Hamilton, Gonzalez setting noteworthy paces

Ah, "pace." So easy to understand, so hard to rely on. Every June, we find players on pace to win 30 games, or to save 60, or to break Earl Webb's long-standing (since 1931) doubles record. And almost every season, we find that it's one thing to hit 35 doubles in the first three months of the season and quite another to hit 70 in six months.

Still, sometimes players do maintain (or even out-pace) their first-half paces and accomplish something historic. Bobby Thigpen did save 57 games in 1990, and Mark McGwire did hit 70 home runs in 1998. So let's not completely discount the possibilities of the following hitters who have put up eye-popping numbers in the first half of this season. …