Around the horn: Cole Hamels joins good company in 2,000-strikeout club

Texas’ Cole Hamels became the seventh active pitcher to surpass 2,000 strikeouts. Can you name the other six? Answer at end of these notes…. The Chicago Cubs are 104-44 since last season’s All-Star break (through Thursday’s games)….

Acquired from San Diego to boost the rotation, James Shields had an ERA of 16.71 in his first two starts with the Chicago White Sox…. Max Scherzer of Washington struck out 11 Cubs on Monday, the 30th time he has struck out 10 or more in a game since the start of the 2013 season. Only Clayton Kershaw has done it more often (33)….

Joe Nathan, signed by the Cubs earlier this season, on his role with the team when he returns from elbow ligament replacement surgery next month: “I basically told [GM Theo Epstein] I know how good your ballclub is with or without me. If you need me to throw in the sixth inning, seventh inning, I’m here for you. Whatever you want.”… 

Ichiro Suzuki is 20 hits away from 3,000 in his major league career. Which active player is the next closest to 3,000? Former Dodger and now Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, with 2,831 hits….

According to mlbtraderumors.com, the top five candidates to be traded before the deadline are: catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, outfielder Jay Bruce of Cincinnati, third baseman Danny Valencia of Oakland and reliever Arodys Vizcaino of Atlanta….

Six pitchers have started 9-1 or 10-0 this season, only the fourth time that has happened. The other three seasons: 1884, 1995 and 2008…. Miami reliever Kyle Barraclough leads all MLB pitchers (minimum 25 innings) with a 16.9 K/9 rate. Who has the worst BB/9 rate? Barraclough (7.2). Only one pitcher has ever led the league in both at the end of the season: Cubs pitcher Carlos Marmol in 2010….

The St. Louis Cardinals are playing recently demoted second baseman Kolten Wong in center field in the minors. “That’s kind of what our club is all about right now, being able to play multiple positions and give yourself a chance to help us in ways you may not see as obvious,”  Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny told mlb.com…. 

Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman has hit eight home runs at home this season. The rest of the Braves have combined for eight home runs at home….  Answer: CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez, Jake Peavy, John Lackey and Justin Verlander.

--Houston Mitchell

DODGERS NEXT

vs. Washington: Monday, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m. 

Bryce Harper is the third-most productive hitter for Washington, behind Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos (based on OPS+).

at Pittsburgh: Friday, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.

ANGELS NEXT

at Houston: Monday, 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.

Astros’ Dallas Keuchel: 2.48 ERA last year, second to David Price in AL; 5.32 this year, barely in the top 100.

vs. Oakland: Thursday 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

MLB SERIES OF THE WEEK

St. Louis at Seattle

Friday through Sunday

The team that represents the self-proclaimed “Best Fans in Baseball” against the team with perhaps the most frustrated fans in baseball, with each team in position for a wild-card berth. The Mariners have the longest postseason drought in the majors, with their last playoff trip in 2001. The Cardinals have been in the playoffs 10 times since then, with four trips to the World Series. The Mariners are 40 years old, with zero trips to the World Series.

MLB CHATTER

Tweets of the week from around MLB:

“Well, if Madbum and @JArrieta34 want in on this #homerunderby...I might as well throw my name in the hat! #5:00hero #laser-show”

Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50), St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, lobbying to join the GiantsMadison Bumgarner and the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta in a home run derby for pitchers at the All-Star Game.

::

“Man..can’t put it in words. you will def be missed Minnesota. 

RIP Kirby!!”

David Ortiz (@davidortiz), Boston Red Sox designated hitter, on his final career visit to Minnesota. Ortiz made his major league debut with the Twins in 1997, one year after Kirby Puckett retired.

--Bill Shaikin

houston.mitchell@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimeshouston

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