David Sabino
Tuesday May 19th, 2009

In this week's Diamond Digits, the all-time saves leader rolls in typical short-but-sweet fashion, Tigers prefer to run in packs and a rising star in Phoenix goes into the record books in triple-digit fashion.

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Saves in as many chances for Trevor Hoffman since returning from the disabled list on April 27, including four in a row against the Marlins (three) and Cardinals (one) last week.

At the time of his Brewers' debut, Milwaukee sat in fifth place in the NL Central with an 8-10 mark. But with Hoffman (and his record 563 saves) at the back of the bullpen, the Brewers are 16-4 and have the third best record in the game. Hoffman has appeared in 10 games, all Brewers wins, saving nine without allowing a run or a walk, while striking out nine and allowed just three hits in 10 innings. He also has increased his big-league record for most consecutive appearances of one inning or less to 245 games, dating back to Sept. 29, 2004. For his career, he's pitched one inning or less in 794 of 940 games, passing longtime Brewer Dan Plesac this week for sixth all time on the short appearance list. The top pitchers who pitched one inning or less the most times are:

Mike Stanton: 903 Jesse Orosco: 886 John Franco: 845 Roberto Hernandez:820 Mike Myers: 806 Hoffman: 794 Plesac: 792

Detroit's team batting average with the bases loaded this season, by far the best in the majors.

With the bases soaked, Tigers hitters are 18 for 36 on the season with three doubles and four grand slams, including two on Friday night by Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn in the Tigers' 14-1 trouncing of the Athletics. Only the Phillies (.527) have a better on-base percentage with three men on than Detroit's .511 and only the Rockies have a higher slugging percentage (.920) than the Tigers' .917. Individually, otherwise light-hitting shortstop Adam Everett leads the way with his only home run and 10 of his 16 total RBIs coming with the bags full.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the San Diego Padres, who are a combined 4 for 33 (.121) with a major league-low 12 RBIs in the same situation.

There haven't been too many bright spots in the Arizona desert this summer, but Diamondbacks centerfielder Gerardo Parra added a spark by becoming the 100th man in big league history to connect for a home run during his first big league at-bat. Parra's historic blast came off of Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto in the first inning of the Reds' 10-3 win last Wednesday, allowing him to join Braves centerfielder Jordan Schafer, who became the 99th player to homer in his first big league at-bat in the very first game of this season. The young Venezuelan was just the second D-back to make the list, stepping alongside countryman Alex Cabrera, who hit the first of his five career home runs on June 26, 2000.

Raul Ibañez, LF, Phillies

The free-agent acquisition of Ibañez is shaping up to be one of the most inspired moves of last offseason. During a week that saw the man he replaced in the Phillies lineup, Pat Burrell, placed on the Rays' disabled list with a neck strain, Ibañez was tearing the cover off the ball, going 13 for 27 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. His 26 total bases led the majors for the week, and for good measure he added two game-winning RBIs, helping the defending champs go 5-2 on the week.

Honorable mention: Prince Fielder, David Wright, Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Roy Halladay and Hoffman.

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Mariners

What is rapidly looking like a lost season for the Mariners third baseman got even worse, as he saw his batting average plummet from .227 to .211 after going 2 for 24 (a .083 average). Beltre managed to double his season's home run total, with his second of the year, but the only base runner he drove in during the six-game stretch was himself. Even while the Mariners were doing well, taking two of three from the Red Sox, Beltre was held hitless and earned a trip to the bench for Monday's game, sitting in favor of utility infielder Ronny Cedeño.

Dishonorable mention: Luke Hochevar, Gavin Floyd, Jason Marquis, Chris Getz, Nick Swisher, Jeff Francoeur, Austin Kearns and Garrett Atkins.

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