Fresh for your weekend enjoyment, fans, here are some random thoughts and notes on this past week in baseball:
Jackie Bradley, Jr. extended his hitting streak to 26 games on Saturday. It’s the longest streak in the Major Leagues this season and the longest for the Red Sox since David Ortiz hit in 27 straight from July 2, 2012 to May 7, 2013. In addition to Big Papi, Manny Ramirez and Dom DiMaggio had 27-game hit streaks with the Red Sox in 2006 and 1951, respectively. The only longer Boston hit streaks are: 28 games by Wade Boggs in 1985, 29 games by Johnny Damon in 2005, 30 games by Nomar Garciaparra in 1997, and 34 games by DiMaggio in 1949.
- On Saturday the Indians intentionally walked Jackie Bradley twice, making him the first Boston player given that respect since David Ortiz over a year ago (May 20, 2015). The last Red Sox not named “Ortiz” to be intentionally walked more than once in a game was Will Middlebrooks on August 19, 2013. The last Boston player to get three intentional free passes was Adrian Gonzalez on September 28, 2011.
- What a start to the season for White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, going 9-0 with a 1.58 ERA. Sale, the Cubs Jake Arrieta and the Nationals Stephen Strasburg (both 7-0) are the only pitchers to stay perfect so far this season with seven or more wins. While the Sox haven’t had any of their starters perform as well, they’ve also avoided the fate of pitchers like Yankees Luis Severino, who is 0-6 in seven starts of 2016. Severino is one of 13 Major League pitchers with at least four starts this season but no wins so far.
- So far, in 610 Major League games played through last Thursday, there had been 380 replay reviews. Average review time has been one minute, forty-eight seconds.
- The Red Sox got a good outing from David Price in Kansas City on Wednesday, managing to salvage a win out of the three game set. Despite their place in the standing, the Royals are a solid club and the Sox will need to play well against strong teams down the line. Boston is 19-8 against teams under .500 this season, the second best such mark in the Majors after the Orioles. So far against clubs playing above .500, the Sox are 6-9. Compare that to the 12-2 mark the Cubs own against teams at .500 or better, the best such mark in baseball.
- The Red Sox struck out just once on Saturday, narrowly missing their first game without a strikeout since April 23, 2010. This season only two clubs, the Blue Jays and Marlins, have managed a strikeout-free game. Since 2000, the Sox have had three seasons with one such game (2000, 2002, and 2010). In 2002 the Royals had five such games, the most of any club in that time.
- With his 100th win Saturday as a Yankee, CC Sabathia became just the eighth pitcher since 1900 with 100+ wins with multiple clubs. Sabathia had previously collected 106 wins the Indians. Sabathia joins a list that includes Hall of Famer Lefty Grove who was 195-79 with the Philadelphia Athletics (1925-33) and 105-62 with the Red Sox (1934-41).
- Fans don’t want to be late to the game this season. The Red Sox are taking action early and often in 2016, which includes a .346 first-inning batting average, the best in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately, there’s also a 4.81 first-inning ERA for Sox pitchers. Four clubs (but only one AL team) have first-inning ERAs under 3.00 this season: Mariners (2.14), Cubs (2.20), Pirates (2.57), and Dodgers (2.86).
- Last week the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw became just the fifth pitcher since 1900 to strikeout 10 or more batters in six consecutive games. The modern era record for such games is 10 by none other than Pedro Martinez, August 19, 1999 to April 9, 2000.