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1. You can tell a team is in trouble when uhhh, when it trades for a guy who's 3-for-43? Well, those were the numbers on Marlon Byrd's stat sheet when the Red Sox dealt for him last weekend.
And it got us thinking: How many position players have ever been traded when they were hitting .070 (or worse) after that many trips to the plate? The answer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: It's happened to precisely one other player since 1900 -- the well-traveled Ryan Langerhans. He went 3-for-44 (.068) for the Braves in 2007, then got traded to Oakland. Three days (and four more hitless at-bats) later, he got dealt AGAIN, to the Nationals. So Marlon Byrd should look on the bright side: At least he didn't follow Langerhans into the As Many Teams As Hits Club.
2. Anybody remember a finish to a game like this? In last Saturday's Braves-Diamondbacks game, the final three half-innings went:
Bottom of the 8th: Jonny Venters, 3 up, 3 down, 3 K.
Top of the 9th: David Hernandez: 3 up, 3 down, 3 K.
Bottom of the 9th: Craig Kimbrel, 3 up, 3 down, 3 K.
Well, there's a good reason you might not recall it -- because it had never happened before. Not in the live-ball era, anyway. In other words, this was almost certainly the first game in the history of baseball in which the final three relievers of the day came marching in for an inning apiece and whiffed all three hitters they faced.
3. Speaking of strikeouts, apparently this bullpen thing is working out for Aroldis Chapman. He has faced 41 hitters this year -- and struck out (gulp) 20 of them. That comes to a ridiculous 48.8 percent. And just so he knows what he's shooting for, the record, for pitchers who faced more than 40 hitters in a season, is 45.5 percent, by Kimbrel in 2010 (88 hitters, 40 punchouts).
4. Paul Konerko picked an excellent spot for his 400th homer Wednesday. Just your basic game-tying bomb in the ninth inning. That's all. According to the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR home-run historian David Vincent, Konerko was only the second player ever whose 400th, 500th, 600th or 700th home run was a game-tying or go-ahead homer with his team trailing in the ninth inning or later. The other: Mike Schmidt's 500th on April 18, 1987 -- a game-winning three-run shot in the ninth.
5. Finally, one more first for Jamie Moyer: On Tuesday, he became the oldest starting pitcher (49 years, 158 days old) ever to have his bullpen blow a save for him. The former record: Phil Niekro was 48 years, 121 days old on July 31, 1987 when he bequeathed a 3-0 lead in the seventh to that trusty Indians bullpen -- only to have Ken Schrom, Ed Vande Berg and Reggie Ritter cough up what would have been Niekro's 319th win. As it turned out, it would have been Niekro's final win. He never did get No. 319.