Any time a hitter strikes out on a 4-and-2 count, a guy named Peralta commits an error on a ball hit by a guy named Peralta, and a 12-game hitting streak lasts 932 days, you know it was a Strange But True kind of month.
So grab a couple of Advil and prepare your unsuspecting head for another edition of the Strange But True Feats of April:
Seven feats for the Strange But True Hall of Fame
• Prince Fielder, David Wright, Paul Konerko, Jose Bautista, Evan Longoria, Robinson Cano, Adrian Gonzalez, Adrian Beltre and Ryan Braun have never had a 10-homer, 32-RBI month in any month of their careers. Jose Abreu just did that -- in his first month in the big leagues.
• Speaking of Prince, he and Tampa Bay's Brandon Guyer had some sort of magnetic force going in an April 4 game in the Trop. Guyer hit four foul popups in that game -- every one of them into the mitt of (yep) Prince Fielder.
We regret to report Fielder caught only three of them. If he'd gathered in all four, Rangers broadcast legend Eric Nadel reports, it would have been the first time in Baseball Info Solutions' 12 seasons of keeping track that the same hitter fouled out to the same defender four times in the same game.
• We know Ike Davis is a dead-red hitter, but he might have taken that slightly too literally this month. The good news: He hit two grand slams against the Reds in the same month -- while playing for two different teams (Mets and Pirates). But now the bad news: How many other home runs did he hit against all those other clubs out there? None. Of course. With either team.
• In an April 14 game against Atlanta, Phillies reliever B.J. Rosenberg arrived on the scene and faced three hitters -- and gave up a home run to all three of them. How strange but true was that? Well, for perspective's sake, Javier Lopez has also given up three homers in relief -- to the past 761 hitters he's faced. And who else in the past century has had a line like that -- 3 batters, 3 bombs? Uh, nobody. Of course.
• On April 20, Hector Noesi gave up seven runs to the White Sox in one inning (while pitching for Texas). Five days later, he got claimed on waivers -- by the White Sox.
• Four balls is supposed to equal a walk. But tell that to Rays shortstop/mathematician Yunel Escobar. In an April 23 game against the Twins, he had a fifth-inning at-bat in which four of the first six pitches were balls. But he didn't get to head to first base because the umpires lost track (even after checking the replay). So he finally struck out -- on a 4-and-2 pitch.
• And, finally, what could possibly have been stranger but truer than this: When the Tigers threw a seven-run inning at the Twins on April 25, all three outs in the inning came off the bat of the same hitter -- some guy named Miguel Cabrera.
Five Strange But True Pitching Feats Of April
• Have there been two stranger but truer starts all year than these two: On April 10, the Indians' Danny Salazar punched out 10 White Sox -- but got only 11 outs (and the lone nonstrikeout consisted of Adam Eaton getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double). Then 13 days later, the Cardinals' Michael Wacha piled up his first nine outs on strikeouts -- but also never got past the fourth inning (in what turned into a very weird 4-3-2-2-5-10 line).
Now here's the strangest but truest part of all: Before this April, only one starting pitcher in modern history (Felix Hernandez, who did it just last season) had had a double-figure strikeout game in which he got no more than 12 outs. Then Salazar and Wacha both did it last month -- in a span of two weeks. #Ofcoursetheydid.
• We had an all-time Strange But True epic relief outing April 17 from Toronto's Sergio Santos: three hitters faced, three walks, three run-scoring wild pitches. Want to guess how many other pitchers have done that in the past century? Right. Zero.
• No pitcher in nearly three years had found a way to give up four earned runs in a game in which he forgot to allow a hit. So what were the odds that the Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow (2.2-0-4-4-8-1) and the Tigers' Jose Ortega (1.1-0-4-4-4-1) would manage to do that ON THE SAME DAY last Saturday? Morrow will be happy to hear that Edward Mujica has walked eight of the past 293 hitters he's faced.
• Cliff Lee gave up eight earned runs to the Rangers on Opening Day -- and still got a win out of it. Jeff Samardzija gave up six earned runs in his first five starts combined for the Cubs -- and got zero wins out of it.
• And I don't know if this qualifies as a "pitching" feat. But Red Sox utility dynamo Mike Carp made his historic pitching debut last Thursday against the Yankees and became the first pitcher in the past 90 years to walk five hitters in one inning. Meanwhile, in the other dugout, was a fellow named Hiroki Kuroda, who has made 184 starts over the past seven seasons -- and never unintentionally walked five hitters in any of them.
Five Strange But True Hitting Feats Of The Month
• Cubs pitcher Travis Wood hit his fourth homer in the past two seasons last month -- and completed his own personal home run cycle (solo, two-run, three-run, slam). He'll be fascinated to know that Mark Grace played 13 seasons for the Cubs (and three more for the Diamondbacks) and never did hit for one of those HR cycles over any four-homer span in his career. (Neither, for that matter, have noted non-Cubs Josh Hamilton or Prince Fielder.)
• Carlos Gonzalez has had one game in his Rockies career where he scored four times. Naturally, his sweet-swinging teammate, Charlie Blackmon, had TWO games where he scored four times just last month. In one of those games, Blackmon also went 6-for-6. CarGo has never had a six-hit game, either.
• Victor Martinez stole a base this season before Billy Hamilton. ... Hamilton hit a homer before Billy Butler, Adrian Beltre or Nick Markakis. ... Justin Verlander (0-for-his previous 26) had a multihit game before Allen Craig. ... Madison Bumgarner thumped a homer in AT&T Park before Pablo Sandoval or Hunter Pence. ... And Gio Gonzalez hit a home run before the Yankees -- all of them.
• Brett Gardner scored four runs last Thursday -- in a game in which he got zero hits.
• And then there was the strangest but truest hitting streak of the month -- or, to be technical, of the decade. It belonged to Texas' Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was working on a fun little 12-gamer until it finally ended April 20. But what made that streak notable was that it started way back on Sept. 27, 2011 -- meaning it lasted so long (923 days) that Dustin Pedroia had time to put together FIVE hitting streaks of at least 12 games in between.
Five More Strange But True Classics Of The Month
• Robinson Cano played nine seasons -- and 1,375 games -- for the Yankees, and never once played for a team that lost eight games in a row. Well, welcome to Seattle. It took him 20 games to play for a Mariners team that lost eight in a row.
• Carlos Quentin never made it into the Padres' outfield all month -- but their ace, Andrew Cashner, did. For one hitter. Last Thursday, in the 11th inning of a wild game in Washington. He was the first pitcher to play left field since Roy Oswalt did it in a 16-inning game in 2010.
• Strange But True Portraits in Slow Motion: Scouts in New York clocked Bartolo Colon going from home to first, after a ground ball to short, at 7.8 seconds last month -- the slowest time in recorded big league scouting history. ... And David Ortiz took 33.39 seconds to orbit the bases after an April 9 home run -- the slowest trot since our heroes at Tater Trot have been keeping track.
• And, finally, the strangest but truest "injury" of the month: Carlos Gonzalez had to leave a game early April 2 -- after swallowing his chewing tobacco ... and, um, not feeling so hot. Just one more reason not to chew, kids.