MLB 2014: Final Week Records And Milestones

(originally written 9/23/14)

The farewell tour of Derek Jeter (and to a far lesser extent, that of Paul Konerko) and the down-to-the-wire Wild Card pursuits in both leagues give baseball fans plenty to watch for during this final week of the regular season.

 

But while you're watching Jeter bestowed with gifts/mementos and a slew of no-name Royals fighting for the playoffs, there are milestones to be met and records to be set throughout the American League. These include (thru 9/22; I apologize if any totals have changed by the time this is posted but I cannot keep up with 15 games of stats at once):

 

  • BALTIMORE: With 35, Zach Britton needs two more saves to pass B.J. Ryan for the second-highest ever O's total by a lefty (Randy Myers 45 in 1997). With 13 homers, the O's can reach their 2nd-highest homer total ever (215; the '96 team hit 257). This one is unlikely.

 

  • BOSTON:  Needs to avoid more than 28 batting strikeouts to break the record of 1,308 set last year. David Ortiz needs three homers to pass Chipper Jones for 32nd all time (469).

 

  • TORONTO: Mark Buehrle needs six innings to reach 200 for the 14th straight year. Two more wins give him 200 lifetime, but he's only scheduled for one more start in 2014 (conceivably, he could make another on three days' rest FYI.)

 

  • TAMPA BAY: Needs to hit seven homers to avoid their lowest total since their expansion year (they now have 115; they hit 121 in 2001). Their SB total will likely be a record low (60 now, low is 73 reached twice). If they can somehow go without allowing another homer, they'll tie the 2012 squad for fewest allowed ever (139). The Rays have already set a new franchise batting K record (1,389 and counting).

 

  • YANKEES: Need 11 pitching K to set new team record (1,319). Mark Teixeira needs 13 hits and 0 K to avoid his first year with more K than hits (he stands now at 92 hits and 104 K). Tex is battling knee soreness, so we'll see.

 

  • DETROIT: The Tigers need four more batter walks to avoid the franchise's lowest total since 1910 (they're now at 425; they had 429 in 1919 and 430 in 2006). With 660 AB, Ian Kinsler will set new season record with 20 more (Harvey Kuenn had 679 in '53). 

 

  • KANSAS CITY: If Alex Gordon can go on a homer tear, he can vault pass Carlos Beltran and Danny Tartabull in the KC record books. Four homers will give him 125 as a Royal, landing him eighth all-time in KC history (unlikely). The Royals as a team need 30 walks to avoid their lowest non-strike total ever (they're now at 363; the 2008 squad drew only 392 free passes.)

 

  • CLEVELAND: If they can allow seven or fewer homers in their final five games, it will set an Indians record for fewest home runs allowed in the Jacobs Field era (strike years excluded). They now stand at 134; the 2002 team allowed 142. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana can draw four walks to reach 112 and become the all-time single-season Indians leader by someone not named Jim Thome. Bryan Shaw can break Bobby Howry's 2005 record of 79 appearances with three more.

 

  • WHITE SOX: Should he maintain his 5/1 K/BB ratio, Chris Sale will set a new Sox single-season record; Sale is set to pitch 9/24 but not beyond.

 

  • TWINS: Unless Ron Gardenhire goes off his rocker, Phil Hughes will obliterate Bret Saberhagen's 1994 MLB record of K/BB (11.31...not a misprint. I do not mean K/9. That is accurate.) Hughes is slated to go on 9/24 vs. Arizona.

 

  • ANGELS: Prince Albert Pujols needs three home runs to pass the 521 trio of Stretch, Splinter and Big Hurt for 18th all-time. With nine more TB, Mike Trout can achieve the second-highest Angel total ever (341; Vlad Guerrero had 366 in his MVP '04 season.) Less praiseworthy: Trout is also nine short of Mark Trumbo's single-season K record of 184. 

 

  • MORE ANGELS: If Mike Scioscia wigs out and runs Joe Smith into the ground before the playoffs, he can break Scot Shields'  2005 record of 78 appearances (unlikely). As a team, the Halos will set a new franchise record K total with—you guessed it—nine more (would give them 1,222. Two errors or less will set a new non-strike record for fewest errors (they're now at 82; the 2009 team committed 85).

 

  • OAKLAND: Adam Dunn's next home run will be #463, breaking his tie with onetime Oakland masher Jose Canseco for 35th all time. If Dunn stays true to his retirement word, that is where he will peak.

 

  • SEATTLE: King Felix' 2.07 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, should they hold up over his final start(s), will both set new franchise season records (I'm not calculating how many runs, walks and hits he must limit himself to...if you want to, go ahead.) He has already set a new Seattle RHP K record (236 and rising). One more wild pitch breaks his own club season record of 17. Fernando Rodney has already broken the club season saves record (46 and rising).

 

  • MORE SEATTLE: They need to draw ten walks to avoid a new franchise non-strike season low (they now stand at 380; the 1990 squad drew 389). Their 3.18 team ERA, should it hold up, will obliterate the 3.54 record of 2001. 90 or fewer hits allowed and 93 or fewer runs allowed will both break '01 records as well (non-strike; they had 1,293 and 627 respectively). 33 or more pitching K will break the 2013 record of 1,297.

 

  • TEXAS: They've already shattered the MLB record of 59 players set by the 2002 Padres/Indians, currently at 64 and possibly rising. They need to draw 13 more walks to avoid an all-time non-strike low (they're at 408; the 1984 team drew 420).

 

  • HOUSTON (listed here though I still do not think of them as an AL team): Should they allow seven or fewer homers, the 'Stros will set a new low for HRA in the Minute Maid Park era (the 2010 team allowed 140; Houston stands at 132 as of 9/22). Already the team's season hits leader, Jose Altuve needs 24 AB to break Enos Cabell's record of 660. If he homers twice more, Chris Carter will enter the Houston top 10 for homers in a season (39).

 

Did I miss any? Let me know