Numbers define baseball. More than any other sport, the numbers come first to mind. 61, 56, 4,256, 130, 5,714, 715 … certain figures capture far more than a moment. Some capture a career, a season or a time from our past. And there will be new ones. Here, we take a quick look at an assortment of figures that stuck out from this season.
46 — League-leading total of home runs in NL, with a few more games to play. (Ryan Howard)
55.5 — Average for league home run leader in NL, 1997-2007.
36 — League-leading total of home runs in AL, with a few more games to play. (Tie between Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Quentin)
51.1 — Average for league home run leader in AL, 1997-2007.
13 — Years in a row that the Yankees have made the playoffs, a streak that ends this year.
14 — The current record for consecutive playoff years, held by the Braves (1991-2006)
1,798 — Hits by Ichiro Suzuki with four games remaining in his 8th ML season (Ichiro was not allowed to join MLB until he'd completed 7 years of Japanese baseball)
1,505 — Hits by all-time hit leader (4,256) Pete Rose in the best eight of his 23 Major League seasons
2.0 — Games behind the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks that the Dodgers were when Manny Ramirez played his first game in Dodger Blue. Currently, the Manny-led team is up 2.5 games.
.399/16 — Batting average and HR total for Manny in 173 AB's in LA in 2008.
.299/20 — Batting average and HR total for Manny in 365 AB's in Boston in 2008.
9-11 — Win/Loss record for the San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy, despite a 2.77 ERA.
3.47 — Peavy's run-support per game, 136th out of 140 qualifying pitchers in MLB.
5.92 — Run support average for the Cubs Ryan Dempster, who is 17-6 with a 2.99 ERA.
4,000 — Population of Gibsons, BC, where Dempster was born.
$265, 625 — Yearly average that Michel Inoa has made for his life so far after the 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic signed a contract with the A's that included a $4.25 signing bonus.
.364 — Chipper Jones' batting average this season, at age 36. It leads the league.
.310 — His career average.
36 — Home run total hit by Carlos Quentin for the White Sox in 130 games this season.
13 — Home run total hit by Quentin in 118 games over the last two seasons at Triple-A Tucson.
11 — Total number of starts made by Mike Hampton in 2006-2008.
$42,503,543 — Total salary paid to Hampton during said period.
$4.405 million — Combined salaries of Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum this season.
39-6 — Their combined record with a few games to play.
5' 11'', 160 lbs — Tim Lincecum's height and weight.
30 — Number of walks granted by Greg Maddux in 188 IP this season.
999 — Number of walks Maddux has granted in his career, if he retired today.
3,369 — Maddux's career strikeout total.
.354/.582 — Carlos Zambrano's batting average and slugging percentage.
.272/.433 — The league average in those categories.
.354 — Zambrano's OBP. He has zero walks in 79 AB's this year.
53,069 — Average attendance at Yankee Stadium for the stadium's final season.
22,259 — Average attendance for Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field.
27,000 — Cumulative listenership per week for radio broadcasts of Nationals games.
29,185 — Average home attendance for Nationals games.
4.32 — AL average team ERA in 2008
4.63 — AL average team ERA in 2004
2nd — League rank in BBs for the Cubs hitters in 2008
25th — League rank in BBs for the Cubs hitters in 2007
.480 — OBP for Barry Bonds in 2007
.333 — OBP average for all MLB players in 2008
116 — The number of games the Rays needed this year to reach their 70th win, which up until this year was their franchise high for a season.
22.5 — The combined games-back that the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, the two teams that were expected to battle for the AL Central division title, are behind the Chicago White Sox.
7 — Losses in a row to start the season for the Tigers. They were .500 on July 28th. Since then they've gone 31-43.
100 — Years since the Cubs … oh, nevermind.