September 25, 2021

After 4 Shutout Innings From Starter, Reliever Allows 4 Runs In 1.2 Innings - And Gets The Win

The Cardinals and Cubs played a doubleheader yesterday. 

Game 1:

Cardinals - 002 042 0 - 8 10  0
Cubs      - 000 005 0 - 5  6  0

St. Louis starter J.A. Happ pitched four scoreless innings. Alex Reyes was the first man out of the bullpen; he gave up four runs while recording only five outs.
Happ    4.0-2-0-4-6, 17-74
Reyes   1.2-2-4-2-3,  9-33
Reyes was awarded the "win".

Even though doubleheader games are officially seven innings, MLB has kept the outdated starter-must-go-five-innings-to-get-a-win rule in place. In a normal, as-God-intended, nine-inning game, a starter must record 15 of the 27 outs (55.6%) to qualify for a win. In a seven-inning game, a corresponding percentage of the 21 outs would be 11.7 (or, to make things simple, four innings).

In what universe is Reyes (5 outs, 4 runs) more deserving of the win than Happ (12 outs, 0 runs)?

If baseball was being invented in 2021 and the rules were being hashed out, suggesting that the above scenario made any amount of sense would get you laughed out of the room.

Also in this DH: Infielder Sergio Alcantara became the first Cubs position player (since at least 1901) to hit a home run in one game of a doubleheader (G1) and pitch in the other (G2).

More factoids from Friday, courtesy of Doug Kern:
Rafael Devers hit his 10th three-run homer or grand slam of the season in last night's loss to New York. It's the most by a Red Sox player since Manny Ramirez hit 13 such dongs in 2005. It was the fourth three- or four-run homer Devers has hit against the Yankees in 2021. No other Boston batter has hit even one.

Last night's debacle was the first time the Yankees scored 7+ runs by the third inning at Fenway since posting an eight-run second inning on September 2, 2015. The Yankees banged out 15+ hits at Fenway for the first time since August 10, 2016.

Faced one batter and gave up a triple, Orioles/Browns history:
Bullet Joe Bush at CLE, June 4, 1925
Hal Brown vs WSH, September 22, 1956
Tyler Wells vs TEX, September 24, 2021

Single, double, triple, walk, 3 RBI as #9 batter for ANY team, live-ball era:
Rip Collins, DET, June 24, 1927 at CHW*
Steve Buechele, TEX, April 25, 1989 at CLE
Eric Byrnes, OAK, August 3, 2004 at NYY
Kevin Kiermaier, TBR, September 24, 2021 vs MIA*
* Did not score a run.

Cleveland was shutout at home for the eighth time this season. The only other season at Jacobs/Progressive Field with more shutouts was 2009 (nine).
Kern's use of "Met" as a verb was amusing:
I thought the Mets might find new ways to Met, but Brandon Nimmo is actually the SIXTH player in team history to lead off the game with a triple, come around to score, and have that be the only Mets run in the game.
Now you want the others.
Billy Cowan at CIN, June 15 1965
Cleon Jones vs CHC, August 27, 1967
Mookie Wilson at PIT, September 7, 1981
Jose Reyes at COL, June 21, 2008
Juan Lagares vs WSH, April 2, 2014

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