December 29, 2014

Strange Things Happened In 2014

Some strange and unusual things happened on major league baseball diamonds in 2014. Jayson Stark tells you about them - as only he can. Here are two:
There were 37 players who scored four runs (or more) in a game at least once in 2014. Our man Jose Molina, on the other hand, scored four runs all year. In 80 games. And in 247 trips to the plate. Do you even have to ask how many other players in history got that much playing time and scored that few runs in a season? That would be none. Of course. ...

We guarantee Boston's Mike Carp will never forget his first and only trip to the pitcher's mound (April 24, against the Yankees). He faced seven hitters -- and walked five of them, making him the only man in the past 90 years to walk five hitters in one inning. Amazingly, he only gave up one run, thanks to the miracle of a Brian McCann double-play ball in the middle of all that.
Xander Bogaerts is one of Christina Kahrl's 11 "picks to click" in 2015:
No more distractions, he's a shortstop and gets to settle in. ... [I]t's going to be fun to watch as Bogaerts quietly clouts 50 extra-base hits ... Skip any disappointment, his stardom begins now.
Rusney Castillo batted .405 in 10 Puerto Rico Winter League games. Alex Cora, manager of Criollos de Caguas, said:
He's ready to play in the big leagues. Mentally, we were very impressed with his approach. He didn't try and pull too much. Most of his hits were back up the middle, right-center. Defensively was the part that caught our eye. He did a really good job in center field. He has a feel of where to play guys after that first at-bat. We liked what we saw.
Also: Building the bullpen.

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