It's a Contact Sport. During a season in which 14 players had already struck out four times in a game through Sunday, Indian second baseman Carlos Baerga had not fanned once in 96 plate appearances. The longest such streak in the 1990s is 137, by the Padres' Tony Gwynn in '92. Baerga, who was leading the American League in hitting with a .396 average at week's end, has cut down his strikeout rate every year of his career, from fanning once every 5.9 plate appearances in '90 to 8.9 in '91, 9.4 in '92, 10.0 in '93 and 10.4 in '94.
Power Surge. When he failed to knock a ball over the fence on Sunday, rookie outfielder Marty Cordova of the Twins, who had hit a home run in five consecutive games, fell three short of the big league record shared by the Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), the Yankees' Don Mattingly ('87) and the Pirates' Dale Long ('56). The Tigers' Cecil Fielder, the overall home run leader for the 1990s, has never homered in even four consecutive games.
Doughnuts All Around. Who says there's no quality pitching in the majors? On May 16, just 10 days after the record for the highest-scoring day in National League history was tied (118 runs), four shutouts were thrown in that league, by the Cubs, the Mets, the Padres and the Pirates. The last time that happened was on April 26, 1991, when the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Mets and the Padres blanked the opposition.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]