Thing 1: Consecutive Shutouts
Shutouts, while not rare per se, don't happen all the time. The Blue Jays, for example, have only thrown 348 of them in the franchise's 5,861 regular season games (6%). The most recent one came on Tuesday, when Toronto shutout the Yankees 2-0. Interestingly, the last four times the Blue Jays have shutout the Yankees have come in September--I think we can use this point to build some narrative either about this team being good "spoilers" or being good only when "things don't matter anymore" or something like that.
Why is this shutout talk a Thing? Well, on Wednesday night, the Blue Jays were shutting out the Yankees through seven innings, meaning they were just six outs away from two consecutive shutouts. It turns out that the Blue Jays have never managed to complete shutouts against the Yankees on consecutive days. Of course, the second after I looked that up, Robinson Cano drove in Brendan Ryan to make it 3-1. And here I thought I had to have written or spoken about it in order to cause jinxes to happen.
The Blue Jays have, on two occasions, shut out the Yankees in consecutive games against. The games just happened to be in separate series (and in one case, in separate seasons):
Thing 2: Hitting Doubles
I have spent a lot of time here and on Twitter complaining about Moises Sierra's baserunning and fielding because sometimes he just looks so horrible out there:
That being said, so far, in a not-extremely-small sample size of 75 at bats, Sierra has hit 13 doubles, which is a 17.3% rate. It is very likely that he will not continue hitting at that rate simply because no one with over 41 at bats has ever completed a season hitting doubles at the rate Moises Sierra has been hitting this year.
Rudy Pemberton, who hit eight in 41 at bats (19.5%) with the Red Sox in 1996, holds the record. (Of note, one of his doubles drove in the winning run in Roger Clemens' second 20-strikeout game.) Not far down the list, we find an obscure Mets catcher named John Gibbons, who hit four in 19 at bats (21.1%) back in 1986.
It would be interesting to see how Sierra does for the final couple of weeks in the season.
Thing 3: Goins Goins Gone!
Slick-fielding second baseman Ryan Goins finally hit his first major league homer on Wednesday, in his 23rd career game. It seemed like a long time to wait for his first (I know it was a long time for me to wait to use "Goins Goins Gone!"), but it was nowhere close to poor Alfredo Griffin, who had to wait 152 games before his first dinger.
Not counting pitchers, the player with the longest career without a home run is Luis Gomez, a middle infielder who played for the Twins, Blue Jays, and Braves from 1974 to 1981. In his career he played in 609 games, and had 1391 plate appearances, and still had zero home runs. Actually, he had zero home runs in the minor leagues as well. Gomez was notable as the first ethnic Mexican native to play college ball in the United States and first to be selected in amateur draft. He got his first shot as a starting shortstop in 1978 with the Blue Jays, but was replaced in 1979 by none other than Alfredo Griffin.
Rajai Davis gets distracted, Ricky Romero stands apart:
Blue Jays team photo: "Rajai, over here … Rajai!" http://t.co/5mw72YOk1M— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) September 19, 2013