Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Red Sox overcome Rangers running wild
By ESPN Stats & Info
Darnell McDonald was the hero for the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night, getting his first career walk-off hit. It helped overcome a franchise-record nine stolen bases by the Texas Rangers. The last time the Red Sox allowed nine stolen bases in a game was October 3, 1913 at Washington.
The game-winner came after he tied the game with a 2-run HR in the 8th inning. The last time a player hit his first career HR as a Red Sox player in the 8th inning or later to tie or put his team ahead was another Red Sox "immortal": Jonathan Van Every, April 29, 2009 vs Indians.
Another player who came up big in a big spot has had significant more hype around him this season: Atlanta's Jason Heyward. He hit a game-tying HR with two outs in the 9th inning to help the Braves send their game vs the Philadelphia Phillies into extras. Atlanta would eventually win on a Nate McLouth walk-off HR.
Heyward now has 16 RBI in his first 13 games. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Heyward's RBI total is tied for the most by any player under the age of 21 in his first 13 career games since 1920.
Most RBI in First 13 Career Games
Under Age 21, Since 1920
2010 Jason Heyward, 16
1939 Ted Williams, 16
2003 Jose Reyes, 12
1958 Orlando Cepeda, 11
Maybe the most impressive starting pitcher in the early-evening slate of games on Tuesday was John Danks.
Danks made batters miss 55 percent of his pitches out of the strike zone were swung at by the Tampa Bay Rays. (The MLB average is 31 percent). Danks threw first-pitch strikes on 71 percent of his plate appearances (MLB average is 58 percent. He wasn't automatic, but he was close. 93 percent of his two-strike counts on Tuesday became outs (MLB average is 72 percent).