Friday, April 15, 2011
Looking back: Bobby Witt's wild game
By Richard Durrett
NEW YORK -- Mark Simon, of ESPN Stats & Information, is looking back at some of the interesting elements of the 1986 season now that we're 25 years removed from it. Today, he recounts a Bobby Witt start in which he was all over the map, yet no-hit the Brewers through five innings. Part of Simon's post:
Those of us who like goofy and unusual box score lines owe a debt of gratitude to former Texas Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt.
Click here and read the rest of it. It's very interesting.
Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of a remarkable and bizarre pitching performance by Witt, who was making his second career major league start, against the Milwaukee Brewers, whose lineup included future Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.
Witt threw five innings of no-hit ball, but this was not your typical no-hit bid.
In those five innings, Witt’s pitches were literally all over the place. He struck out 10, walked eight, and threw four wild pitches. He allowed two runs.
Baseball-Reference.com has box scores of games dating back to 1920 and lists 73 games in which a pitcher struck out at least 10 and walked at least eight. Nolan Ryan, ridiculously wild in his prime, owns 14 of them.
Witt is tied with Hall of Famer Bob Feller and Herb Score for second-most, with four. He was pulled from this one mainly because his manager was fearful that this could end up being a 200-pitch start. The Rangers bullpen would end up yielding five hits for the game in a bizarre 7-5 Rangers win, before 5,800 in Milwaukee.
"I wasn’t going to finesse you," Witt said with a laugh during a break from his current job, as an agent for Octagon Sports, where he represents pitchers Scott Baker and Yovani Gallardo. "My thought process was to go out there and let it go. At 100 pitches, I was just getting loose."