To bring you our weekly looks at baseball's interesting and unusual stats, we comb through every boxscore and usually research much more than can fit in this space. With four days off this week, we decided to give a second chance to some previous Kernels that didn't quite make the cut when they first happened.
April 2: Gio Gonzalez hit his third career homer, giving him one in each of the past three seasons. His homers remain the last three by Washington Nationals pitchers, and he's halfway to the franchise record of Steve Renko (1969-75).
Livan Hernandez homered in three straight seasons, but two were when the team was in Montreal. Similarly, Pedro Ramos homered in 1959 and 1960 for the Senators, but their move meant his homer in 1961 was for Minnesota. The last pitcher to homer in three straight seasons, all in a "Washington" uniform, is Walter Johnson from 1925-27.
These Did Happen This Weekend
April 24: Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Carp pitched the ninth inning of a blowout against the New York Yankees. He didn't allow a hit, mainly because less than one-third of his pitches were in the strike zone. Instead he walked five batters, but thanks to a double play, escaped the inning with only one run.
He became the first Sox "reliever" to issue five walks in the same inning since Dean Stone did it on July 14, 1957. He's the first pitcher for any team to work only one inning, start-to-finish, walk five, and give up just one run, since at least 1921.
May 4: Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians threw another gem, working eight innings with one run, 13 strikeouts... and a no-decision. John Axford allowed three runs in the ninth and the Indians lost.
That made Kluber the first Cleveland pitcher to go eight-plus, strike out 13, allow no more than one run, and not get a win since Sam McDowell hurled an 11-inning complete game against Oakland on June 13, 1968. He lost 1-0 on a Sal Bando RBI double.
May 5: Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley walked four batters, scoring a run, before getting ejected arguing balls and strikes. Matt Thornton came in, faced one batter, and issued a bases-loaded walk. Preston Claiborne issued another before ending the inning. With all the runs charged to Kelley, he became the first Yankee reliever to allow three earned runs on zero hits since Ryne Duren did it in August 1960.
Yankee pitchers hadn't issued six walks in an inning since 1990. Only once before had the Angels drawn six walks in an inning: July 4, 1979, in a 10-run frame against the Oakland Athletics.
May 26: Clay Buchholz issued eight walks and recorded just nine outs against the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox later got him off the hook, making Buchholz the team's first pitcher in 90 years to walk eight-plus in three innings and not lose the game.
"Lefty" O'Doul did it against Cleveland on July 7, 1923. After starter Curt Fullerton allowed eight runs, Lefty was summoned to pitch innings 4-6. He allowed (really!) 11 hits and eight walks... and sixteen of those runners scored. The Indians won 27-3, and thanks to several errors, 13 of Lefty's runs were unearned! His line of 16 R (3 ER) is still the most lopsided earned/unearned tally ever.
June 10: The Baltimore Orioles managed just two hits, with them coming from number-nine hitter Ryan Flaherty and a pinch hitter. Their first eight starters all went 0-for-the-game. Excluding the obvious situation of completely getting no-hit, it's the first time that's happened to the Orioles since September 30, 1988, against Toronto, when pinch hitter Jim Traber recorded their only hit with two outs in the ninth. Yes, that's the second of Dave Stieb's famous back-to-back lost no-hitters.
July 4: Christian Colon, Brian Roberts, and Andrew McCutchen all collected a triple and two doubles (Roberts had three) in their respective games. We touched on two of them here. But the last time three players did it on the same day? September 14, 1935! Rookie Ival Goodman of the Reds-- who led the NL in triples that season-- joined future Hall of Famers Earl Averill (Indians) and Freddie Lindstrom (Cubs) with that line.
July 11: Dan Johnson's line for the Toronto Blue Jays: 0-for-0, four walks, three runs scored. Four players this year have played an entire game with no at-bats, but Johnson was the first Jay ever to score three times in a game where he had zero at-bats.
For extra fun, it was Johnson's first game of the year; he had spent the season in triple-A until Edwin Encarnacion went on the disabled list.
Several dozen players have left their first game of a year due to injuries or substitutions, but Johnson is the first non-pitcher whose season debut was a complete-game 0-for-0 since April 17, 1934. Catcher Paul Richards drew three walks and hit one sacrifice for the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.