Saturday, April 28, 2012
Kernels of Wisdom: Week in review
By Doug Kern, ESPN Stats & Information
- Jordan Zimmermann (second inning) and Tom Gorzelanny (seventh) each had RBI singles for the Nationals in Wednesday's win at San Diego. They were the first team since Aug. 22, 2008 to have two pitchers with an RBI in the same game. The Cardinals (Adam Wainwright, Joel Pineiro) did it that day, in an 18-3 thumping of Atlanta.
The franchise hadn't done it since July 22, 2000, when Mike Johnson and Felipe Lira both drove in runs in a 17-7 Montréal win at Florida.
- Yoenis Cespedes' two-run homer in the bottom of the 14th Wednesday against the White Sox tied the score at 4 after Chicago had plated two in the top of the 14th. The A's went on to walk off with the win later in the inning. Cespedes became the first player with a multi-run homer that tied the game in extras (not a walk-off) since then-Pirate Adam LaRoche did it on April 9, 2008, against the Cubs' Kevin Hart. That dinger was also in the 14th, and was also a two-run shot to tie the game at 4.Since the franchise left Philadelphia after the 1954 season, only one other Athletics player had hit such a homer: Longtime Cardinal pitching coach Dave Duncan hit a two-run shot in the 13th on Sept. 19, 1972. That game was also against the White Sox, who eventually scored another run in the 15th to win the game.
- The Giants' Nate Schierholtz pulled off a rare feat on Monday. In the rain-induced doubleheader at Citi Field, he had a triple in the seventh inning of Game 1, followed by another triple in his first at-bat in Game 2. Austin Jackson of the Tigers (July 25, 2010) was the last player to have triples in both halves of a doubleheader. But the last Giant to do it was journeyman outfielder Von Joshua, who recorded a triple in both games against the Pirates on July 20, 1975.Schierholtz not only tripled in each game, he added a three-run homer in the third inning of Game 1. No major leaguer has tripled in both games of a DH and also had a home run in either game since Red Sox all-star Tony Armas did it in a sweep of the Indians on Sept. 7, 1985.
- Texas scored the go-ahead run in the 11th on Sunday on a squeeze bunt by Alberto Gonzalez with the bases loaded. It was the first extra-inning bunt single to occur with the bases loaded since Melvin Mora hit a walk-off for the Orioles over the Yankees on Sept. 28, 2007.
- Joe Paterson entered the Diamondbacks' game with Philadelphia on Monday with a nine-run lead. He proceeded to give up five earned runs without retiring a single batter. In fact, all five batters he faced got base hits.He's the third pitcher in a week to allow five or more runs without recording an out. Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon both did it for the Red Sox last week. That matches the number of such outings all of last season. It hadn't happened three times in seven days since June 2003 (and two of those three were in the same game!).
In Arizona franchise history, only Greg Swindell (Sept. 23, 2002) had faced five or more batters in a game and allowed a base hit to every one of them. Swindell went 6-for-6, but only five of his runs ended up scoring.
- Against the Mets, the Marlins had four consecutive batters draw bases on balls Tuesday to walk in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. Four different pitchers issued those walks. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us it's the first time in major league history that four consecutive batters have drawn walks from four different pitchers in one inning.
- The Yankees defeated the Tigers on Friday when Alex Avila committed a passed ball that scored Derek Jeter from third. It's the first known instance of the Yankees ever winning a game in that fashion (although there are known holes in the early play-by-play accounts).The last "passed-ball-off" in the majors was on April 25, 2007, when Miguel Olivo capped a four-run ninth-inning comeback for the Marlins on a passed ball by the Braves' Brian McCann.
- Oakland's Ryan Cook on Friday struck out four Orioles in the bottom of the eighth (all swinging). Adam Jones whiffed on one in the dirt and reached first on a wild pitch.He's the second pitcher this week to have four-strikeout inning. Bud Norris of the Astros did it on Tuesday.
- Chipper Jones homered Tuesday on his 40th birthday. Only Jim Thome (last year) and Darrell Evans (1988) have hit birthday homers at an older age; they were both 41.Chipper also homered on his 24th birthday, back in his second full season, in 1996. He's just the second player in the live-ball era (joining Thome) to homer on two birthdays 16 or more years apart. Thome went yard on his 23rd and 26th in addition to last year's 41st.
- Brandon Allen not only hit a walk-off homer for the Rays on Thursday, he did so as a pinch hitter, and in his first at-bat for his new team (he was claimed off waivers from Oakland last week and walked in his first plate appearance on Wednesday). It's one of just four pinch-hit walk-off homers in Rays history, and the first since B.J. Upton -- who was on base ahead of Allen on Thursday -- hit one in 2007. Elias tells us that the last player to hit a walk-off homer in his first at-bat for a team was the Indians' Jamie Quirk, who beat the Twins with one on Sept. 27, 1984.
- Philip Humber -- he of the perfect game last Saturday -- he needed 115 pitches to get through five innings Thursday against Boston. It's been noted that his nine runs allowed are the most by any of the 21 pitchers in their start following a perfect game. However, Humber is also the first pitcher since Cy Young in 1904 to have a perfect game and a nine-run outing in the same SEASON. Young threw his perfecto against Philadelphia in May and then allowed all the runs in a 9-1 Boston loss to Cleveland in September.Humber's Bill James Game Score in his perfect game was a 96. His Game Score on Thursday was 17. You don't have to go very far back -- or very far across Chicago -- to find the last such occurrence. Carlos Zambrano threw his hurricane-relocated no-hitter at Miller Park on Sept. 14, 2008 (Game Score also 96), and in his next start, surrendered eight runs while getting just five outs against the Cardinals (Game Score 9).
- The cycle recorded by Scott Hairston on Friday night was the first by a Met since Jose Reyes in Cincinnati on June 21, 2006. It was the first to occur in single-homer-triple-double order since Jeff Kent of the Giants on May 3, 1999. Kent, like Hairston, also hit the cycle in his first four plate appearances.
- Joe Nathan recorded the rare one-pitch, two-out save on Tuesday when he got Raul Ibanez to ground into a game-ending double play. It's just the sixth one-pitch, two-out save since 2000 (the Rays' Dan Wheeler had the last one two seasons ago).Heath Bell, meanwhile, threw 46 pitches in blowing a save when the Mets walked off against him on Thursday -- the most by anyone in a save opportunity lasting less than an inning since the Rays' Travis Harper allowed nine eighth-inning runs to the Yankees on June 21, 2005.