Sports by the Numbers MLB Stat of the Week
6 The Detroit Tigers gave up four runs in the ninth on Sunday to the Dodgers, but held on for a 5-4 victory and a (6) game winning streak - their longest to date this season. Detroit began play on June 10 trailing the White Six by 11 games, but after winning six straight since then - including a three game sweep of the White Sox - they will begin Monday's interleague match-up against the Giants trailing Chicago by only six games. Tigers' fans should not celebrate just yet, but maybe the club is starting to come around. Manager Jim Leyland said on Sunday, "People buried us [after their horrendous start to the season] - and they should have. Now we've got a chance to get them excited again."
387 The Chicago Cubs are 45-25 after 70 games for the best record in baseball - thanks to an offense that leads the N.L. with (387) runs and a pitching staff that leads the N.L. with a 3.61 ERA. That makes for a pretty healthy combination - but whether their offense can continue to produce with slugger Alfonso Soriano out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his left hand remains to be seen.
486 The Atlanta Braves are 34-36 after 70 games for a (.486) winning percentage - and they enter week 13 trailing the Phillies by 6.5 games in the N.L. East. Chipper Jones still leads baseball with a .402 average and the Atlanta pitching staff is second in the N.L. with a 3.72 ERA, but the Braves have the worst numbers in the league in three critical categories for any team that wants to be a playoff contender: 1-7 record (.125 winning percentage) in extra-inning games, 3-18 record (.143 winning percentage) in one run games, and a 9-25 record (.265 winning percentage) on the road.
554 Willie Randolph has now been at the helm of the New York Mets for (554) games - including the 68 games the Mets have played this season, during which time the club has posted a 33-35 record. The odds on Willie being at the helm through the All-Star break, much less the end of the season - his fourth with the club - seems to be increasingly stacked against him. New York has lost seven of ten, and with six of their next nine games being against bad ball clubs (Colorado and Seattle), these next two weeks could go a long way towards deciding Randolph's fate.
577 J.D. Drew is up to a (.577) slugging percentage for the Boston Red Sox. He hit only four homeruns during the first two months of the season - but he has hit seven homeruns in June, including five homeruns and ten RBI in his last eight games. His increased output on offense could not have come at a better time for Boston, as David Ortiz is already out of action for at least a month, and Manny Ramirez missed two games this weekend nursing an ailing hamstring.
585 Josh Hamilton only has one homerun and five RBI in his last ten games - but his (.585) slugging percentage is still the second best in the A.L. behind his teammate Milton Bradley. Hamilton, who hit 19 homeruns in 90 games for Cincinnati last year, leads the league with 18 homeruns and 73 RBI during his first 69 games this year. Bradley, by the way, has 15 homeruns, after posting totals of 13, 14, and 13 the past three seasons.