May 16, 2021

Fan To Nick Castellanos: "I Told Him – Imagine Rob Manfred's Face On The Baseball"

May 14, 2021

J.D. Martinez Refuses To Lead On Vaccinations, Says (Wrongly) It's "A Personal Decision"

Peter Abraham of the Globe reports that the Red Sox may not be fully vaccinated for a long time. Part of that reason, he writes, is "the hesitancy by some players". Abraham cites a "cultural divide with Latin American players".

J.D. Martinez refused to say whether he has been vaccinated:

That's one of those personal things for me. . . . That's a personal decision. That's to each his own. Everyone has the right to believe and to think what they want to think about their body and what they're putting into their body.

Well, that's actually not true when it comes to potentially fatal communicable diseases that has killed, according to some estimates, seven million people worldwide in a single year. While the official US death toll from Covid-19 stands at roughly 600,000, the actual total is likely over 900,000. Doesn't Martinez also have a responsibility to ensure he's taking proper steps to make sure the people around him are also safe?

Everyone has a right to their body and what they do. It's a crazy time we're living in. I think I understand that. So it's one of those things. If you want to do it, do it. If you don't, then don't do it. It's bigger than the game, you know what I mean? It's your life. It's bigger than just baseball.

Everyone has a right to their body and what they do . . . until it impinges upon the individual freedom (and safety and lives) of other people.

What if Martinez applied his philosophy to getting drunk and driving around?

Driving drunk is one of those personal things for me. . . . That's a personal decision. . . . Everyone has a right to their body and what they do. . . . If you want to drive drunk, do it. . . . It's your life.

Manager Alex Cora has been fully vaccinated, a fact he mentions from time to time. JDM could also set an example for his teammates, but he has actively chosen not to do that.

Also: Martinez's comment that "everyone has the right to believe and to think what they want to think" makes me wonder if he has fallen under the spell of QAnon or some other deranged cult but is hesitant to admit it.

May 13, 2021

Does The New York Post Understand How Baseball Standings Work?

Dan Martin, Post:

After four straight wins, the Yankees had a chance to move into a tie for first place with another victory on Thursday.

But their trip from the basement to the top of the AL East will have to wait, as they saw their winning streak come to a halt in a 9-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. . . .

[T]he offense was shut down by 41-year-old Rich Hill, while Jameson Taillon had another shaky outing. . . .

[T]he offense, unimposing for much of the early part of the season, has been quiet again.

They've been held to three runs or fewer in four straight games.

On Thursday, it was Hill, the former Yankee, who befuddled them over 6.2 scoreless innings, using a variety of soft —by today's standards — sliders and curveballs and a fastball that topped out at 90 mph. . . .

And Taillon, who allowed four runs in 4.2 innings, didn't help by putting the Yankees in a significant hole early.

I guess it's time for Baseball Standings 101.

Here is the AL East as of Thursday morning:

If Thursday's games included a Red Sox loss and a Yankees win, then the teams would be tied for first place, with the Red Sox possessing one additional win, but the MFY having a slightly higher winning percentage (by .004).

But the Red Sox won on Thursday, beating the Athletics 8-1. Thus, a win by the Yankees would not have put them into a tie for first place. They would have simply spun their wheels and remained 1.0 GB.

It's hard to fathom how the Post's sportswriter and his editor could both get this wrong. If the first place team and the second place team do the same thing on the same day, the distance in the standings between the two teams (i.e., the GB number) does not change.

But all that is moot. Because the Yankees fucking lost. So they are 2.0 GB and in third place.

Ohtani: First Player In 105 Years To Start A Game On The Mound & Leadoff Next Game

Tuesday, May 11: Shohei Ohtani started the game on the mound for the Angels (7-4-1-1-10, 88) before playing right field for the rest of the game. He watched the bullpen give the game away in the eighth. Houston scored four times and won 5-1.

Wednesday, May 12: Ohtani (DH) led off and went 0-for-4 in a 9-1 loss to the Astros.

Ohtani is the first player to start a game on the mound and leadoff in the next game since Ray Caldwell of the Yankees did it on July 25-26, 1916.

July 25, 1916: Took the L in a 13-8 loss to the White Sox (5-9-9-5-0). Batted 9th, went 1-for-2, one walk, and one run scored.

July 26, 1916: Led off, played entire game in center field (0-for-4). Yankees lost 1-0. White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte (who had started the previous day and lasted only nine batters (1.1-1-2-4-0)) pitched a complete-game one-hitter: 9-1-0-1-6.

Caldwell also led off and played center on July 27 before tossing a complete game on July 29 (though he batted 9th). 

Fun Fact: Caldwell began the 1919 season pitching for the Red Sox, but was traded to Cleveland in August. He struck by lightning in the ninth inning of his Cleveland debut, on August 24, 1919. Caldwell regained consciousness and finished the game. He threw a no-hitter 17 days later (September 10, against the Yankees).

The incident did not merit much coverage in The Sporting News. In the August 28 issue, Cleveland writer Henry Edwards's column was on page two, with Caldwell's experience receiving a perfunctory mention in 10th paragraph of the 14-paragraph report. Edwards spent more time describing the storm.
Lightning Drops Him In Box

The game was almost over when a thunder storm blew by and before players or spectators could scurry to cover there came a series of lightning flashes and terrific sky cannonading. The bolts flashed here and there, causing much excitement. There was a blinding flash that seemed to set the diamond on fire and Caldwell was knocked flat from the shock of it. His fellows rushed to him, fearing he might have been killed, but he struggled to his feet and after "frisking" himself to see if he was all "there," pitched what was left of the game, which was finished before the rain became a downpour. 
Eric Chesterton ( provided more info in 2020:
Caldwell cruised through 8.2 innings, giving up only one run on four hits, and he stood on the mound in the top of the ninth inning about to seal a 2-1 win for his new team -- and get the game in before the forecasted summer evening thunderstorm rolled in. Light-hitting shortstop Joe Dugan stepped to the plate, representing the potential final out of the game.

What happened next is a matter of some dispute, but two things we know for sure: A bolt of lightning struck somewhere within the confines of League Park, and it knocked Caldwell out cold. Some reports say the lightning struck an iron rail near the press box and made its way down to the field and out to the mound. . . .

Caldwell [believed the] bolt entered him through the metal button atop his cap. He said the experience felt like someone hit him on the head with a wooden board. After the game, he claimed to have discovered a burn mark on his chest, which he attributed to the lightning strike. . . .

[A]fter about five minutes of extremely justifiable panic, he came to.

Caldwell didn't come out of the game to recover from the shock or seek medical attention, though. No. He had business to attend to -- namely getting Dugan out and ending the game. And that's just what he did, quickly inducing a ground ball to third base.

Chad Osborne wrote an account of the game for SABR's Games Project

The lightning, the Cleveland Press reported, had knocked off Indians catcher Steve O'Neill's mask and hat, as well as Harry Davis's navy blue A's cap. Davis was coaching third base for Philadelphia.

"We all could feel the tingle of the electric shock running through our systems, particularly in our legs" umpire Billy Evans said.

Davis, the Press reported, "got a second shock, for Cy Perkins came up to feel Harry's head and see if he was hurt. The lightning had charged Davis' hair with electricity and his whole frame tingled when Cy touched him."

Teammates also claimed to have felt an "electrical current" from lightning hitting the metal spikes on their shoes.

Still alive and recovering from the jolt, Caldwell picked himself up from the dirt. . . . One of his teammates touched him "on the head and leaped into the air. He said the pitcher seemed to be crackling with electricity," a wire-service reporter wrote.

Is this possible?

"When lightning strikes the ground, the current flows across the surface, creating a step voltage. Someone standing with their feet apart can have current go up one leg and down the other," Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher and professor of physics at the University of New Hampshire, said in an email interview on May 12, 2016. "I would think such a large current through the legs could explain the numbness afterward." . . .

Newspaper reports say lightning danced along the ballpark rails near where some fans were sitting and jumped toward the pitcher’s mound.

"Lightning certainly can travel along metal railing," Dwyer said, a phenomenon he called side flashes.

"When lightning strikes, there is often tens of thousands of amps of current and very large voltages," the professor said in the email interview. "If some of this current goes into a metal conductor such as fences or railings, the current can travel long distances, causing sparks to other objects along the way."

Even pitchers. . . .

After the game, Caldwell told the Cleveland Press that the lightning strike "felt just like somebody came up with a board and hit me on top of the head and knocked me down."

He assessed the damage and found that he had slight burns on his chest. Speculation was that lightning had hit the metal button on his cap, "surged through his body, and exited through his metal spikes."

This, like a direct strike on a person, is unlikely, said Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, founding director of the African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics and professor emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in an email interview on May 11, 2016.

"Lightning only goes through the body for perhaps three to four microseconds before it flashes over the outside, and that's not long enough to cause internal burns," Dr. Cooper said. "It would be nice to know what the chest burns looked like. Was there a linear burn down the middle or sides of the chest where there would be sweat lines that lightning turned into steam, causing burns? Was it where metal was? Did he have a necklace with a cross on it, so that there was a cross shape burned in?"

May 11, 2021

Red Sox Now #1 In MLB's Power Rankings

The Red Sox lead the majors with 22 wins and have the best winning percentage in MLB.

The Red Sox lead MLB in runs (188), average (.264), slugging (.439), OPS (.768), doubles (80), and extra-base hits (126). They have struck out in 22.0% of their plate appearances, the third-lowest mark in MLB.

The Red Sox are one of only two teams with three players with an OPS over .900: J.D. Martinez (1.073), Xander Bogaerts (.990), and Rafael Devers (.926). Fifteen teams have zero players with a .900+ OPS.

The Red Sox are the only team with six players batting .275+: Bogaerts (.348), Martinez (.338), Alex Verdugo (.297), Devers (.281), Christian Vázquez (.275), and Christian Arroyo (.275).

Two Balls, One Strike

May 6, 2021

Shohei Ohtani Is The Second MLB Player Ever To:
Hit 8+ HR In Same Month He Started A Game As A Pitcher
Hit 8+ HR, Steal 6+ Bases, Start 3+ Games As A Pitcher In Same Season


All MLB Players With 10+ Home Runs and 30+ Strikeouts On The Mound In A Season (Since 1900)
Babe Ruth, 1918      (11 HR, 40 K)
Babe Ruth, 1919      (29 HR, 30 K)
Shohei Ohtani, 2018  (22 HR, 63 K)
Shohei Ohtani, 2021  (10 HR, 30 K)
All MLB Players Who Have Started A Game On The Mound One Day And Hit A Home Run
The Next Day Twice In A Season (Since 1900)

Shohei Ohtani, 2021  (April 20-21, May 5-6)

* * *

All MLB Players With 3+ Pitching Starts, 8+ Home Runs, 6+ Stolen Bases In A Season (Since 1900)
Babe Ruth, 1918
Babe Ruth, 1919
Shohei Ohtani, 2018
Shohei Ohtani, 2021
All MLB Players With 8+ Home Runs In The Same Calendar Month In Which He Started A Game As A Pitcher
Babe Ruth, 1918
Babe Ruth, 1919
Babe Ruth, 1920
Babe Ruth, 1921
Shohei Ohtani, 2021
All MLB Players With 50+ Home Runs, 40+ Doubles, 10+ Triples, 120+ Runs, 130+ RBI In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
All MLB Players With 50+ Home Runs, 40+ Doubles, 10+ Triples, 120+ Runs In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
All MLB Players With 50+ Home Runs, 40+ Doubles, 10+ Triples, 130+ RBI In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
All MLB Players With 50+ Home Runs, 40+ Doubles, 10+ Triples In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
All MLB Players With 50+ Home Runs, 10+ Triples In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
Willie Mays, 1955
All MLB Players With 45+ Home Runs, 35+ Doubles, 10+ Triples In A Season
Babe Ruth, 1921
Lou Gehrig, 1927
Joe DiMaggio, 1937
In 2021, Ohtani (as a batter) is on pace for:
42 doubles, 12 triples, 54 home runs, 120 runs scored, 132 RBI
* * *

Ohtani faced the Rays yesterday and put up a unique pitching line: 5 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts.

According to Baseball Reference's Stathead, no pitcher since 1901 has had a 5-1-0-6-7 line. (I didn't even need to factor in Ohtani's one wild pitch.) Ohtani did not bat in the game (boooooooo!).

The last Angels pitcher to throw 5+ innings, give up one or no hits, hand out 6+ walks and strikeout out 7+ was Nolan Ryan, 42 years ago. Actually, the other five Angels pitchers to do that are all Nolan Ryan.

July 31, 1972       8.0-1-1-6-11 - 0-1 loss to Royals
September 28, 1974  9.0-0-0-8-15 - 4-0 win over Twins
April 10, 1976      7.0-1-2-6- 7 - 2-6 loss to Athletics
April 15, 1977      9.0-1-0-6- 8 - 7-0 win over Mariners
April 21, 1979      7.2-1-1-9-12 - 13-1 win over Athletics

Red Sox Struggling With Tigers, Who Started Series With .195 Batting Average And A Club-Record 18 Consecutive Games With 9 Or Fewer Hits (They Have 11 Hits In Each Of First Two Games)

The Tigers came into Fenway Park on Tuesday with a team batting average of .195. That was the worst average of any MLB team. Detroit also had the worst on-base (.255) and slugging percentages (.338). And they had the worst record (8-21).

In their previous 17 games before visiting Boston, the Tigers had gone 2-15 and hit .173/.220/.279, scoring only 1.8 runs per game. The Yankees had just swept them, shutting them out in two of the three games.

Somehow, the Red Sox have had their hands full the last two nights.

Tuesday: The Red Sox led 8-2 in the first game of the series, but allowed the Tigers to close that gap to 10-7 before winning 11-7. Detroit had 11 hits, snapping a franchise-record of 18 games with single-digit hits. It was only their fifth game (out of 30) with 10+ hits.

Wednesday: Detroit led 3-1 (before Boston tied the game) and scored three runs in the top of the tenth and held on to win 6-5. It was only their third win in the last three weeks (since April 14). The Tigers knocked out 11 hits, giving them a .276 average for these two games. Michael Fulmer became the first pitcher in Tigers history to start one day (Tuesday) and earn the save the next day (Wednesday).

The Tigers have had more than 11 hits in a game only twice this year (April 12-13). . . . Detroit's last extra-inning win in Boston: May 2, 2000.

Jeimer Candelario is the first Tigers batter with 3 hits, 3 runs, and 3 RBI at Fenway Park since Travis Fryman (June 29, 1992). His tenth-inning home run was the Tigers' first 3- or 4-run homer in extra innings at Fenway Park since Vic Mertz (off Mel Parnell on June 11, 1950). 

Red Sox With 10+ Home Runs & 10+ Doubles Through Team's First 31 Games

Ted Williams  - 1955 (13 home runs, 11 doubles)
Ted Williams  - 1957 (10 home runs, 10 doubles)
Mookie Betts  - 2018 (12 home runs, 12 doubles)
J.D. Martinez - 2021 (10 home runs, 10 doubles)

May 4, 2021

Brandon Belt Hits First-Inning Grand Slam While Batting In One Of Top Three Spots In Lineup
First Time In Giants History (That's 139 Years, 21,149 Games)

Brandon Belt became the first player in Giants history (that's 139 years) to hit a first-inning grand slam while batting in one of the top three spots in the lineup.

The Giants franchise has been around since 1883 and had played 21,149 games coming into Tuesday night's doubleheader in Colorado (20,940 regular season and 209 postseason).

A Twitter commenter reported that Von Hayes of the Phillies hit a first-inning grand slam as a leadoff hitter on June 11, 1985, against Calvin Schiraldi and the Mets. Hayes had begun the bottom of the first with a solo dong. The Phillies won 26-7.

The Giants sent 13 men to the plate in the top of the first inning of G1 and scored ten runs, the first time they topped double digit in runs in an opening frame since June 29, 1967, when they scored 11 against the Cardinals (nine of which came off Bob Gibson). Belt's slam was measured at 452 feet.

Belt drove in the Giants' first run with a single. The last Giants player to knock in five or more runs in a single inning was Juan Uribe, who had six RBI in the second inning against the Cubs on September 23, 2010.

SFG - 10 00 002 0 - 12 12  1
COL -  0 00 400 0 -  4  7  0

T1: German Marquez pitching.

Mike Tauchman (cbsb) doubled to left.
Brandon Belt (b) singled to right, Tauchman scored (1-0).
Buster Posey singled to left, Belt to second.
Alex Dickerson singled to center, Belt scored, Posey to second (2-0).
Brandon Crawford (bbbf) walked, Posey to third, Dickerson to second.
(Mound visit)
Wilmer Flores (bbc) singled to center, Posey scored, Dickerson scored, Crawford to second (4-0).
Jason Vosler (cbbb) grounded into fielder's choice, Flores out shortstop to second, Crawford to third, Vosler safe at first (SFG challenged call at second; call upheld).
Steven Duggar (bct) doubled to center, Crawford scored, Vosler to third (5-0).
Aaron Sanchez (bbcf) struck out swinging.
Tauchman (bbsb) walked.
Jhoulys Chacin relieved Marquez.
Belt (bbffb) homered to right-center, Vosler scored, Duggar scored, Tauchman scored, Belt scored (9-0).
Posey (bsc) homered to right, Posey scored (10-0).
Dickerson grounded out to first unassisted.

Belt also belted a home run in the first inning of G2. He's the first Giants player to homer in the first inning of both games of a doubleheader since Willie Mays (at Astros, May 22, 1965: G1 and G2).

The Rockies walked off in the second game, thanks to a six-run seventh.

SFG - 200 022 0 - 6  9  0
COL - 000 200 6 - 8 10  1

B9: Jake McGee pitching. COL trailed 2-6.

Elias Diaz (cb) fouled out to first.
Alan Trejo pinch-hit for Ben Bowden.
Trejo (bb) singled to left.
Raimel Tapia (csf) struck out swinging.
Garrett Hampson (c) singled to center, Trejo to second.
Trevor Story (bb) doubled to left, Trejo scored, Hampson scored (4-6).
(Mound visit)
Ryan McMahon (c) singled to right, Story scored (5-6).
Camilo Doval relieved McGee.
C.J. Cron (bccfb) singled to right, McMahon to third.
Sam Hillard pinch-ran for Cron.
Charlie Blackmon (bfbfffb) homered to right, McMahon scored, Hilliard scored, Blackmon scored (8-6).

The last time the Rockies won a game when trailing by 4+ runs in their final inning was August 17, 2014 (G1), when they trailed the Reds 5-9 in the bottom of the ninth, and won 10-9.

Baseball Reference Is Changing Player Identification Names From Nicknames
Based On Race, Ethnicity, And Disability To Given (Or Birth) Names

Sean Forman, the founder and CEO of, announced last week that the website has "begun the process of evaluating the identifying names and nicknames for historical players" that "are based on a player's real or perceived ethnicity, a player's disability, or a trait the media decided to call attention to".

Forman admits this process is "long overdue" and he apologizes for his "mistake" and "error" of using those identifying names "for the last 20 years without concern".

For most of that time, I have told myself that the identifying names were out of our hands and that we'd be rewriting history by changing them. That self-imposed restraint was wrong and further study has shown that many nicknames were not as deeply entrenched in history as I had assumed. Identifying people with these names was a choice, and the history of their use in the media shows inconsistent adoption that is far from canonical validation.

(Forman provides some examples of former players whose identifying name includes a nickname which was actually not commonly used during the player's career.)

Players will no longer be identified by nicknames based on perceived race, ethnicity, or disability, such as "Chief", "Chink", "Jap",  "Nig", "Darkie", and "Dummy". (In 2007, B-Ref altered its url identification of Kevin Youkilis after realizing that its naming convention of using the first five letters of a player's surname with the first two letters of his first name created an ethnic slur.)

Forman states these names:

will no longer appear as identifying names, page titles, on team pages, or on leaderboards across the site, but will be noted for completeness of records on the player's main page. This figures most prominently for baseball, but we will likely have some changes on our other sites as well.

An example:


The MacMillan Encyclopedia [first published in 1969] contained hundreds and hundreds of players identified by a nickname. But in the post-MacMillan era, using nicknames for identifying names is comparatively quite rare for players who debuted in the 1960s or later. . . . Is this a change in societal naming conventions, or a change in how the names are applied by those recording the game?

Even in cases of well-documented usage, it is still important to reevaluate our current presentation of these players. Yes, Charles Bender was more commonly known as Chief Bender when he was playing, but the moniker is based on his American Indian heritage. He never claimed the name, never used the name himself, and newspapers of the time also often referred to him as Charles Bender or Charles Albert Bender as well. We have decided not to use Chief as an identifying name for any players on our website. Some will argue that there are players who like the Chief name. We don't deny that. We will continue to list Chief as a nickname on the players' pages. For any player whose name we are modifying, we will show a note on their page alerting the user to the other identifying name and include both names in our search engine. . . .

It is certainly not our goal to police your use of the names based on nicknames. You are, of course, free to use the nicknames as you'd like. But after years of tying our own hands, we are ready to make some changes in the identifying names that appear on the site.

For current or recently active players, our policy has been and will continue to be following the names used by the players themselves, since we are able to ask them quite easily and the league provides us a list of names every day.

May 3, 2021

Two Teammates, Each With 7+ RBI (It Happened For The Sixth Time Last Night)

The Dodgers beat the Brewers last night 16-4. Fifteen of Los Angeles' runs were driven in by two players: Matt Beaty (7 RBI) and AJ Pollock (8 RBI).

It was the first time in Dodgers history that two players each knocked in seven or more runs. It's happened only six times in the major leagues since 1901 (see below)

Beaty and Pollock each hit a grand slam, the fourth time in Dodgers history that has happened. The last instance was on May 21, 2000, when Shawn Green and Adrián Beltré did it against the Marlins.

Pollock is also the second player in Dodgers history to have an 8-RBI game batting 7th or lower in the lineup. (James Loney at Coors Field, 9 RBI batting #8, September 28, 2006). He is also the fifth Dodgers to hit a three-run homer and a grand slam in the same game, joining Gil Hodges (June 12, 1949),  Darryl Strawberry (August 21, 1991), Cody Ross (April 13, 2006), and Austin Barnes (June 30, 2017).

Also: Chris Taylor is the first player in Dodgers history to score five runs but have no RBI. That has happened 48 times since 1901. Only one player has scored six runs with no RBI: Frank Torre  (September 2, 1957 (G1): a unique 5-6-4-0 box score line).

And on the other side, Jacob Nottingham is the first player in Brewers history to hit two homers in a game they lost by 12+ runs. Gorman Thomas did it an 18-8 loss to the Royals on August 29, 1979.

Two Players Driving In 7+ Runs In Same Game

May 11, 1923: Phillies 20, Cardinals 14

Johnny Mokan: 3-for-4, double, 2 home runs, 2 walks, stolen base (& 2 caught stealings (greedy bastard!)), 3 runs, 7 RBI
Cy Williams: 3-for-5, 3 home runs, walk, 4 runs, 7 RBI

Cardinals - 111 303 032 - 14 22  2
Phillies  - 005 342 33x - 20 18  0

April 30, 1944: Giants 26, Dodgers 8

Phil Weintraub: 4-for-5, 2 doubles, triple, home run, 2 walks, 5 runs, 11 RBI
Ernie Lombardi: 3-for-5, 2 doubles, run scored, 2 walks, 7 RBI
Also: This is the MLB record for most RBI by two teammates (18). The Giants had 18 hits and 17 walks. Mel Ott walked 5 times, was 2-for-2 with 6 runs scored (MLB's only 2-6-2-1 box score line).

Dodgers - 100 500 100 -  8 12  2
Giants  - 344 502 08x - 26 18  2

June 8, 1950: Red Sox 29, Browns 4

Walt Dropo: 4-for-6, 2 singles, 2 home runs, walk, 5 runs, 7 RBI
Bobby Doerr: 4-for-6, 3 home runs, single, walk, 4 runs, 8 RBI
Also: Ted Williams (5 RBI). (That ties an MLB record with three players with 5+ RBI in the same game. Eight times since 1901 (25% of those happened last year within a span of nine days). And: Boston's pitcher walked 4 times (and threw a complete game).

Browns  - 003 000 001 -  4  8  1
Red Sox - 085 720 25x - 29 28  0

August 19, 1962: Yankees 21, Athletics 7

Mickey Mantle: 3-for-4, single, double, home run, 3 runs, 2 stolen bases, 7 RBI
Elston Howard: 4-for-6, single, triple, 2 home runs, 4 runs, 8 RBI

Yankees   - 401 504 043 - 21 20  1
Athletics - 010 002 310 -  7 11  0

August 22, 2007: Texas 30, Orioles 3 (G1)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: 4-for-6, 2 singles, 2 home runs, walk, 5 runs, 7 RBI
Ramon Vazquez: 4-for-6, 2 singles, 2 home runs, walk, 4 runs, 7 RBI
Note: They batted 8 & 9 in lineup.
Also: Travis Metcalf and Marlon Byrd each 4 RBI. (That ties an MLB record with four players with 4+ RBI in the same game. Six times since 1901.)

Texas   - 000 509 0 10 6 - 30 29  1
Orioles - 102 000 0  0 0 -  3  9  1

May 2, 2021: Dodgers 16, Brewers 8

Matt Beaty: 4-for-6, 3 singles, home run, 3 runs, 7 RBI
AJ Pollock: 3-for-6, double, 2 home runs, 2 runs, 8 RBI

Dodgers - 540 203 020 - 16 18  0
Brewers - 001 000 030 -  4  9  0

Chicago White Sox

Saturday, May 1, 2021: 7 runs on 4 hits.
Sunday, May 2, 2021: 0 runs on 4 hits.

May 2, 2021

It Took 121 Years, But An American League Team Finally Posted A 7-3-0 Line (R-H-E)


Back on April 22, 2021, the Mariners beat the Red Sox 7-3 despite getting only three hits.

Mariners - 000 002 010 4 - 7  3   0
Red Sox  - 010 100 100 0 - 3  8   1

Jayson Stark reports that's the first 7-3-0 line in American league history! And:

Somehow or other, there was a 7-3-9 scoreboard line in AL history before there was a 7-3-0! You can thank Dummy Hoy's 1901 Chicago White Sox, who spit out one of the Weirdest and Wildest scoreboard lines ever in a 21-7 loss to the original version of Wid Conroy's Milwaukee Brewers, on May 4, 1901, in the 11th game in the history of the White Sox franchise.

The date was actually May 5, 1901.

Brewers   - 010 836 030 - 21 25  1
White Sox - 040 200 100 -  7  3  9

The only other game in AL history in which a team scored seven runs on three hits occurred on May 9, 1943, in the second game of a doubleheader between Cleveland the and St. Louis Browns.
Cleveland - 301 010 0 - 5  9  1
Browns    - 502 000 x - 7  3  2
The first game lasted 13 innings, so this one could have been called because of darkness.

National League: There have been three games with one team scoring seven runs on three hits:
Cubs (7-3-1) versus Mets,  August 7, 1965
Pirates (7-3-0) versus Cardinals, September 13, 1978
Cubs (7-3-0) versus Cardinals,  October 5, 1991 (G2)
So since 1901, there have been games with R-H-E of 7-3-0, 7-3-1, 7-3-2, and 7-3-9!

Last Wednesday (April 28), Atlanta's Freddie Freeman went 4-for-4 before striking out against the Cubs' first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

STATS states that a batter going 4-for-4 against "real" pitchers before striking out in his fifth at-bat against a position player had actually happened twice before!

August. 14, 1937: Gee Walker (Tigers) against Nig Lipscomb (Browns) (G1 of Tigers' 16-1 and 20-7 sweep)
June 27, 1979 — Mike Vail (Cubs) against Mike Anderson (Phillies)

(Also: August 24, 1940: Rudy York (Tigers) started off 4-for-4 and was 4-for-5 when he struck out against Boston's Ted Williams!)

That Atlanta-Cubs game was also the first time in major league history a team had more position players (3) take the mound than "real" pitchers (2). It was also the third time a team sent as many as three position players to the mound in the same game. The others: Brewers (August 29, 1979) and Cubs (July 20, 2018).

Stark also shared some more Shohei Ohtani factoids:

How rare is it for anybody to pitch and lead the league in homers?

Babe Ruth, 5 times (1918-19-20-21-30)
Jimmie Foxx, 1 time (1939)
Shohei Ohtani, 1 time (2021)

Has any "pitcher" ever hit seven homers in a season before allowing a homer?

Stark says that "back in the olden days, it was harder to define" a pitcher. Looking at the 19th century and considering anyone who pitched even 10 innings, we find Ed (Cannonball) Crane, who hit 11 homers for the 1884 Boston Reds of the Union Association. Confining the search to the "modern era", Jimmie Foxx pitched nine times (22.2 IP) in his final season (1945) and he (like Ohtani) hit seven home runs that year before he allowed one. But it's more than a little inaccurate to label Foxx a pitcher. Ohtani stands alone.

Has a player ever hit 50+ home runs before playing a position other than pitcher?

Not until Ohtani, who had 53 dongs before playing left field late in last Saturday's game. Stark cites the previous record holder as Wes Ferrell (19 homers), the Cleveland pitcher who played left field 13 times in 1933.

Red Sox Have Second-Largest Improvement In Postseason Odds

The Red Sox finished April with a 17-10 record. That's a 102-win pace.

Boston was the only MLB team with 17 victories and its .630 winning percentage was #1 in MLB.

This year is the 29th time the Red Sox have won at least 17 of their first 27 games. The last two seasons were 2013 and 2018.

(All stats below as of the morning of May 1.)

The Red Sox lead the American League in slugging (.437) and OPS (.759) and are second in runs scored (129) and third in average (.258). They also rank second in the AL in games with 5+ runs scored (12).

Red Sox pitchers have allowed only 11 home runs their last 18 games (153.1 IP) and they are the only team not to allow as many as three dongs in a game this season. Of the 641 batted balls allowed by Red Sox pitchers, only 37 have been "barreled", the lowest percentage in MLB (5.8%). And Boston's bullpen is seventh in MLB in ERA (3.09).

The Red Sox have been excellent on the road (9-2), although their 11 games away from Fenway are the second-fewest in MLB. The Red Sox have the best road ERA in MLB (2.67) and are second in WHIP (1.09) and opponent's average (.201), trailing the Dodgers in both categories.

On May 1, J.D. Martinez led MLB in home runs (9), RBI (25), extra-base hits (19), total bases (70), and doubles (tied, 10). He is second in MLB in slugging (.745) and OPS (1.175), behind Mike Trout (.781, 1.304). 

Martinez is the second player in Red Sox history to lead the majors in both homers and RBI on May 1, joining Jimmie Foxx in 1940 (4 HR, 19 RBI). 

Martinez (9 home runs) and Rafael Devers (7) are only the third pair of Boston teammates to each hit at least seven home runs prior to May, joining Manny Ramirez (9) and Brian Daubach (7) in 2001 and Ramirez and David Ortiz, 7 each in 2005. 

Most Red Sox Home Runs Before May 1: David Ortiz (10, 2006) and Hanley Ramirez (10, 2015).

Note For Previous Three Paragraphs: Seasons began later in years past, giving more modern players a distinct calendar advantage.

Most Extra-Base Hits Through First 417 Games With Red Sox

231 - Nomar Garciaparra (1996-99)
227 - Ted Williams (1939-41)
200 - Rafael Devers (2017-21)

The Red Sox also saw their playoff odds improve more than any other team, outside of Milwaukee.

As Thomas Harrigan ( writes:

Red Sox: +19.8 (38.9% to 58.7%)

Coming off a last-place finish in 2020, the Red Sox brought manager Alex Cora back into the fold but otherwise refrained from making wholesale changes in the offseason. With much of the same personnel, the club entered Saturday with a 3½-game lead in the AL East.

Led by a resurgent J.D. Martinez (nine homers, 1.175 OPS), Boston's offense owns the highest OPS (.759) in the AL. More importantly, its pitching has improved significantly, ranking third in the AL in ERA (3.55) after finishing 14th with a 5.58 mark in 2020. Eduardo Rodriguez's return from a year-long absence and Nick Pivetta's strong start have boosted the rotation, and new bullpen additions Garrett Whitlock, Matt Andriese, Hirokazu Sawamura and Adam Ottavino have combined to allow 10 earned runs in 46⅔ innings (1.93 ERA). With a 17-10 record, Boston now has the fourth-best postseason odds of any AL team.

April 30, 2021

Further To Ohtani-Ruth Factoid

Update Below!

On April 26, it was reported that Shohei Ohtani of the Angels was the first player to start a game as a pitcher while also leading the major leagues in home runs since Babe Ruth did it on June 13, 1921.

I saw something yesterday that implied this might not be completely accurate, so I checked it out. After June 1921, Ruth pitched in three more games for the Yankees: two starts and one relief stint.

October 1, 1921: Ruth pitched four innings of relief in the second game of a doubleheader, the penultimate game of the season. He took the mound for the top of the eighth with a 6-0 lead, but before he could get two outs, he had allowed six hits, two walks, and six runs. Yet he stayed in the game (?) and was awarded the win when New York walked off 7-6 in 11 innings. (I suppose his bat was too valuable to take out of a close (and then tied) game.) At the time, Ruth led the major leagues with 58 home runs. He hit his 59th the next day, and ended up out-homering five of the other seven AL teams. (Bob Meusel and Ken Williams tied for second in the AL, with 24 homers. High Pockets Kelly led the NL with 23.)

September 28, 1930: In the final game of the season, Ruth pitched a complete game (9-11-3-2-3) against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, a 9-3 win. Ruth led the AL with 49 home runs, but Hack Wilson had 56 in the NL (and 191 RBI).

October 1, 1933: Another complete game for Ruth (9-12-5-3-0), again in the final game of the season, and again against the Red Sox, but at Yankee Stadium. New York won 6-5. Ruth came into the game with 33 home runs and he hit #34 in this game. However, Jimmie Foxx of the Athletics led the league (and MLB) with 48.

So the original factoid is correct. 

This is also correct: Ohtani became the first American League player to start a game on the mound while leading the league in home runs since Ruth (September 28, 1930).

. . .

Unless . . . 

Perhaps some AL hitter between 1922 and 2020 happened to be leading the league in homers when he made a brief cameo on the mound in a blowout. That's certainly possible, though teams likely shied away from putting one of their best hitters on the mound for any reason. (If anyone wants to research that, be my guest!)

P.S.: Ted Williams pitched two innings on August 24, 1940. He had 18 home runs. His teammate, the aforementioned Mr. Foxx, had 33 at the time.

Update: A SABR-L post: "When Jimmie Foxx took the mound in August 6, 1939 he was leading the American League with 27 home runs."

April 29, 2021

The Extremely Varied And Never-Dull Life Of Joey Moppo

I've read a few things about Joey Votto over the years. He seems like an interesting guy. He studies hitting obsessively. He once traded his jersey for a "Votto For President" t-shirt he saw a fan wearing. And he's Canadian (Toronto-born in the fall of 1983); he once did an interview dressed up as a Mountie.

The Athletic ran an oral history of sorts a couple of weeks ago, in which they contacted 14 of Votto's former teammates and a few others who played against him. The article was amazing, entertaining and funny. Votto is not only an interesting guy, he's possessed of a fascinating and curious mind. He's intelligent, goofy, clever, impish, and (although no one says this directly) clearly does not care a whit what anyone thinks of him.

Votto showed up for spring training in 2018 after a winter in which his goal was to get fatter:

I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing, and I am fatter. . . . Hopefully it pays off.

I agree with The Athletic commenter who said he'd gladly consume an entire book of these recollections. And I fully agree with another commenter, who stated: "Not only do I not understand anyone who bad-mouths Votto, I do not understand anyone who doesn't absolutely love Votto."

A sampling:

Scooter Gennett, infielder: One day Kyle Lohse was pitching, and he had some tighter pants on, and Joey had some tighter pants on that day. And he was like, "Hey, whose pants are tighter?" I was just like, "What?" I gotta answer the question. It's Joey Votto. And I'm like, "Yours, Joey. You look way better, too." He was like, "Nice!"

Zack Cozart, shortstop: Guys would get on second base and be like, "Man, what's Joey talking about?" He literally will ask questions about the other team and stuff like, "Who's the coolest guy on your team?"

Brandon Hyde, Cubs first base coach: Those conversations would be about the game, our team, his team, politics, Canadian government, the difference between U.S. and Canada.

Stephen Piscotty, outfielder: It was a longer at-bat. He didn't say anything initially and then midway through the at-bat he just kind of looked at me and goes, "You went to Stanford, right? You're an engineer?" I was like, "I mean, yeah, I'm surprised you would know that." He was like, "OK, so if you're an engineer, have you ever applied your engineering skills to hitting and how you think about it?" I was like, "Wow, that's an interesting question."

Chris Dickerson, outfielder: When he got into watches, he went to Europe and he wanted to understand the process of making a watch. When he got into cars, he knew about all the different components, V8, all the different drive modes, whether it was a mid-rear mounted engine or a rear-rear. . . . It's always really fascinating to simply watch Joey grow.

Jay Bruce, outfielder: He reads medical journals. Absolutely.

Dickerson: He's into [Aldous] Huxley. That's one of our things.

Carlos Guevara, pitcher: Every offseason, he decides he's going to do something. This offseason it was chess, and he goes all-in on it. . . . One offseason he made a bet with Aroldis [Chapman] over who would speak better Spanish or English, and Joey the next day is ordering Rosetta Stone. I thought, "This guy's going to speak better Spanish than me in a year." And sure enough he's correcting me on my Spanish.

Dickerson: He started doing improv classes in L.A. because he thought it would be a better way to speak to his teammates in an engaging manner. I thought that was so fascinating.

Jonny Gomes, outfielder: I've seen Joey Votto literally plan out like a month in advance. Days he's gonna hit homers. Big games. You talk about Babe Ruth called his shot one time. I've seen Joey do it 10 to 15 times. . . . He'd be like, "All right, I'm probably gonna walk four times today." Or in spring training he's like, "I'm gonna foul off as many pitches as I can today." I'm like, "What?" Sure enough …

Hyde: Joey was off to a rough start. He lined out and then I ran to first base. … He calls me over and says, "Hyder, I'm this close to being locked in." I'm like, "Really?" He was hitting under .200 at the time and struggling. . . . Well, he proceeded to get on base nine times in a row after that. It was like homer, double, homer. So he calls me over five at-bats later, probably the next day, and says, "Told you."

Skip Schumaker, outfielder-infielder: He had a chart of the hot-cold zones of every umpire. I'd never seen that before.

Dickerson: Joey Votto loves to mop, he loves to mop his house so much to the point where we tried to convince him to make him create an Instagram account called Joey Moppo and it would just be Joey mopping the floor. . . . He'll send me random videos of him mopping the house while he's listening to Kendrick Lamar. . . .

Guevara: My birthday is in the middle of spring training and we're dragging ass just walking in at 7:15 in the morning to the clubhouse and there I have a full bouquet of flowers and a gigantic Easter bunny. I'm like, "What in the fuck? Did my mom send this? Are you kidding me?" Everyone's looking at me. And Joey had sent me a giant bouquet and a gigantic chocolate Easter bunny for 100 minor-league campers to see. I was like, "You son of a bitch."

Bronson Arroyo (Saturn Nuts!) could probably contribute an entire chapter to this mythical Joey Votto book:

I got him out for two parties. One time, we went out in Arizona. Another time, I brought him on a boat party. And both times, he absolutely shocked everybody there by being the one guy who was dancing all night. I mean, he was like ballroom dancing with girls on my boat. Bro. Yes. Ballroom dancing, dude. Next to the stripper poles. . . .

I would say, "Joey, do you ever sign for those kids sitting outside the clubhouse when you drive out of the parking lot?" He goes, "You mean those people waiting out there on the left?" I'm like, "Yeah." He goes, "What if one of those fuckers stabbed me with a needle with tuberculosis in it?" . . .

After the last game I ever played in coming back from Chicago, he breaks out on the bus, with his suit on, karaoke. He puts on James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover," and he sang that shit word for word. The whole thing. . . . Everybody was laughing, but also not really understanding that Joey is just giving an homage to me in the weirdest of ways. Did I disappoint you? Or let you down? It was like, "There it is. There is Joey Votto right there."

Schadenfreude (Crosstown Edition)

April 27, 2021: Red Sox 2, Mets 1

Red Sox - 001 001 000 - 2 5 0
Mets    - 010 000 000 - 1 7 0

Garrett Richards: 7-7-1-0-10, 93 

Bobby Dalbec: home run (third inning) 

Rafael Devers: 2-for-4, double RBI

"What will Jake do for an encore?" [After 9-2-0-0-15, 109 last Friday]

The usual. Get no run support and lose 1-0!!

April 28, 2021: Red Sox 1, Mets 0

Red Sox - 010 000 000 - 1 4 0
Mets    - 000 000 000 - 0 2 0

Jacob deGrom: 6-3-1-1-9, 93 (2-2, 0.51 ERA) 

Nick Pivetta: 5-1-0-3-7, 93 

T2: Xander Bogaerts leadoff double, Christian Vazquez one-out double, RBI 

Rafael Devers: 2-for-3, single, double

Deesha Thosar, Daily News:
For the second straight night, the loudest noise from the Citi Field crowd came in the form of boos.

The home crowd of 8,051 fans didn't just restrict their boos for Francisco Lindor, though he heard it loudly after he struck out in the sixth. This time the jeers were aimed at Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, James McCann and just about anyone that didn't capitalize with men on base – a trend that fans are utterly exhausted of seeing, especially when their ace is on the mound. . . .

[The Mets have] scored one run over the last 21 innings. The Mets have scored the lowest number of runs (57) in MLB and have the worst slugging percentage (.353).

Jacob deGrom (2-2, 0.51 ERA) didn't look his sharpest in the Mets' 1-0 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday night, but he still limited Boston's bats to three hits over six innings and struck out nine. . . . The Mets have lost both of the only two games in which deGrom has allowed a run this season. They are 2-3 in his starts. . . .

The Mets suffered their third 1-0 loss in a game started by deGrom since 2019. . . .

The Mets' icy cold bats have done a poor job quelling concerns that the offense is struggling to snap out its funk. . . . The offense went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta made the Mets' at-bats look tired, uncompetitive, and monotonous. Pivetta struck out seven batters and his 15 swings and misses through five innings were the most he had in a start since 2018. Mets batters struck out 15 times against Boston's pitching staff, the most in a game this season.

"Really, there's no excuse," said McCann of the offense's 2-for-28 day at the plate. . . .

DeGrom was coming off what was perhaps the finest start of his career, a 15-strikeout two-hitter against the Nationals last week. . . . His 0.51 ERA is the lowest through five starts in Mets franchise history.
Joel Sherman, Post:
[B]oth the depth and the performance of the outfield have waned amid a disappointing Yankees April.

Bruce, no longer feeling qualified to succeed at a major league level, retired last week. On Tuesday, Tauchman was traded to the Giants. On Wednesday, Judge did not start, with manager Aaron Boone hiding behind vagaries about lower body soreness. That left a starting outfield of Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, who had combined for a .155 average in 189 plate appearances.

Frazier broke out at the plate, escaping a 2-for-41 slide with his first homer and a double . . . Following the double, Frazier vapidly tried to cross to third on a grounder in front of him to shortstop and was easily thrown out — another sign he struggles to think the game out well in real time.

Judge's mysterious leg ailments led to him being held out of the lineup for a second time this season . . . Boone would more comfortably provide his social security number to an online, anonymous Nigerian prince seeking a financial favor than publicly detail what ails Judge. . . .

The Yankees . . . began Wednesday averaging 3½ runs per game, the second fewest in the AL. . . .

Cashman said the team is not having conversations about mixing up the outfield. . . .
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Clint Frazier looked dazed. Excited after getting his first hit in five games, the Yankees young outfielder followed that up with an absolutely bone-headed play. After doubling in the fourth, he tried to take third on Kyle Higashioka's grounder to shortstop and was easily thrown out. . . .

He broke two rules of base running in one play; he made the first out of an inning at third and he tried to move forward on a ball in front of him. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was visibly chapped about it in the dugout. . . .

It's not like it's a rare occurrence with the Yankees. Just Monday night, Aaron judge made the rally-killing third out at third base. Tuesday night, Giancarlo Stanton was sent and thrown out by 10 to 15 feet at home plate. The Yankees lead the majors with 13 baserunning outs.
Dan Martin, Post:

[T]he concern and mystery was hardly removed from Judge's health situation when he wasn't in lineup  . . . with what manager Aaron Boone called "lower body soreness."

Boone . . . was intentionally vague Wednesday, refusing to go into further specifics even when pressed. . . .  Boone defended not detailing exactly what's bothering Judge, mentioning "multiple minor things that pop up." . . .

Judge missed at least nearly a third of the regular season in each of the previous three years — playing in 112, 102 and 28 games, respectively.
Ken Davidoff, Post:
For the second time in the season's first month, Aaron Judge has missed time with a vaguely described "lower body" ailment . . . Between these two absences he started 16 consecutive games and had an uneven .222/.382/.444 slash line, obviously not his best . . .

After three straight seasons defined by long or multiple injured list stays, is this as good as it'll get for Judge on the health front? . . .

This latest drama began Tuesday night . . . when Boone lifted Judge for the ninth inning . . . Boone, minutes later, divulged Judge's "lower body" issues and announced his intention to rest him for at least one game . . .

Last time, April [7-9] . . . Boone cited Judge's "left side" in sitting him for two straight contests. It turned out, as per the man himself, to be the byproduct of swinging the bat too much.

This time … well, again, maybe we'll find out more after Judge returns to the lineup . . . In the interim, we're left with enough unanswered questions to fill the first half of a David Baldacci thriller.
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
Judge's health is one of the murkiest areas with the Yankees. Asked to pinpoint or explain "soreness" and "lower body," Boone declined. "No," Boone said. "No more specific than that."

Judge's history of injuries . . . is something that he is touchy about. . . .

For the second straight day, Kyle Higashioka was in the starting lineup catching instead of Gary Sanchez. Boone had said that Higashioka had earned more playing time, but refuses to say that he has taken over for the struggling Sanchez.

April 28, 2021

More Banging On About How MLB Is Not Plagued By Super-Long Games (So We Don't Need Bullshit Gimmick Rules)

The sport of major league baseball has problems.

But the people in charge of running major league baseball, starting with Commissioner Rob Manfred, would rather attempt to "solve" imaginary problems rather than deal with the real issues.

Biggest case in point: the extra-innings runner-on-second rule.

Many people have pointed out that fans had not been complaining about any surge in extraordinarily long games. That's because there has never been a surge in extra-inning games. Perhaps it was to save wear and tear on pitchers' arms. (Why not shorten the season and schedule more off days? That would mean less profits.)

In 2019, MLB teams played 2,429 games. (I searched for games in which the winning team pitched 9.1+, 10.1+, and 11.1+ innings.

2,221 games were completed in nine innings, or 91.5%.

2,312 games were completed in ten innings, or 95.2%.

2,370 games were completed in eleven innings, or 97.6%.

The entire 2019 season had a grand total 59 games that lasted more than two extra-innings. (That averages out to two games per team. Checking a few teams: Red Sox (6 games, 3-3), Yankees (3 games, 1-2), Padres (1 game, 1-0), Nationals (1 game, 0-1), Royals (1 game, 0-1).)

37 games went more than 12 innings. That's 1.52%. Or one game per week.

Excessively long games is not a problem.

Craig Calcaterra (Cup of Coffee) reports that the independent Pioneer League, a designated "partner league" of MLB, will decide games tied after nine innings with home run derbies. MILB:

To avoid the excessive strain on our pitching staffs, the Pioneer Baseball League will not have extra innings, but rather will employ a first-of-its-kind 'Knock Out' rule that resolves tied games with a head-to-head, 'sudden death' home run duel. Under the rule, each team designates a hitter who receives 5 pitches, with the game determined by the most home runs hit. If still tied after the first 'Knock Out' round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared.

I'm shitty at predicting the future, but I'll be surprised if I have any serious interest in major league baseball in 10 years. Robot umps will finally be here, but there will be so much other gimmicky garbage, I won't care.

April 27, 2021

Ohtani: First Pitcher With 2 Hits & 3 Runs While Striking Out 9+ Since Luis Tiant 54 Years Ago

Shohei Ohtani continues to make history. Last night, he became the first player in nearly 100 years to start a game on the mound while also atop MLB's home run leaderboard.

Ohtani, batting second, walked in the top of the first and eventually scored - before he got to the mound.

Ohtani is the first pitcher in nearly 55 years to have 2+ hits, score 3+ runs, and strikeout 9+ batters (Luis Tiant, Cleveland, June 11, 1967*). The last American League pitcher to have 2+ hits and score 3+ runs in a game was Jim Perry of the Twins (May 1, 1971). 

*:'s article incorrectly reports the year as 1961.

Ohtani is also the first pitcher in Angels history to have three hits, two runs scored and two RBI. However, three Angels pitchers have scored three runs in a game:

Ken McBride, June 10, 1962 versus Royals (also 3 hits)
Joel Piñeiro, June 11, 2010 at Dodgers (went 0-for-2!)
Shohei Ohtani, April 26, 2021 at Texas also 2 hits, 2 RBI)

Ohtani allowed four runs, all in the first inning. He retired 13 in a row at one point, and completed five innings before developing a blister on the inside of his right middle finger and being pulled after 75 pitches. ("It's different from my last one and was barely starting to form. . . . I could've gone another inning.")

Ohtani's second-inning double had an exit velocity of 113.8 mph. Later, he was clocked at 29.3 feet per second when he scored on a single by Mike Trout. Statcast considers 30 feet-per-second to be "elite" speed.

Speaking of Trout, he is doing pretty well (.426/.539/.820). He leads MLB in on-base and slugging. His OPS (1.359) is more than 150 points higher than the AL's #2 hitter, J.D. Martinez (1.199). Trout trails Yermin Mercedes in batting average by .003.

Corbin Burnes of the Brewers lost to the Marlins last night, but he did not issue a walk. He fanned nine, giving him 49 strikeouts this season without a walk. The MLB record for the most strikeouts in a season before walking anyone is 51, by reliever Kenley Jansen. Burnes (the anti-Eddie Yost) will face the Dodgers on Saturday.

Schadenfreude 289: (A Continuing Series)

Dan Martin, Post:

[T]he Yankees fell back into last place in the AL East with a 4-2 loss to the Orioles on Monday night.

And they found a new way to lose: on the basepaths.

They had a chance to get back in the game in the top of the eighth, but Aaron Judge was thrown out at third on Gio Urshela's RBI single. . . .

The game didn't take long to go the wrong way for the Yankees.

Deivi Garcia . . . got off to a rough start, allowing a leadoff homer to Mullins in the first and an RBI double to Freddy Galvis in the second.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

The Yankees (9-13) have lost two straight. The Orioles (10-12) won their fourth straight at Camden Yards over the Yankees . . .

The Yankees had their chances in the eighth, but Aaron Judge tried to go from first to third on Gio Urshela's RBI single and was thrown out as the Yankees were trying to close the gap.

"I've gotta stay at second base", Judge said.  . . . "I got to play a little smarter baseball."

Aaron Boone was ejected after arguing with veteran home plate umpire Will Little, who ruled that DJ LeMahieu, the second run, did not cross the plate before Judge was thrown out. . . .

[Garcia] may get another chance . . . Corey Kluber has struggled with command coming back from missing most of the last two years. He takes a 5.40 ERA over four starts into Tuesday night's game. Jameson Taillon has a 6.23 ERA over four starts and Domingo German has a 6.27 ERA in three. Jordan Montgomery [has a] 4.57 ERA over four starts . . .

Dan Martin, Post:

It's nearly four weeks into the regular season and the 9-13 Yankees are in last place in the AL East, on their way to their worst April since 2016, when they went 8-14.

That's also the last time they failed to make the playoffs as they finished in fourth place in the AL East.

And while the Yankees will tell you it's still early . . . it's not that early.

The problems that have plagued them aren't showing signs of going away as they sit in the basement of the division.

Their slugging percentage of .348 is the worst in the majors and their OPS is .650, ahead of only the Tigers.

Incredibly, almost every offensive player is in an ugly slump . . .

And the struggles are clearly getting to them. Their comeback chances all but ended at Camden Yards on Monday night when Judge was thrown out at third base to end the top of the eighth inning after Urshela's base hit to left. The play prevented DJ LeMahieu's run from scoring, which would have gotten the Yankees to within a run.

Afterward, Judge admitted he was too aggressive on the play . . . a product of them failing to produce offensively. . . .

After a brief display of power in Cleveland . . . the Yankees looked lost again on Monday . . . As one AL scout put it Tuesday, "Almost everyone is going bad."

That includes particularly worrying trends from Gary Sanchez . . . who is slipping towards the horrific numbers he put up in 2020. In his past nine games, he's 2-for-28 with 10 strikeouts and no extra-base hits. In the same stretch, Gleyber Torres is 6-for-33 with no extra-base hits. Aaron Hicks is 4-for-33 in 10 games . . . Clint Frazier is 2-for-37 with 17 strikeouts . . . LeMahieu is 2-for-20 and Brett Gardner is 1-for-19.  . . .

So what to do? There are no simple fixes. No one on the 40-man roster could be expected to come up and provide an impact . . .

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Aaron Boone was furious. Home plate umpire Will Little had waved off the second run of the Yankees’ eighth-inning rally. The Yankees manager had been looking at bench coach Carlos Mendoza and when he turned to the field to ask for a replay, he was told he was too late.

Boone stormed onto the field and was quickly ejected  by first base umpire Greg Gibson — his first of the season. But the real fury should have been at third base, where Aaron Judge had run into the third out of the inning, killing the rally as the Yankees fell to the Orioles 4-2 at Camden Yards. ...

Austin Hays threw out Judge before DJ LeMahieu crossed the plate for the second run, home plate umpire Will Little ruled. Boone was having bench coach Carlos Mendoza check with the video replay room to see if they should challenge the play at third or at home plate.

When he went to challenge, the umpires said it was too late. Boone argued they didn't give him enough time.

"He was basically saying, don't even come out and try to discuss challenging us because you can't and you're out of here," Boone said . . . "I just felt like it was kind of bullying"

Dan Martin, Post:

The Yankees didn't call up Deivi Garcia until they needed a sixth starter — and that's pretty much what the right-hander pitched like on Monday night.

The 21-year-old right-hander wasn't the reason the Yankees lost to the Orioles — a lethargic offense and poor baserunning had much more to do with it — but Garcia didn't exactly stake a claim to a rotation spot. . . .

Garcia gave up a long homer to Cedric Mullins, who unloaded on a 92 mph fastball on Garcia's second pitch of the game, reaching Eutaw Street beyond the seats in right.

In the second, Freddy Galvis drilled an RBI double to left-center, scoring Pedro Severino from first to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead. . . .

Garcia's outing ended after 65 pitches and four innings. He called it "a learning experience" . . .

April 26, 2021

Ohtani: First Pitcher In 100 Years To Start A Game While Leading MLB In Home Runs

Shohei Ohtani will be the Angels' starting pitcher tonight in Texas (8 PM ET). He will take the mound while also leading the major leagues in home runs. A player has not done that in almost 100 years.

And that player was (not surprisingly) Babe Ruth. On Monday, June 13, 1921, Ruth led both leagues with 19 home runs and he started the Yankees' game against the Tigers. He went five innings and allowed four runs (three earned), walking seven and striking out one (Ty Cobb!). He also hit two dongs and New York won 13-8. After another start on October 1, 1921, Ruth did not pitch for another nine years.

Ohtani's seven home runs is actually tied for the MLB lead with seven other players. He has homered in each of his last two games and three of his last five. This will be his third start of the season. In his first two starts, he had allowed three hits and three runs (one earned) in 8.2 innings while walking 11 (!) and striking out 14.

Since April 13, when Ohtani was hitting .364 with a 1.187 OPS, he has slumped, going 6-for-33 (.182/.229/.485). His season OPS is still .983, good enough for second on the Angels behind Mike Trout (1.325).