Today’s Trivia: Justin Smoak, a South Carolina native, is expected to make his MLB debut on Friday. Who has the most career home runs for a player born in South Carolina?
Quick Hits: Reggie Willits appeared in his 300th game on Thursday, and a career-long trend continued. He went 0-for-3, and still does not have a home run in his career. The active position player with the next most career games without a homer is Jose Morales with 55. In fact, Willits has more career plate appearances without a home run (819) than any pitcher. Ryan Dempster is next at 518. So with that in mind, and the help of STATS, here are some notable “most withouts” among active players:
* Angel Pagan has the most plate appearances (881) without being hit by a pitch.
* Chase Utley has 83 stolen bases, but has never even tried to steal third.
* Alex Rios has the most stolen bases (120) for a player that has never been picked off.
* Ryan Garko has been on base more times (602) than any other player without a stolen base.
* John McDonald has nearly twice as many plate appearances (1,889) as the next player who has never been intentionally walked.
* Ramon Castro has the most plate appearances (1,400) without a triple.
* Ryan Perry has the most appearances (60) and innings (69 2/3) without a win.
* Cla Meredith has the most relief appearances (270) without a save.
* Andrew Bailey has pitched the most innings (88 1/3) without hitting a batter.
* Jon Garland has pitched the most innings (1,851 1/3) without a balk.
* George Sherrill has the most innings (256) without allowing a triple.
* Brad Ziegler has the most innings (142) without a wild pitch.
NO RELIEF IN SIGHT
Most career starts without a relief appearance among active pitchers
Today’s Leaderboard: In the spirit of today’s theme, CC Sabathia’s 292 starts are the most for an active pitcher without a relief appearance. He’s followed by Ben Sheets (225) and Jake Peavy (219). Carlos Zambrano has 21 relief appearances to his name, but none since 2002. His streak of 241 straight appearances as a starter is likely to be broken this weekend. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Zambrano’s streak is the fifth longest among active pitchers. Livan Hernandez’s last 415 appearances have been as a starter.
Key Matchups: The top five hitters that the Royals used yesterday are 41-94 lifetime against Carl Pavano. That’s a .436 batting average. It’s no wonder that Pavano is just 4-5 with a 7.84 ERA in his career against Kansas City.
Whenever Albert Pujols meets Tim Lincecum, it warrants mentioning. Pujols is 3-for-8 in his career against Lincecum, but has just one hit in their last seven meetings at the plate.