Caught Looking recaps the most memorable moments and accomplishments from the 2010 season. Here are moments six through ten.

10. Cliff Lee‘s blanking the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS
With the American League Championship Series tied at one game apiece, the Yankees were looking to get a leg up on the Rangers with the series shifting to Yankee Stadium. Cliff Lee had other ideas. Lee was on his own stratosphere when he took the mound for Texas in Game 3 as he fired 8.0 shutout innings with just two hits, one walk while striking out 13 Yankees on the night. The Yankees missed out on acquiring Lee mid-season, and they realized the consequences quickly in that Game 3. The Rangers won by the score of 8-0 to take a 2-games-1 lead, and the Yankees never recovered in the series and were promptly sent home in six games.

9. The National League finally wins an All-Star game.
It only took 14 years and a 12-game winning streak by the American League before the NL finally broke through with a victory in the All-Star game. The NL defeated the AL 3-1 on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to break the amazing AL streak. Braves catcher Brian McCann ripped a three-run double in the seventh inning to give the NL all the runs needed in this one and was named the game’s MVP. The game would feature the AL’s only run as unearned along with some questionable managing by Joe Girardi in the ninth inning.

8. Ken Griffey Jr. announces his retirement
Following two months of the 2010 season, Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement in early June. The man who was destined to break Hank Aaron‘s home run record never reached that accomplishment due to various injuries that derailed Griffey’s career from the premier power hitter he was in the mid-90’s. If you grew up watching baseball in that decade, that’s the guy you wanted to be when you played baseball in the backyard. Despite the injuries, Griffey still played 22 seasons with a total of 630 home runs. He was a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner and will soon be a Hall of Famer.

7. Trevor Hoffman opens the 600 save club
Thanks to some poor pitching to start the season and some poor decision-making by the Brewers coaching staff, it took Trevor Hoffman almost a full season to record nine saves in 2010 to total 600 saves for his career. But he eventually got there. On September 7 against the Cardinals, Hoffman finally had the opportunity to close the door again and tossed a scoreless ninth inning to become the first closer with 600 career saves. It’s a terrific accomplishment that was sort of overshadowed by the Brewers decision to not allow Hoffman to sniff a save chance for the majority of the season after some blown saves earlier in 2010 despite the Brewers being out of contention long before September. At any rate, Hoffman will be remembered for his stellar career and being the first to the 600-save club.

6. A-Rod hits home run No. 600, Ichiro’s and Pujols milestone
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez went into a little home run drought (12 games) between number 599 and 600, but he eventually joined the 600-home run club with a blast off of Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum on August 4 in Yankee Stadium.

The hit machine Ichiro Suzuki continued to pile up his list of accomplishments as he became the first player to record 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons in 2010. Like A-Rod, Ichiro’s milestone also came against Toronto with a single on September 23.

A-Rod hit home run number 600, but one day he will be joined in that club by Albert Pujols. Pujols hit his 30th home run of the season on August 15 against the Cubs to become the first player to record 10 straight seasons of 30 or more home runs to start a career. Yep, that’s more than Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Barry Bonds…OK, you get the picture—Pujols stands alone in this category. He later hit his 400th career home run in the season.


Overshadowed last night by the near perfect game was the story of Ken Griffey Jr. announcing his retirement at the age of 40.

Greatest baseball game ever

Griffey (baseball-reference stats) played a total of 22 seasons and you almost forget the kind of hitter he was coming up with the Mariners. He was the premier power hitter in his time, averaging more than 50 home runs for four season from 1996 to 1999 that made many believe he would be the guy to surpass Hank Aaron as home run king. Of course the way it played out was Griffey was dealt to Cincinnati, where he never found the success he had in Seattle and Barry Bonds eventually became the guy to break the home run record. You can’t think about Griffey’s career without mentioning the numerous freak injuries with the Reds that derailed his chance at Aaron’s record. I always remember the “here-we-go-again” moment with the Reds when Griffey injured his leg rounded third base and missed the majority of the season.

Still, Griffey’s Hall of Fame career was nothing short of amazing. Despite the injuries and missed a significant part of three seasons in the 2000’s, he slugged 630 homers in 22 seasons with a career .284 average. He was a 13-time all-star and a 10-time gold glove winner. His plaque will soon stand at Cooperstown.

Griffey was also part of the 1995 Mariners team that helped revitalize baseball in Seattle with their one-game playoff win over the Angels and first-round victory of the Yankees. My best memory of Griffey will be him flying around the bases to score on Edgar Martinez’s game-winning hit in the 12th inning of game 5 to clinch the series for Seattle.

Growing up in the 90s, he was the hitter you wanted to be. He was the player kids emulated when they were hitting in their backyard or in little league. Who can forget about his baseball game, Ken Griffey Jr. baseball, for super Nintendo? The game was fantastic that I still fire up from time to time, and it still opens up with an intro of Griffey’s classic home run swing.

A lot of people were critical of the Mariners bringing Griffey back to Seattle in the past two seasons as a cheap way to sell tickets. Who cares if that’s why they did it. I liked the idea that he was able to live out the end of his career in the only city that has called him their own and create a couple of lasting moments. Yes, he was actually from Cincinnati, but in my book he was never a Red and does anyone remember he was a White Sox? He was—for a half season in 2008 before returning to Seattle.

Griffey is a Seattle Mariner and will go into the Hall as one. The game is losing one of its greatest hitters of all-time.

It doesn’t look like 2010 will be a great season for milestones throughout Major League Baseball. We’ve been treated to some good moments the past couple seasons as some sluggers knocked their 500th home runs while Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th bomb. This season might be lacking of such milestones besides a couple ones by A-Rod and Trevor Hoffman. Let’s take a look at possible achievements that could be reached this year…

600 home run club: Griffey launched his 600th home run in 2008 becoming just the sixth member of this prestigious group. This season Alex Rodriguez looks to become the seventh member of this group. A-Rod sits just 17 homers shy of 600 and barring injury, he should easily eclipsed that number and more in 2010.

Newly-signed Minnesota Twin Jim Thome is also in striking distance of the 600 plateau, but he would need an incredible rebound season late in his career of 46 homers. I guess if he stays healthy and Target Field ends up being a launching pad similar to what Yankee Stadium did with the winds, Thome might have end up having a shot. But most likely, he’ll need to stick around for another season to hit the mark. Manny Ramirez is also in the ballpark, but needs 54 this season in the pitchers haven known as Dodger Stadium.

And since we’re on big home run totals, Albert Pujols needs 34 jacks for 400 career homers as he continues to pave his way as the most dominant hitter in the game today.

600 saves and counting: Trevor Hoffman is ready to add to his legacy this season. He already holds the lead for most saves all-time, but the 42-year-old closer is only nine saves away from being the only closer to save 600 games. Whoa. Hoffman is also still pitching effectively and closing games for the Brewers, so he should have no problem hitting 600 saves and more.

The 300-win club: Randy Johnson winning his 300th game might be the last pitcher we see do that for a long time. The closest active pitcher to 300 is the fossil Jamie Moyer with 258. Moyer is 46 years old, so I doubt he will have enough to get to 300, but then again the guy continues to ignore retirement and keep pitching. After Moyer, it gets interesting…Andy Pettitte has 229, he won’t get there. Pedro Martinez has 219 wins, but he doesn’t pitch full seasons anymore. Tim Wakefield has 189 wins…hey, maybe that knuckleball arm can hold up for another 15 years. It looks like the next best chance to get there is down around 150 wins, which includes Roy Halladay (148), Javier Vazquez (142), Roy Oswalt (137) and C.C. Sabathia (136). Sabathia’s age makes him the likely candidate to be the next 300-game winner, but nothing is a given. Either way, 2010 won’t feature a 300-game winner and don’t look for another one until some time down the road.

Hit Parade: No chance for any 3,000 hitters during the 2010 season unless some team lost its mind and signs Barry Bonds. Though we have a couple chances at 2,500 hits. Johnny Damon needs 75 hits for the big 2,500, and Chipper Jones needs a little more with 94 hits. Damon and Chipper should hit these totals, but no one is close to 3,000 hits this season (Griffey the closest with 2,763 hits).