In this week's edition of Diamond Digits we look at the Windy City's "other" winning team, the worst of the bests, a Nationals disaster and a pitcher who really used his head to get to the top. (NOTE: All stats through Monday night.)
Number of consecutive games this season the AL Central-leading White Sox lost while trailing after eight innings prior to
Number of professional career saves for fireballing righthander
Victory total of the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays following their defeat of the Royals on Saturday night in Kansas City. That was the Rays 103rd game of the season, by far the quickest the franchise has ever reached the 61-win mark, breaking the previous mark of 141 games set in 2004, when the Rays set a franchise record with 70 wins. No other team has failed to post at least one 90-win season, and the Rays are one of four teams that have a chance to eclipse the team record for wins this season. The Angels are currently the only team on pace for 100 wins this year. That would be the first triple-digit win campaign in franchise history, topping the 99 wins in their world championship season of 2002. The Brewers, currently second in the NL Central, could pass the 1982 team's mark of 95 wins en route to the franchsie's only World Series appearance. Most surprising of all are the Florida Marlins, who are one modest hot streak away from finishing with a better record than either of the franchise's World Series Champions (the 1997 team won 92 games and the 2003 club notched 91 victories).
The first baseman had a big league high 1.083 slugging percentage for the week, and bated an NL leading .542, raising his average more than 20 points, and placing him sixth in the NL. His .404 on-base percentage ranks fifth in the league and his .510 slugging percentage is just .002 behind Mark Teixeira, for whom Jackson was rumored to be in a possible trade package before Teixeira went to the Angels on Tusday.
The Mariners struggles continue, and nobody struggled worse last week than knuckleballer Dickey. In starts against the Red Sox and Blue Jays, Dickey pitched 11 1/3 innings, surrendering 12 runs, all earned, for a 9.53 ERA while yielding 19 hits and seven walks, losing both in the process. Only one pitcher, Pittsburgh's John Van Benschoten, made multiple starts and had a worse ERA last week than Dickey's. For his efforts, Van Benschoten was sent to the minors.
Is there a better comeback story in sports than