MLB Notebook: Jones, Jeter having historic seasons
Both men are enjoying one of the best years ever for a player at their age and position
Game 1 of the 1996 World Series featured 24-year-old Chipper Jones at third base for the Braves, and 22-year-old Derek Jeter at shortstop for the Yankees. Entering that game, Jones had 116 extra-base hits in his regular-season career, while Jeter had accumulated 195 hits of any kind.
Today, Jones owns the 24th-most extra-base hits in baseball history, while Jeter is nine hits away from moving into sole possession of 11th place on the all-time hits list. Besides sharing the same field as relatively young players in the 1996 Fall Classic, and having a connection as names splashed all over the all-time leaderboards, Jones and Jeter are also enjoying fairly historic seasons for their age and position. Jones currently holds a .909 OPS in 307 plate appearances this season, while Jeter is hitting .320 and already owns enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title at year's end.
Since 1901, only eight players have finished an age-40 season (or older) with at least 300 plate appearances and an OPS of at least .900. Ty Cobb did it, as did fellow Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Willie Mays. More recently, Harold Baines, Barry Bonds (twice) and Moises Alou also accomplished this feat; that's seven outfielders and a designated hitter -- not a single third baseman among them.
At the shortstop position, Jeter and his .320 batting average are threatening to do something only Honus Wagner was able to accomplish. Entering 2012, Wagner -- who batted .324 in his age-38 season in 1912 -- is the only shortstop at that age or older in the modern era to qualify for the batting title and hit at least .320.
Jones hit two home runs as the Braves defeated the Padres, 6-0.
Jones' multihomer game was the 40th of his career, the second-most ever for a switch-hitter, behind Mickey Mantle's 46. Jones is third all-time in multihomer games for the Braves franchise, behind Hank Aaron (62) and Eddie Mathews (47).
Jones' second homer represented the 2,700 hit of his career -- the third most for a player with at least 75 percent of his career games at third. Under these parameters, Jones is also third in home runs, second in doubles, first in RBIs, first in total bases, first in extra-base hits, third in OPS+ and is the only third baseman to claim a career slash line of .300/.400/.500.
Jeter went 2-for-5 on Thursday, his ninth multihit game of the month (he's played 15 games). Jeter leads the American League in hits, with 159.
In the modern era, two players have led their league in hits in their age-38 season or older. In 1981, Pete Rose led the National League with 140, and in '96, Paul Molitor had 225 to lead the AL. Molitor's 225 hits are the most ever for a player in his age-38 season or older.
Medlen's first career shutout extended a team streak that has seen Atlanta emerge as a winner in each of the past 15 games Medlen has started.
The streak, which began on May 29, 2010, has seen the Braves right-hander go 8-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 93 1/3 innings.
In the Pirates' 10-6 win over the Dodgers, Garrett Jones hit a pair of three-run homers, Andrew McCutchen drew three walks and singled, and A.J. Burnett picked up his 15th win of the season.
Jones, who collected a career-high six RBIs, is hitting .317/.353/.612 since the beginning of July.
McCutchen has 12 games this season in which he has reached base safely at least four times, with those 12 leading the Majors.
Burnett, who is tied for the NL lead with 15 wins, has seen eight of those victories follow a Pirates defeat. Burnett's 15 wins through 118 team games are the most for Pittsburgh since Doug Drabek had 15 in 1990.
Harvey struck out eight with one walk and got the win as the Mets defeated the Reds, 8-4.
Harvey's eight K's gives him 34 through his first five career games. Those 34 are the second most for any player in franchise history, behind the 36 Dwight Gooden racked up through his first five appearances.
In the Brewers' 7-4 win over the Phillies, Braun hit two home runs to raise his total to an NL-leading 31.
Braun is one of nine players in history to reach 30 in at least five of his first six seasons. Braun's 192 home runs through his first six years is tied with his former teammate Prince Fielder for the 10th most in history.
Lee fanned 12 on Thursday, giving him 21 career double-digit strikeout games. Lee didn't issue a single walk, giving him seven career games with 10 or more K's and no walks.
All 21 of Lee's double-digit strikeout games have come since 2008 -- his AL Cy Young Award-winning campaign. Those 21 over the past five seasons tie him with CC Sabathia for the second most in the Majors, behind Tim Lincecum's 30.
Since 1918, Lee's seven games with 10-plus K's and no walks are tied for the third most for any left-hander. Randy Johnson had 36, and is followed by Johan Santana, with nine. Lee is tied with Sandy Koufax, Jim Kaat and Steve Carlton.
The Diamondbacks got back-to-back home runs from Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young in the top of the ninth inning, and defeated the Cardinals, 2-1.
The last time Arizona got both a game-tying home run and then a go-ahead (or game-winning) homer in the ninth inning was on May 7, 2001, against the Padres. Trailing 4-2 in the top of the ninth, Erubiel Durazo tied the contest with a two-run shot off of Trevor Hoffman, and then Reggie Sanders put the club ahead by two with a second two-run homer off of Hoffman.
Price (seven innings, three hits) and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as the Rays defeated the Angels, 7-0.
With the effort, Price won his Major League-leading 16th game of the season, lowered his ERA to 2.39 (second in the AL) and increased his strikeout total to 159 (fifth in the league). Price is also in the top six in the AL in innings, WHIP, K's per nine, hits per nine and OPS against.
Entering the game, the Angels owned the AL's third-best batting average against left-handed starters, and the fifth-best OPS against them.
The shutout win was the third in a row for the Rays against the Angels. In their most recent series in late July, Tampa Bay beat Anaheim 3-0 and then 2-0.
Since the All-Star break, Tampa Bay's team ERA is a Major League-best 2.15 -- the next lowest in the Majors is the Braves with a 2.89 ERA. Since July 19, the Rays' team ERA is an even more impressive 1.66 (26 games).
The shutout was Tampa Bay's 12th of the season (second most in the AL to the Angels' 15) and sixth in its past 26 games.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.