The latest edition of Diamond Digits examines a milestone achieved last week that uncovers yet another sign of baseball's Steroid Era, one of the game's top closers getting touched up late and one of the National League's predicted also-rans riding an unprecedented winning streak back into contention.
Breaking from form, we'll lead off with the Milestone of the Week for the seven-day period of May 18 to May 24:
While he has never come out and admitted it publicly, Giambi was implicated in the BALCO scandal when his grand jury testimony allegedly leaked, linking him to widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in the big leagues. During the so-called Steroid Era, single-season statistical anomalies were widespread. Nowadays, as players like the 2000 AL MVP climb higher on major all-time lists, the impact of steroids becomes even more apparent with bloated career marks. When Giambi debuted in 1995, there were 25 players in the 400 Home Run Club and all except noted all-or-nothing slugger
On Saturday night Papelbon had two outs with a one-run lead and a man on first base. But Mets catcher
In the 40-year history of the Padres franchise, no squad had ever swept a nine-game homestand, but
In the week leading up to his aforementioned two-run shot against Papelbon on Monday, Joe Mauer was on fire, batting .458 with four home runs, a .516 on-base percentage and 1.042 slugging percentage in 24 at-bats over seven games. During that span he led the majors in runs scored (12) and knocked in (13). The reigning AL batting champ raised his season average to .444. Also in just 81 at-bats he's only two home runs shy of his career-high of 13 set in 2006 over 521 at-bats.
With hot-shot rookie third baseman