Kernels of Wisdom: Week in review
July, 14, 2012
By Doug Kern, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
- The Brewers -- at least temporarily -- have a one-man rotation. Zack Greinke got ejected last Saturday after just four pitches, becoming the first pitcher to get tossed before recording an out since John Lackey's infamous return from the disabled list on May 16, 2009 (when his second pitch hit Ian Kinsler). Ron Roenicke decided to start Greinke again on Sunday; Greinke threw 66 pitches in three innings, but the Brewers won in extras.Then came the All-Star break. Greinke started again for the Brewers on Friday against Pittsburgh. According to Elias, he's the first pitcher to start three consecutive team games since Cleveland's Sam McDowell concluded the 1965 season, started the 1966 opener, and then, thanks to a rainout and travel days, also started the second game of the '66 campaign four days later.The last pitcher to start three straight games in the same season? That would be Red Faber of the Chicago White Sox, who started both games of a doubleheader against Detroit on Sept. 3, 1917, and then started the next day in St. Louis as well.
- Twins starter Francisco Liriano managed to strike out 15 hitters on Friday … and lose, thanks mainly to a Jonny Gomes grand slam. Liriano joins Chris Sale (May 28) and Max Scherzer (May 20) as the only pitchers this year to even record 15 strikeouts in a game, and he's the first Twin to reach that mark since Johan Santana's 17-strikeout game in August 2007. But he's the first Minnesota (or Washington) pitcher in the live-ball era to strike out 15-plus in a game and lose. Only one other pitcher has done it in the past six years: Cliff Lee against the Braves last May.And according to Elias, Liriano is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to strike out 15 and allow a grand slam in the same game.
- Mark Teixeira hit two homers on Friday night and drove in five of the Yankees' six runs in their comeback win over the Angels. It is already Tex's third game this year with multiple homers and at least five RBIs. Carlos Beltran is the only other player with more than one.The last player to have three such games in a season was Jose Bautista in his 54-homer season two years ago. The last Yankee with three was Jason Giambi back in 2006. And if Teixeira does it again, he'd be just the third Yankee ever to have four such games in a season, joining Graig Nettles in 1976 and Babe Ruth in 1932.
- Alfonso Soriano had to wait three and a half hours for Friday's game to begin, but he took out his frustration on some baseballs. Soriano slugged two homers and two doubles as the Cubs beat Arizona 8-1. He's the first player this season to have multiple homers and multiple two-baggers in a game. The last Cubs hitter to do it was Aramis Ramirez in 2007. But throw on Soriano's five RBIs, and it's a first in franchise history. No Cub has ever had two-plus home runs, two-plus doubles, and five-plus RBIs in a game since the latter became official in 1920. Only one Chicagoan has ever done it; that was Robin Ventura for the White Sox against Milwaukee on July 19, 1991.
- A Travis Hafner home run in the second inning Friday provided all the scoring in Cleveland's 1-0 victory over Toronto. It's the first time the Indians have won a 1-0 game on a solo homer since July 25, 2007, in Boston (Franklin Gutierrez). And in hitter-friendly Canada, it's the first time the Blue Jays have lost a 1-0 game on a solo homer at Rogers Centre since Aug. 11, 2002 (Anaheim's David Eckstein).
Jesse Johnson/US PresswireThe Twins' Francisco Liriano made one costly mistake during his 15-strikeout effort on Friday.