New Cardinals trio off to hot start, Willingham's grand day and more
This post-trade deadline edition of Diamond Digits looks at three Cards making the rest of the NL see red, a team seeing double and a National who enjoyed clearing the bases so much, he decided to do it twice in the same game.
Actually, the Jays, major league leaders with 238 doubles this season, legged out at least one two-bagger in a span of 31 consecutive contests before being held to two singles and a home run against Seattle, the longest stretch in the majors this season. In the expansion era, the record for most consecutive games with at least one double is 75 set by the 1996 Cleveland Indians. While well short of that mark, Toronto narrowly missed the mark for a streak of two doubles, set in 2005 by the Cubs at 18.
Willingham became just the 13th man in big-league history -- and just the third in National League annals -- to blast two home runs with the bases jammed in the same contest, and the first since Boston third baseman
The knock against Morales during his first few big-league seasons was that he didn't have much power. In fact entering this season Morales hit just 12 career home runs in 377 at-bats. Well, rewrite the scouting report because the Angels first baseman is on a longball tear, blasting five home runs in six games this week to raise his seasons total to 23 (in 358 at-bats), tied for eighth in the AL. The rest of his numbers in six games against the Indians and Twins were monstrous, leading the majors in slugging (1.077), RBIs (13), tied in extra-base hits (7) and total bases (28).
Honorable Mention: Holliday, Willingham,
Oh, what a difference a week makes. Still basking in the afterglow of the 18th perfect game in major league history, Buehrle's return to the mound was nothing to celebrate. In his two starts of the week, Buehrle gave up 12 earned runs and 17 hits in just 10 2/3 innings in losses to the Twins and Yankees. His season ERA which had fallen to 3.28 after his perfecto, ballooned to a season-high 3.79 after the streaking Yankees delivered a 12-hit, seven-run beating on Sunday. While there were pitchers with worse ERA's than Buehrle's 10.13 for the week, the stark contrast to what was expected after his perfect game gave him the nod.