Thursday, May 26, 2011

MLB Mound Milestones

It was a bit of a strange day in the Major Leagues on Wednesday as we got a taste of the good, the bad, the ugly and the bizarre when it comes to pitching!

If you think you’ve seen it all, you might have another thing coming: It all started in New York with Mariano Rivera hitting an impressive milestone for the Yankees and Toronto’s Jo-Jo Reyes going down in the history books for a reason he’ll want to forget. Then we saw Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke make his presence felt on both sides of home plate for the Brew Crew, while the Phillies – with all the talented pitchers they have on their staff – got a win from a second baseman!

Let’s start in New York, where Mariano Rivera added another accomplishment to a career that is full to the brim with them in a 7-3 win over the Blue Jays. Rivera closed things out for the Yankees with a solid ninth inning to become the first pitcher in MLB history to make 1,000 appearances with the same team, and the 15th pitcher to hit that mark in general.

That’s pretty impressive, right? Well it wasn’t all good milestones on Wednesday!

Toronto’s Jo-Jo Reyes gave up five runs on five hits in just three innings on the night, earning the loss. It wasn’t just any loss though – Reyes dropped to 0-4 on the season and now hasn’t won in 28 consecutive starts, tying an MLB record for futility!

In an odd twist of fate, current Blue Jays Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar were both playing in the last game Reyes won, back on June 13th, 2008. One more loss for the Toronto lefty though and the record is all his…

If Reyes feels like he’s the only one in the entire league who can’t get a win these days, I hope he didn’t hear about what happened between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

The Phillies went through eight pitchers before second baseman Wilson Valdez tried his hand in the top of the 19th inning. The 33-year-old got three batters to fly out and ended up earning the victory when Raul Ibanez hit a sac fly in the home half!

According to ESPN, Valdez is only the third position player to earn a win since 1968. In another strange coincidence, the class-A affiliate of the Phillies was also involved in a marathon game this week – the Clearwater Threshers ended up falling 2-1 to the Jupiter Hammerheads in 23 innings though.

Last, but not least on Wednesday was the performance of Zack Greinke.

The Brewers pitcher gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings of work in a 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals, striking out 10 batters. He also hit the game-winning homer in the fifth inning!

The Elias Sports Bureau says in the last five seasons, six pitchers have put up at least 10 strikeouts and hit a home run in the same game. Here’s the crazy thing though – four of those six have been playing for Milwaukee at the time!

What a crazy night!

No comments: