A weekend wrapup in Chicago baseball in several bulletpoints
- Friday night, Carlos Rodón continued his excellent run with 8 scoreless innings against the divisionleading Indians. His 1.27 ERA since July 1 leads the Majors among the 91 pitchers with at least 35 innings over that span.
- Unfortunately, Jon Lester is 91st out of those 91 pitchers with an 8.01 ERA in 39.1 IP over that span
- Also unfortunately, Dylan Covey is tied for 89th (with Clayton Richard) out of 91 with a 7.71 ERA in 35 innings over that same span.
The biggest White Sox story of the weekend was arguably Jim Thome Night on Saturday. The Sox slugger made a nice speech and joined Jason & Steve in the booth during the game.
- Thome had 612 career home runs. That’s roughly 41.7 miles of baserunning. Which is about the distance from Chicago to Aurora.
- Thome’s 612 career HR are the most of anyone born in Illinois (Thome was born in Peoria). The next highest total is 360 by Centralia’s Gary Gaetti. The gap of 252 career home runs between Thome and Gaetti is one more than the career total of Robin Yount (251 career HR), who was born in Danville.
- Thome had enough home runs in an Indians uniform (337) to be their franchise leader. If you subtracted those from his career total, he still had 275, which is the amount of career home runs Roger Maris had.
The biggest White Sox story on the playing field over the weekend was Daniel Palka’s walkoff HR to give the White Sox a 1-0 win.
- Palka’s blast was the second walkoff HR in White Sox history to break a scoreless tie. The other one was Sept. 14, 1967, by Don Buford (also against the Indians), but it was a 10th inning grand slam. If you like walkoff grand slams, keep on reading…
- Palka’s walkoff HR was the first in White Sox history to win a game by a 10 score.
- Palka is also the only player in White Sox history to strike out three times (as he did Friday) and hit a walkoff home run in the same game.
- Palka’s 18 home runs ties him with Gleyber Torres for the American League lead among rookies this season.
- Palka’s 18 home runs are tied with Jeff Liefer (2001) & Carlos May (1969) for second in White Sox history (behind Pete Ward’s 22 in 1963) among left handed rookies.
- Palka’s 18 home runs since making his MLB Debut on April 25 is 4 more than any other White Sox hitter.
- Adam Engel over a 7-day span robbed 7 runs worth of home runs – Greg Bird (with 2 runners on) Monday, Kyle Higashioka Tuesday, Yonder Alonso (with 2 runners on) Sunday. He even added a solo HR of his own in the same inning on Sunday. It’s particularly amazing given that the Sox were off Thursday, Engel played only one inning in the field on Friday, and he didn’t play on Saturday.
- The Cubs won a game on Friday where their starter (Kyle Hendricks) allowed 8 hits in 6 innings, and the opposing starter (Jeremy Hellickson) allowed no hits in 5.2 innings.
- Tyler Chatwood pitched three scoreless innings on Saturday, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Chatwood has 8.13 walks per 9 innings and 7.68 strikeouts per 9 innings this season in 99.2 innings. The last pitcher to do that in at least 50 innings? Former Cub Carlos Marmol (7.32 BB/9, 11.71 K/9 in 2012). Only four times in MLB history has a pitcher finished a season with 100+ innings and at least 7 walks and 7 strikeouts per 9 innings. Bobby Witt & Mitch Williams (both with the Rangers) in 1987, and Witt & Eric Plunk in 1986.
- Cole Hamels in three starts with the Cubs has a 1.00 ERA and in 18 innings has 11 hits and 20 strikeouts.
- Cubs have had only 4 games all season in which the starting pitcher has had 9 or more strikeouts. Two of them belong to Cole Hamels (August 1 at PIT & August 12 vs WSH – 9 apiece) despite having made only three starts for the Cubs. Yu Darvish had 9 on April 7 at Milwaukee, and José Quintana has the only 10 K start for the Cubs this season back on June 6 vs. Philadelphia (the game Jason Heyward hit the walkoff grand slam).
David Bote’s walkoff grand slam was clearly the big moment of the weekend for the Cubs.
- Bote hit the 30th “Ultimate Grand Slam” in MLB history – a walkoff grand slam where his team was down 3 runs.
- It was the first Ultimate Grand Slam in the Majors since Steve Pearce of the Blue Jays did it last year on July 30.
- It was the second Ultimate Grand Slam in Cubs history – the other was Ellis Burton 8/31/1963 against the Astros.
- It was the second Ultimate Grand Slam in MLB history which came with the team down 30. The other was Sammy Byrd of the Reds on May 23, 1936, against the Pirates. Bote’s grand slam came with 2 outs, however; Byrd hit his with none out.
- It was the first Ultimate Grand Slam by a pinch-hitter since Brian Bogusevic of the Astros hit one off Carlos Marmol of the Cubs back on August 16, 2011. However, Bogusevic’s home run came with only one out.
- Bote’s was the first Ultimate Grand Slam by a pinch-hitter with two outs since Roger Freed of the Cardinals hit one May 1, 1979.
- Bote was the first Cub to hit a pinch-hit walkoff grand slam since Earl Averill (the son of the Hall of Famer) on May 12, 1959.
- Bote’s was the first Cub since Ron Santo on Sept. 25, 1968, to hit a walkoff grand slam to give his team its first runs of the game (Santo hit his trailing 1-0).
- Bote & Heyward (June 6) give the Cubs a pair of walkoff grand slams in the same season for the first time since 1980 (Barry Foote & Cliff Johnson).
- Bote joins Danny Kravitz as the only players to hit an Ultimate Grand Slam in the same season as their MLB debut (Kravitz’s was his first MLB home run – May 11, 1956 for the Pirates).
- Both the Cubs and White Sox scored 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday… unfortunately the White Sox were trailing 9-3, whereas the Cubs trailed 3-0.