Kernels: A week of fine lines

June, 29, 2014
6/29/14
8:34
PM ET
Our weekly look at the interesting and unusual in major-league baseball brings you a little quiz. All of these hitting or pitching lines happened this week. See if you can guess who had them.

A. 1-for-1, GS, 2 BB, 2 HBP
B. SHO, 1 hit, 0 BB, 11 K
C. 1-for-1, 2B, SH, run (hint: major-league debut)
D. 0-for-7, RBI
E. 7 IP, 13 K, no decision
F. 7 IP, 0 R, 0 BB (another debut)
G. 0-for-2, 4 runs
H. 9-for-14, 2 BB, 4 runs


A. Devin Mesoraco of the Cincinnati Reds had only one at-bat in Monday's win, but it was a ninth-inning grand slam to beat the Chicago Cubs. In his first four plate appearances he drew two walks and was hit twice.

He's the first player in at least 100 years with a home run, two walks, and two hit by pitches in a game. It was 61 years to the day since any player had a grand slam and two hit by pitches (never mind the walks). Another catcher, Del Rice of the St. Louis Cardinals, did it on June 23, 1953, in a 15-8 win over the Giants.



B. Josh Tomlin twirled this gem for the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. The Seattle Mariners' lone hit was a fifth-inning single by Kyle Seager.

Only one other pitcher in Indians history had thrown a one-hit shutout with no walks and double-digit strikeouts: Len Barker, in his perfect game on May 15, 1981.


C. One more hint: The hitter in question is a pitcher.

It's Marco Gonzales of the Cardinals, who made his debut on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. The last Cardinal pitcher with an extra-base hit and a run scored in his debut was John Stuper, who tripled against the Giants on June 1, 1982.

The last pitcher with an extra-base hit, a run, and a sacrifice in his debut (for any team): Earl Caldwell of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1928.


D. This is Jayson Werth's ledger from Tuesday's 16-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. His first-inning groundout gave rise to the RBI, he's the first player this year, and the third in franchise history, to go 0-for-at-least-7 and still drive in a run. The others were Ryan Zimmerman in 2008 and Al Oliver in 1983.

Danny Espinosa also went 0-for-7, making them the first Washington Nationals to both go 0-for-at-least-7 in the same game. Otis Nixon and Herm Winningham were the last pair of Expos to do it, against the Braves on July 2, 1988.


E. Max Scherzer allowed two early runs Saturday, but was bailed out by Ian Kinsler's homer in the ninth. Scherzer is the first Detroit Tigers pitcher to work 7+ innings, strike out 13+, and not win the game, in over four decades. Mickey Lolich had their previous five such games, the last being July 31, 1971, in a 12-inning complete-game loss to the Angels.


F. This line is the pitching debut of the Padres' Odrisamer Despaigne on Monday. It's the first scoreless debut to last at least seven innings in the majors this year; no pitcher had it done for the Padres since Ricky Bones pulled it off on August 11, 1991.

Despaigne also worked those seven scoreless innings without issuing a walk, something only one other pitcher (Scott Lewis of the Indians in 2008) had done in 25 years. And Despaigne was just the second pitcher in Padres history with a run-free, walk-free debut lasting at least seven innings. Jimmy Jones threw a one-hitter against the Astros (the one hit was a triple by opposing pitcher Bob Knepper) on September 21, 1986.


G. Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves drew three walks on Saturday to set up this line. Although Brett Gardner also scored four runs on zero hits earlier this year, only nine players have done it in the past 35 years, and Freeman is the first Braves hitter with that line in the live-ball era.


H. Trick question. These are the combined lines of Ender Inciarte and Gerardo Parra in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 14-inning win on Tuesday. They are the first one-two hitters to each have four hits and a walk since Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes did it for the Rockies on July 4, 2008.

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