the NL rookies in wins. Kenshin Kawakami, David Patton and Joe Martinez are the only other NL rookie pitchers to record a win with each pitcher having one win.
I can’t recall another season in which there have been so few rookies hitting or pitching well after the first month of the season. It is very possible that the rookies of the year in 2009 will be players still playing in the minor leagues as of today.
Randy Johnson hasn’t pitched two consecutive good games this season but he is still on track to
Stephen Strasburg Update….The San Diego State Aztecs recorded a 5-0 win over the weekend with Stephen Strasburg extending his record to 10-0 this season. He allowed only three hits, two walks while recording 12 strikeouts.
Strasburg has posted an ERA of 1.38 while allowing 12 earned runs, 48 hits, 15 walks and 147 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings. With the 2009 amateur baseball draft less than a month away he is almost a virtual lock to be the No. 1 draft pick unless the Nationals decide they don’t want to pay the kind of money his agent Scott Boras will be demanding.