Kernels: Football numbers highly frequent


It's mid-August, which means football season is closing in rapidly. Perhaps that explains all the 7's and 14's we found in our weekly look at MLB's interesting and unusual happenings.

Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates to earn his 14th win on Thursday. The strikeouts were a season high for Tigers pitchers and the second such game of Scherzer's career. He struck out 14 batters and allowed no runs in a 2010 game with Oakland, but threw only 5T in that affair. He's the first Tiger to throw eight innings, allow three hits or less, and strike out 14, since Mickey Lolich won a 1-0 game with the Milwaukee Brewers on August 23, 1970.

Speaking of the Brewers, Mike Fiers did his best Max Scherzer impression later on Thursday, also striking out 14 in only six innings against the Chicago Cubs. It was the fourth 14-strikeout game in Brewers history (Yovani Gallardo had one in 2012), and the first where a pitcher allowed zero runs.

As for two zero-run, 14-strikeout games on the same day, that hadn't happened since May 25, 2001, when Kerry Wood threw a one-hitter for the Cubs against the Brewers, and Boston's Hideo Nomo was separated from a perfect game against the Blue Jays only by a Shannon Stewart fourth-inning double.

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* The Texas Rangers won their game on Tuesday when Adam Rosales drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 14th. By inning, it was the latest "walk"-off in franchise history, and the latest in the majors since Mike Cameron drew one for the Marlins (scoring Emilio Bonifacio) on September 4, 2011.

• The San Francisco Giants benefited from a controversial replay call and went on to score seven runs in the seventh on Wednesday. It was their highest-scoring inning at home since Game 2 of the 2010 World Series, and their highest in the regular season at AT&T Park since September 7, 2008, when they hung a 10-spot on the Pirates.

The Boston Red Sox had their first seven-run inning of the season as part of Thursday's win, creating a string of four straight days with a seven-run inning (the Mariners on Monday and Angels on Tuesday both put up seven-run sixths). It's the first such string of four consecutive days since August 20 through 23, 2011.

• The Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians played 21 innings of doubleheader on Wednesday after Tuesday's contest was washed out. Game 1 featured a walk-off homer by Zach Walters, the Indians' second walk-off homer in a doubleheader in the past 25 years. Shin-Soo Choo had the other in 2011.

The nightcap went 11 scoreless innings before Tuffy Gosewisch's RBI single in the top of the 12th stood up for a 1-0 win. It's the first 1-0 extra-inning game to occur as part of a doubleheader since September 26, 1998, when the Marlins walked off against the Phillies in the 13th on an Alex Gonzalez homer.

Arizona reliever Randall Delgado gave up Walters' walk-off but then was the pitcher of record in the second game when the Diamondbacks scored in the 12th. He's the first pitcher to get a win and a loss in the same day since the Phillies' Geoff Geary split a doubleheader with Atlanta on September 3, 2006.

• From the "touchdown-plus-field-goal" department, Rangers starter Colby Lewis worked six innings in Saturday's game against the Angels. Although he gave up 10 hits and five runs, his pitching line also had the quirk of featuring 10 strikeouts. He's the eighth pitcher in franchise history to allow 10 hits and record 10 strikeouts, and the first in over two decades. Roger Pavlik held the Red Sox to two runs on 10 hits in an eight-inning win on August 24, 1993.

• Minor-League Minute: Perhaps you've seen the play that left Twins top prospect Byron Buxton with a concussion (but amazingly nothing worse) earlier this week. The right fielder manages to hang onto the ball despite being shaken up. Pay close attention after the collision, though. There's a runner on first. In the wide shot you can see that he comes all the way around and scores.

Yes, it's a three-base sacrifice fly. While it may have happened in the minors, since sacrifice flies were first tracked separately in 1954, there is no known instance of a major-league player ever scoring from first base on a sac fly with no error.