Alas, a Carlos redux
The CC Sabathia pitch which yesterday ended Carlos Pena’s season is unfortunate for many reasons.
There goes the Rays’ big gun at about the time they’ve lost all hope. There goes Pena’s shot at leading the AL in homers.
And there goes one of the funkiest offensive seasons on record. You knew Nickel would have its own perspective.
Too bad Carlos didn’t get to stick around to hit a 40th homer. He would have become the first in MLB history to have 40 with as few total hits and as low a batting average.
As it is, Pena’s 39 homers (among 102 hits) has been rivaled only once, and that came with an asterisk. In 1995, Mark McGwire had 39 homers and only 48 other hits. But that came in one of his final injury-plagued seasons in Oakland, and McGwire played only 104 games and did hit .274.
Pena winds up with a .227 average — and 100 RBIs. Could be the lowest average ever for a 100 RBI guy. Dave Kingman batted .204 in 1982, but he stopped at 99 RBIs along with 37 homers.
By the way, lightning apparently can strike the AL homer leader twice, as long as his name is Carlos.
A year ago, Carlos Quentin led the league with 36 homers when a fractured wrist ended his season and allowed Miguel Cabrera to barely edge him for the home-run crown.