Every single pitch in play

In 1993, both Mike Fetters and Paul Gibson did something really unusual.

For as far back as Baseball-Reference.com has pitch data (1988), here are the pitching appearances where each batter faced saw just one pitch:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp App,Dec IP H R ER HR Pit Str IR IS BF ERA
1 Paul Gibson 1993-07-18 NYY OAK 9-9f 1.0 3 1 1 0 6 6 0 0 6 9.00
2 Mike Fetters 1993-05-15 MIL CLE 9-9f 1.0 3 2 2 0 6 6 1 1 6 18.00
3 Duaner Sanchez 2005-05-07 LAD CIN 6-7 0.2 1 2 2 0 4 4 0 0 4 27.00
4 Matt Belisle 2005-05-03 CIN STL 9-9f 1.0 1 0 0 0 4 4 0 0 4 0.00
5 Brandon Lyon 2005-04-11 ARI COL 9-9f ,S 1.0 1 0 0 0 4 4 0 0 4 0.00
6 Paul Quantrill 2004-03-30 NYY TBD 6-7 1.0 1 1 1 0 4 4 1 0 4 9.00
7 Bob Wells 1999-06-18 MIN TBD 8-8 ,BW 1.0 1 0 0 0 4 4 2 1 4 0.00
8 Scott Sanders 1997-06-13 SEA COL 9-9f 1.0 2 0 0 0 4 4 0 0 4 0.00
9 Scott Bailes 1989-05-07 (2) CLE MIN 7-8 1.1 0 0 0 0 4 4 2 0 4 0.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/15/2012.

Since 1988, there is only one pitcher to have his batters faced equal his pitches thrown for an entire season, and that’s Trent Durrington, an infielder for the Brewers who pitched one game in 2004, throwing just one pitch.

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15 Comments on "Every single pitch in play"

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Kyle Lobner

I didn’t see it mentioned in the post, but you must have left off all the one batter appearances, right? The Play Index is showing me over 300 “one batter, one pitch” outings.


Scott Bailes deserves the 1989 Excellent Efficiency Example award: four pitches, four batters, four outs! Earned his pay that day. . . .

John Autin

One out per pitch? Mere child’s play!
Jeff Ballard got 4 outs with 3 pitches to 2 batters:

Dr. Remulak

The age old baseball rule: two pitches, two outs, next batter: take a pitch. I’m sure many a one-pitch-per-out appearance was derailed by this.


I remember listening to a Met or Yankee game in the 70s or 80s and a non-pitcher came in to pitch an inning and got three outs on three pitches. Anyone remember this game? As I recall, the announcers went totally bonkers in the broadcast booth after the third out.

Lawrence Azrin

Wasn’t there a relief pitcher who came into a game with none out and the bases loaded, and got out of the inning on one pitch with no runs scored? Sorry to be so vague.

Richard Chester

See John Autin’s post #4. Jeff Ballard came into relieve with runners on first and second with no outs and the next batter, Willie Randolph, lined into a triple play on the first pitch.


Jeff Nelson recorded a triple play of his only pitch of the game.
It may have been done by another pitcher as well. I’ll check soon.


Nelson is the only pitcher in the PI database to accomplish this.

The game can be found here:

John Autin

I may have remarked on this before: In that Nelson game, in the very next half-inning after the triple play, Seattle (trailing by 3 runs) loaded the bases with 1 out, but inexplicably ran themselves into a fly-ball DP to end the game. Tino Martinez apparently tried to score (a meaningless run) and was cut down, 9-3-2.

I can’t think of any logical reason for a runner from 3rd base in that situation to make an out on a caught fly ball.

Piniella had sent in a pinch-runner for the man on 1st.


This is kinda weird, replying to my own post, but it was the Royals Jerry Terrell. He pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning against the Yankees using just three pitches on 8/20/1979, which coincidentally was my brother’s 22nd birthday. I didn’t realize this until just now, but Terrell pitched a perfect inning in 1980 as well.

I know it is kind of a tangent, but discussions like this always remind me of Tippy Martinez in a game vs. Toronto in 1983, when he came in with a man on first. He picked the runner off. Then he walked the next batter and subsequently picked him off. Finally he gave up a single and again he picked off that runner. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL198308240.shtml 1 IP, 3 Pick-offs. obviously there is no pitch data, but one of the batters drew a walk so it couldn’t be a 1 pitch per out situation, but I still have always been fascinated by… Read more »

I was at an O’s game this past year where they showed that as the O’s history video montage between innings. It was odd because I didn’t know where the video was going, and it was very weird to see a this week in history start with a player getting picked off first, and I’m thinking, man I know the O’s are bad, but seriously?

John Nacca

The Tippy Martinez game was where Lenn Sakata had to come in to catch for some reason (I think Earl Weaver pinch hit for his catchers or something to that effect). Sakata of course was an infielder, and the runners were so intent on stealing on him, that Martinez caught them with huge leads and picked them off.