Five Astounding Facts of the Week
May, 24, 2012
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com
1 On Monday, Chris Davis homered against the Red Sox. Fifteen days earlier, he had been the winning pitcher in a game against the Red Sox. That made him just the second position player since World War II to hit a home run AND win a game on the mound against the same team in the same year. The other: Rocky Colavito, who beat the Tigers as a pitcher in the first game of an Aug. 25, 1968, doubleheader, then homered against them in Game 2.
When Dan Haren ripped off his first-ever 14-strikeout game Thursday, it made him and Jered Weaver the fourth set of current teammates who have each struck out at least 14 in a game. (Weaver whiffed 15 Blue Jays in April, 2011.) One of those sets, not so shockingly, is Max Scherzer (who just punched out 15 Pirates last Sunday) and Justin Verlander (14) of the Tigers. Another is the Pirates' Erik Bedard (15) and A.J. Burnett (14) -- although neither did it as a Pirate. The other set consists of three Phillies starters (Cliff Lee 16, Cole Hamels 15, Roy Halladay 14). But other than Haren and Weaver, only Scherzer/Verlander and Lee/Halladay pulled this off WHILE they were teammates.
3 Jamie Moyer Note of the Week -- Part 1: The legendary Baltimore baseball writer Jim Henneman checked in to report that when Giancarlo Stanton whomped a mammoth grand slam off Moyer on Monday in Miami, it was the 43rd park in which Moyer had allowed a gopherball. Not surprisingly, according to the Sultan of Swat Stats, David Vincent, Moyer already held that record. Here's your leaderboard:
Jamie Moyer, 43 parks
Randy Johnson, 41
Pedro Martinez, 41
Javier Vazquez, 41
4 Jamie Moyer Note of the Week -- Part 2: But that Stanton slam was even more historic for other reasons. It was the biggest age gap between a pitcher and a hitter who homered off him. Stanton was 22 years, 195 days old when he let it fly. Moyer was 49 years, 185 days old when he served it up. And if you're not calculating along at home, that made for a difference of 26 years, 355 days. The largest previous gaps, according to the Sultan:
Biggest grand-slam gap -- 21 years, 223 months: Boog Powell (age 21 years, 4 days) off Early Wynn (42 years, 227 days) on Aug. 21, 1962.
Biggest gap on any homer -- 26 years, 188 days: Ruben Sierra (20 years, 280 days) off Phil Niekro (47 years, 103 days) on July 13, 1986.
5 Tigers rookie Quintin Berry did something Wednesday you might never see again. The first hit of his career was (ready?) a BUNT DOUBLE. He lofted it over a charging first baseman (Casey Kotchman), past a scrambling second baseman (Jason Kipnis) and into right field for the goofiest double of the year. With the help of the Elias Sports Bureau and Baseball-Reference.com, we've determined: (A) It's the first bunt double by anybody since Oakland's Cliff Pennington got one April 8, 2010; (B) it's the 18th bunt double in the big leagues since 1988; and (C) it's the first by any hitter in all those years that went for his first major league hit. It's a good bet that nobody in history ever got hit No. 1 like that. But we can't verify that. If you can, drop us a note at email@example.com, or tweet it at us, at @jaysonst. As always, operators are standing by.