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The Numbers: Wells and Gonzalez are conquering a lot of bases

Big League Stew

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Each week, Big League Stew stat doctor Alex Remington will bring you a few baseball numbers you need to know.

The major league-leading total of extra-base hits by Toronto Blue Jays teammates Vernon Wells(notes) and Alex Gonzalez, tying them with Jayson Werth(notes) of the Phillies. They're on pace for more than 100 extra-base hits, which has only been achieved 15 times in history, and no one has done so since Todd Helton(notes), Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa(notes) and Barry Bonds(notes) all did it in 2001. If they keep up the pace, they would be the first teammates to finish with more than 80 extra-base hits since Ryan Ludwick(notes) and Albert Pujols(notes) in 2008, and the first AL teammates since Curtis Granderson(notes) and Magglio Ordonez(notes) on the 2007 Tigers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' major league-worst run differential. They have scored only 113 runs, fifth-worst in baseball, and allowed 195 runs, the most in baseball. Their run differential is more than 20 runs worse than the second-worst team (the Astros) and 30 runs worse than the third-worst Orioles. The Pirates' 14-16 record belies how bad they've been, and it's largely an artifact of their 6-2 record in one-run games, second in all of baseball.

The best run differential in baseball, belonging to the Tampa Bay Rays. They're in first place in the AL East, and they're a fitting comparison for the Pirates. Even after being on the wrong side of a perfect game, the Rays truly are as good as the Pirates are terrible.

The number of weeks in a row that this column has been able to note that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier(notes) leads the NL in all three Triple Crown categories: Batting average (.383), home runs (10) and RBIs (32). As Mel Allen would say, "How about that"?

The extra-innings record of the Cincinnati Reds. Closer Francisco Cordero(notes) has been dependable (second in the majors with 10 saves), and BLS favorite Danny Herrera and the ageless Arthur Rhodes(notes) both have ERAs under 2.00. The Reds are 16-15 and second in the NL Central, despite a poor run differential of -21. Their record in extra-innings games is the only thing separating the 16-15 Reds from a losing record.

The extra-innings record of the Boston Red Sox. Unlike the Reds, the Sox have played six games into extra innings — most in the majors — and lost all but one. The 16-16 Sox would be above .500 if not for all those extra-inning games. The longer a game goes, the more exposed a bullpen gets, so the spotlight is on Hideki Okajima(notes) (5.79 ERA), Ramon Ramirez(notes) (5.93 ERA) and Scott Schoeneweis(notes) (8.76 ERA). The Sox have plenty of talent, but they've been letting too many games slip through their fingers.

Tyler Clippard's(notes) major league-leading blown saves total for the Washington Nationals. Clippard has, remarkably, logged a blown save and a win in each of his last three appearances, despite only giving up a run in one of them. The former Yankee is now 6-0 with seven holds and a 0.76 ERA, but 55.6 percent of the runners he has inherited have gone on to score. (The major league average is 32 percent). Clippard may end up with gaudy stats, but they'll be kind of empty if he doesn't improve that inherited-runner rate.

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