April 17, 2022

Joe Maddon Intentionally Walks A Guy With The Bases Loaded (Again)
Reds Rookie Hunter Greene Threw 39 Pitches Over 100 MPH Last Night
Japanese Pitcher Roki Sasaki Has Retired 52 Batters In A Row (33 By K)

Angels manager Joe Maddon intentionally walked Corey Seager of the Dodgers with the bases loaded on Friday night  in the fourth inning of a 3-2 game. (Mike Trout seems a bit baffled by the strategy.)

It's the second time Maddon has done this. The last time a batter was franked with the bags juiced was in 2008 (Josh Hamilton). That was Maddon, too.
Texas scored three runs after Seager left the on-deck circle (intentional walk, sacrifice fly, balk), so I'd say the decision failed. The Angels did score five times in their next half-inning and eventually win the game, but obviously no one knew that at the time of the Seager BBI. (It's not like Maddon's unorthodox move lit a fire in their bellies or something.) . . . And in the fourth inning of a 3-2 game? Maddon is thinking too much, or just drawing attention to himself.

Eight Players Intentionally Walked With Bases Loaded

August 2, 1881  - Abner Dalrymple, White Stockings (NL) (vs Buffalo Bisons, Chicago won 11-2)
May 23, 1901    - Nap Lajoie, Athletics (at White Sox, T9, White Sox won 11-9)
May 2, 1928     - Del Bissonette, Dodgers (at Giants, T9, 2 outs, Giants leading 2-0)
October 5, 1929 - Mel Ott, Giants (at Phillies, T9, 2 outs, Giants leading 11-3)
July 23, 1944   - Bill Nicholson, Cubs (at Giants, T8, 0 outs, Cubs trailing 7-10)
May 28, 1998    - Barry Bonds, Giants (vs Diamondbacks, B9, 2 outs, Giants trailing 6-8)
August 17, 2008 - Josh Hamilton, Texas (vs Rays, B9, 2 outs, Texas trailing 3-7)
April 15, 2022  - Corey Seager, Texas (vs Angels, B4, 1 out, Texas leading 3-2)

Bissonette: It was his 16th major league game. He had hit safely in 12 of his first 15 games (.333/.394/.683, 15 RBI in 15 games).

Dalrymple hit four doubles in a game in 1883. That's still the major league record, though it has been tied.

In 2021, the pitching staffs of only 10 major league teams threw fewer than 38 pitches clocked at 100+ mph.

Hunter Greene of the Reds threw 38 pitches at 100+ mph in only five innings last night!

Greene set two records last night (since at least 2008, Ye Olde Pitch-Tracking Era): 39 pitches at 100+ mph and 13 pitches at 101+ mph, which is a record for a starting pitcher. Greene's pitch count was 80, so half of his pitches topped 100!

Most 100 mph pitches in game (since 2008)

Hunter Greene    39   April 16, 2022
Jacob deGrom     33   June 5, 2021
Jordan Hicks     29   May 19, 2019
Nathan Eovaldi   28   August 19, 2015
Jacob deGrom     27   May 31, 2021

Roki Sasaki, the 20-year-old Japanese pitcher who threw a perfect game last Sunday, striking out 19 batters (including 13 in a row), tossed eight perfect innings today, with 14 strikeouts, before being Kershawed after throwing 102 pitches.

There had not been a perfect game in the NPB in 28 years. Sasaki nearly threw two in one week! In his last two starts, Sasaki has faced 51 batters, retired all 51, and struck out 33. (SI says his overall streak is 52 batters.)

In four starts: 31 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 56 strikeouts, 1.16 ERA, 0.290 WHIP (roughly one baserunner every 3½ innings). 
R.J. Anderson, CBS Sports:
According to data obtained by CBS Sports from Sunday's start, Sasaki's fastball averaged better than 99.5 mph and featured 19.8 inches of induced vertical break and 15.4 inches of horizontal break. That's an elite, unmatched combination. . . .

Sasaki's splitter checks in at 91.2 mph with 2.30 inches of induced vertical break and 7.80 inches of horizontal break.
Mark Buerhle, after pitching a perfect game in 2009, retired the first 17 batters in his next start, for a record 45 straight hitters retired. In 2014, Yusmeiro Petit retired 46 consecutive batters over eight games, as both a starter and reliever. Johnny Vander Meer pitched consecutive no-hitters for the Reds in June 1938.

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