Hits in a Season (263)This record doesn’t have as much glitz as the home run title, but it does bear testament to a player’s willingness to grind away, game after game and even pitch after pitch to reach base safely. When Pete Rose was chasing the base hit record that had stood since Ty Cobb ran the bases, his methodical chipping away of the huge numbers, day after day, brought the attention of the entire nation. While his reputation was later marred by his betting scandal, there’s no denying the allure of watching the Hit King at work.
One of the most likely candidates to break this record is Houston’s Jose Altuve. One of the young exciting players in the league, he has a knack for knocking the ball where no one can catch it in the air. Ichiro Suzuki, still an active player, holds the record, but at his age he’s not as likely to make a run at it.
Season ERA (1.11)The Texas Rangers’ Nick Martinez still has an ERA below 1.00 into the middle of May, but other teams are showing signs of figuring out his tendency to throw those first-pitch fastballs. Pinpoint control such as his is masterful, but many think that his stuff isn’t dominant enough to mow down hitters once he starts going through the league a second or third time.
Back in 1968, when Bob Gibson set this mark, the pitching mound was higher than it is now, giving pitchers a bit of an advantage. Before the modern era, when the ball didn’t travel as well, the record was 0.86, set by Tim Keefe way back in 1880, throwing for the Troy Trojans. However, here’s how Gibson’s season looked: 34 starts, 26 complete games. He permitted zero earned runs in 15 starts; 1 earned run in 9 starts; 2 earned runs in 3 starts; 3 earned runs in 5 starts; 4 earned runs in 2 starts. That’s it. There weren’t any blowups where he surrendered seven or eight runs. That’s what it takes to keep your ERA that low. Even with Clayton Kershaw’s brilliant 2014 campaign, he would have had to throw 115 more scoreless innings to get his ERA below Gibson’s.
FINAL: Rangers win 2-1 over the Rays! pic.twitter.com/SVZ5DNjf0y— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) May 10, 2015