Swinging at air

Washington right-hander Jason Bergmann is having a historically bad season at the plate. He's 0-for-36 with no walks and not even one sacrifice bunt.

"I (stink)," said Bergmann, who is 2-9 with a 4.50 ERA. "Not something I'm proud of. I apologize to my team for putting them in a bad spot. It's hard to hit. I'm not that good at it. I'm just trying to do my best to get better."

Only 10 others have ever gone through a season hitless in at least 36 at-bats, most recently Joey Hamilton's 0-for-40 in 1994. The standard remains Bob Buhl's 0-for-70 with Milwaukee and the Cubs in 1962. All of the 10 on the hitless list had at least one walk, however, so Bergmann could wind up with the most at-bats ever without getting on base.

Who knew he was having a career year when he batted .135 in 2007?

Name tags needed

In their first year without Barry Bonds, the Giants have used 20 rookies, including 15 who hadn't played in the big leagues before.

Pitcher Matt Palmer made his debut last Saturday, making San Francisco the first team to have given 15 players their big-league debuts before September since the 1954 Philadelphia A's. The Giants never had had more than 14 players make their debuts in one season.

Stat of the week

Joe Borowski is tied for the Indians' team lead in saves. With six. After being released a month-and-a-half ago.

Say what?

Three members of baseball's 500 home-run club were removed for pinch-hitters in the same game last Sunday in Oakland: Ken Griffey Jr. (609) and Jim Thome (533) of the White Sox, and Frank Thomas (521) of the Athletics.

Last word

"Guess I should have got the first one down." — Royals infielder Mitch Maier, who had fouled off his first bunt attempt before getting hit in the face with a fastball from Cleveland's Zach Johnson as he squared to bunt.

—Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Daily News

TOP 10

WORLD SERIES EDITION

Record in World Series (last title)

TEAM ... Last week

1. Chicago Cubs ... 1

2-8 (1908)

2. Tampa Bay Rays ... 3

0-0 (never)

3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ... 2

1-1 (2002)

4. Boston Red Sox ... 4

7-4 (2007)

5. Chicago White Sox ... 5

3-2 (2005)

6. Minnesota Twins ... 6

3-3 (1991)

7. Milwaukee Brewers ... 8

0-1 (never)

8. New York Mets ... 9

2-2 (1986)

9. Philadelphia Phillies ... 7

1-4 (1980)

10. New York Yankees ... 10

26-13 (2000)

Aaron Morton

FANTASY TIPS

INJURY REPLACEMENTS

Here are two August injuries and some guys who could provide comparable stats in one or more categories over the short run (and possibly fill in at the same position):

CARL CRAWFORD, RAYS: He tore a tendon in his right hand (Aug. 9) and later had surgery that was likely to end his season. Roll-the-dice replacement: Cesar Izturis, Cardinals. No one is going to give you Crawford's five-category production, but Izturis has established himself as St. Louis' regular shortstop and can help replace Crawford's steals.

TROY PERCIVAL, RAYS: A knee injury he suffered last week put him on the disabled list for the third time this season. Roll-the-dice replacement: Rafael Perez, Indians. Someone has to get save opportunities in the Cleveland bullpen, so why not the reliever who has outperformed everyone else over the last month?

USA Today