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AL annihilating the NL

Has the National League disbanded yet?

There's still time before the World Series, still time to avoid any further interleague embarrassment.

All right, so we're guessing that ain't happening. Nevertheless, the American League's astounding domination sure has provided lots of inspiration for this interleague edition of the Useless Information Department:


• With only one interleague weekend remaining, the AL had an insane 127-75 interleague record through Wednesday -- a .629 winning percentage. Just so you understand what that means, if a team played .629 baseball over a 162-game season, it would win 102 games. So the National League essentially has turned every American League team into the 1976 Big Red Machine.

• This is the 10th season of interleague play, and there has never been a year in which one league steamrolled the other like this. The most one-sided season before this one was the first interleague season, 1997, when the NL went 117-97 (.547).

• Through Wednesday, five AL teams -- the Red Sox (13-1), Tigers (13-2), Twins (13-2), White Sox (12-2) and Mariners (12-2) -- had better than .800 interleague winning percentages. And there never has been a season in which that many teams crushed their pals from the other league, not even if we lower the threshold to .750.

Here are the only two previous seasons in which even two teams from the same league won 75 percent of their interleague games:

1997 -- Marlins (12-3) and Expos (12-3)
1999 -- Astros (12-3) and Padres (11-4)

• Are the Royals and Devil Rays in the wrong league? Through Wednesday, they were a combined 18-11 against the NL but 41-85 against their own darned league. Which gives them a chance to join a bizarre list of teams that couldn't even play .400 baseball against the league they were in, but played .600 ball against the other league:

2004 Devil Rays -- 15-3 (.833) vs. NL, 55-88 (.385) vs. AL
2004 Brewers -- 8-4 (.667) vs. AL, 59-90 (.396) vs. NL
1999 Marlins -- 11-7 (.611) vs. AL, 53-91 (.369) vs. NL

Since the Royals have a grotesque .274 winning percentage when they play against their own league, they could obliterate the record for worst record by a team that won 60 percent of its interleague games.

Of course, they also could campaign for emergency realignment -- but not much chance they can ram that through.

• Then you have the opposite side of that story. The Cardinals, Reds, Phillies and Diamondbacks all have winning records against their own league. In fact, they're a combined 21 games over .500. But through Wednesday, they were 29 under .500 (13-42) against the other league. Unbe-freaking-lievable.

• The Cardinals just finished careening through an eight-game losing streak against the American League. They haven't lost eight in a row against their own league in 18 years. That's more than 2,600 games ago.

• The Mariners this year became the first team in this era to win their first eight interleague games of any season. Naturally, they haven't won eight straight games against their own league in three years.

• It isn't often that you look up, almost halfway through a season, and find that a starting pitcher who has yet to miss a turn has more wins against the other league than his own. But we have a winner:

Scott Elarton, Kansas City -- 1-7 vs. the AL, 2-2 vs. the NL

Honorable Mention: Taylor Buchholz, Houston -- 2-6 vs. NL, 2-0 vs. AL

• Then there's the flip side to that feat:

Brandon Webb, Ariz: 8-1, 2.06 ERA vs. the NL, 0-2, 7.23 vs. the AL

Amazing.

Useless AL Big-Bopping Pitcher Info
Meanwhile, those Ichiro-esque AL pitchers just keep cranking out notes ...

• At 43, Jamie Moyer drove in a run Saturday. Well, you don't see that much.

He's the first AL pitcher that old to dent the RBI column, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, since Hoyt Wilhelm whacked an RBI single on Aug. 1, 1967. In the past 50 years, the only other pitchers as old as Moyer to knock in a run (any league, any era) were Phil Niekro, Warren Spahn and Charlie Hough.

• Here's a stat you probably never thought you'd read:

AL pitchers: 3 home runs
Twins DHs: 1 home run all season

• No NL team can possibly be a bigger supporter of the DH rule than the Brewers. They've allowed hits to six AL pitchers this year -- Francisco Liriano, C.C. Sabathia, Jake Westbrook, Paul Byrd, Zach Miner and Nate Robertson. (No team has done that since the 2002 Rockies). On the other hand, the Brewers' own DHs had no interleague homers, no runs scored and one RBI heading into the final interleague series of the year.

• Two Tigers pitchers (Kenny Rogers and Miner) and two Royals pitchers (Scott Elarton and Brandon Duckworth) have hit doubles this year. Which makes this the first season in the interleague era that two AL teams have had pitchers make it into the Double Double Club in the same year.

The last time two Tigers pitchers doubled in the same season: Joe Niekro and Chuck Seelbach in 1972.

Last time more than one Royals pitcher doubled in the same season: Bruce Dal Canton, Steve Busby and Monty Montgomery in 1972.

Useless White Sox-Cardinals Info
Not that everything that went on in last week's White Sox-Cardinals series was an interleague-play kind of development. But the amazing notes just kept on coming from that series. Here goes:

• Let's start with ...

The box score line of the half-century: That classic was cranked out by the Cardinals' Jason Marquis in a take-one-for-the-team drubbing June 21 that will live in box score annals for a looongggg time:

5 IP, 14 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 HR, 8 extra-base hits.

Fact of the day: Three other pitchers in the expansion era (1961-2006) once allowed 13 earned runs in a game (Mike Oquist in 1997, David Wells in 1990, Bill Travers in 1977). But no pitcher in the past 60 years, according to Elias, managed to give up at least 13 earned runs, 14 hits and eight extra-base hits in the same game. So this, friends, was one memorable box score line.

• But for the Cardinals, that was just the culmination of one of the messiest sets of back-to-back starting-pitching lines of modern times. Since Mark Mulder, the previous night's starter, had given up nine runs, that made 22 allowed by Cardinals starters in two games. Yep, 22.

In the 46-season expansion era, Elias reports, there had been just two other times when any team's rotation coughed up 22 runs in two games:

1998 Brewers: 11 by Jose Mercedes on May 4, 11 the next day by Paul Wagner.
1977 Brewers: 8 by Jim Slaton in Game 1 of an Aug. 14 doubleheader, 14 (and 18 hits) by the aforementioned Travers in Game 2 of that DH.

• The White Sox scored 20 runs in the first game of that series, scored 13 in the next, then, amazingly, won a 1-0 game in the third. According to Elias, only one other team in history has ever scored 33 or more runs in any two back-to-back games -- then won a 1-0 game the next time it hit the field.

That was the 1994 Twins, who won a 13-5 game over the Yankees, followed by a 21-2 game over the Red Sox, followed by a 1-0 win against the Red Sox (Kevin Tapani over Boston's unforgettable Gar Finnvold), May 18-21.

• But remember, the White Sox also got just one hit in their 1-0 win. So that makes them the only team ever to score 33 runs in two games, then win a 1-0 one-hitter the next. Hard to do, folks.

• That one hit, of course, was a Jim Thome homer. Which made Thome only the seventh player in the past 50 seasons to hit a home run in a nine-inning 1-0 game in which his team got no other hits. The others, according to Retrosheet's Dave Smith:

May 18, 1983: Dan Ford (Orioles) vs. White Sox
July 25, 1992: David Justice (Braves) vs. Pirates
July 27, 1993: Rafael Palmeiro (Rangers) vs. Royals
Aug. 2, 1995: Bobby Bonilla (Orioles) vs. Blue Jays
Sept. 3, 1997: Mike Lansing (Expos) vs. Red Sox
Aug. 23, 2005: Jacque Jones (Twins) vs. White Sox

• Another fascinating aspect of that 1-0 game was caught by loyal reader Chris Trella. Because Cardinals starter Anthony Reyes faced only 26 hitters that night, White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe managed an almost-impossible feat:

He played all nine innings of this game. Yet he went to home plate only twice.

So how tough is that to do? According to Elias, just two other players in the past seven seasons have pulled it off.

One was Tigers catcher Javier Cardona, in an April 14, 2001, game in which Chuck Finley faced only 26 hitters in a 1-0 complete-game loss to Steve Sparks. The other was Curt Schilling, who had done it precisely four days earlier in a game in which he outdueled Kevin Brown, 2-0.

• But as incredible as that 1-0 game was, the first two games of this series might have been more incomprehensible. Start with this: In one stretch, between the third inning June 20 and the third inning June 21, the White Sox came to the plate nine times -- and scored 30 runs. Count 'em, 30.


The last team to do that, according to Elias: the 2000 Orioles, between the second inning of a 23-1 wipeout of Toronto on Sept. 28 and the second inning of a 13-2 squeaker against the Yankees the next night.

• Those 20 runs the White Sox scored also marked just the fourth time a team had put up 20 or more runs against a club from another league. It never has happened in a World Series game. The others were three of the wildest interleague games ever played:

Red Sox 25, Marlins 8, on June 27, 2003
Orioles 22, Braves 1, on June 13, 1999
Yankees 20, Rockies 10, on June 19, 2002

• Finally, it was loyal reader John Temple who had the most inspired take on that 20-run eruption. Since this was a 20-6 game played on 6-20-06, Temple couldn't help but wonder: Has there ever been a later date in any month when the score of a game matched the date?

In retrospect, we sure wish he hadn't asked that question, since we spent way too much theoretically useful time trying to find out. But, through the miracle of retrosheet.org and baseball-reference.com, we went through the entire live-ball era (1920-now).

We found zero other games in that whole time in which a team scored 20-plus runs and the score matched the date. So now we know. Whatever it means.

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your Useless Information to uselessinfodept@yahoo.com.