Tuesday, April 4, 2017

jimjustsaying's Annual Baseball Special

 Ten Favorite Oddities of the 2016 Season

April 2--Chasen Shreve is the first pitcher in a decade to allow a home run on each of the first two pitches he throws in a game.

May 30--The Cubs bullpen provides seven perfect innings — the most in a game since 1917, when Red Sox starting pitcher Babe Ruth was ejected and Ernie Shore completed a no-hitter.

June 1--Exactly one-third of the way into their season, the Cardinals whack their 10th pinch-hit home run, matching their total in the previous four years combined.

July 12--In an All-Star Game managed by Terry Collins of the Mets, none of the four players on his own team appear.

July 1--The lone run of a game scores on a passed ball for the first time since 1986, as the Reds edge the Brewers.

July 23--Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy is knocked out of a game when a TV monitor in the broadcast booth falls on his head.

July 28--Jeurys Familia of the Mets blows his second save in less than 24 hours after converting 52 in a row over the previous 360 days.

Aug. 31--In a major-league first, rookies on opposing teams hit grand slams, as Stephen Cardullo and Andrew Toles connect.

Oct. 7--Elias Sport Bureau notes that, for the fourth time in five years, a left-handed batter who didn’t homer against a southpaw in the regular season did so in the playoffs.

Nov. 2--Three different Cubs catchers drive in a run as Chicago wins Game 7 of the World Series.

Chicago Cubs firsts (in addition to winning their first World Series in 108 years)--Third baseman Kris Bryant, en route to being named the National League's Most Valuable Player, became the first ever to homer multiple times in a 5-for-5 performance more than once in a season.  And also: he became the first ever to homer three times and hit two doubles in one game. His teammate, center fielder Dexter Fowler became the first ever to hit lead off a World Series Game 7 with a home run.


The heroics of Cubs catcher Miguel Montero (reflecting bad strategy by two opposing managers):

Game One of 2016 NLCS:  Although it was his walk-off homer that clinched the division crown in September, he was hitting just .216 in that Game One when in the 8th inning, 3-3 tie, runners on first and second with two out and the pitcher due up, the Dodgers, presumably to get ace smoke-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman out of the game, elected to buck tradition by loading the bases by intentionally by walking lefty swinging Chris Coghlan.  Montero--the lone left-handed bat left on the bench--foiled the Dodgers strategy by hitting an 0-2 pitch from Joe Blanton for a grand slam.

Then, in Game 7 of the World Series, Cleveland elected to walk Addison Russell on purpose to load the bases and bring up Montero, who singled to left field to score what proved to be the winning run!

(Thanks to Athlon Sports, my favorite baseball annual, for these nuggets.)

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