On October 4th, former big league reliever Takashi Saito, at the age of forty-five, took the mound for one last time, struck out a batter, and called it a career — a long, respectable career that spanned over twenty-two seasons and seven teams.
I note that Toru Hosokawa, the batter, took a pair of “this guy is going to retire so let him have his moment now” swings. This is an usual sight in the NPB.
In his career, the right-hander accomplished many great feats — other than punching out Hosokawa, obviously. Some of those accomplishments make him a member of elite clubs. Let’s take a look at what he did. Continue reading
With the first two games of the 2015 World Series in the books, here are some interesting facts from those contests:
- Alcides Escobar hit first inside-the-park home run in the World Series in 86 years. It was on a first pitch to lead off the first inning. So, how many others have smacked a lead-off first-pitch inside-the-park home run, including the regular season? There’s only one other such event in recorded history, since 1938; Tim Raines did it against the Padres’ Chris Welsh on May 7th, 1981.
- The game lasted 14 innings, tying the longest record for a World Series game, along with game 2 of the 1916 series and game 3 of the 2005 series. First of which featured another first inning inside-the-park 4-bagger, though not leading off, hit by Hi Myers off of Babe Ruth, who tossed all 14 innings for a complete game win.
- The Royals’ pitching struck out a combined fifteen Mets hitters. This is tied for the second-most single game mark in World Series history, behind only when Bob Gibson famously punched out seventeen Tigers in game one of the 1968 series.
- Matt Harvey struck out an uncharacteristic two in six innings, tied for the fewest single-game mark in his career (June 10th, 2015) .
- Wilmer Flores became the first player to reach on an error while bringing in the go-ahead run in the 8th inning or later of a World Series game since… when Mookie Wilson made Vin Scully yell “Behind the bag!” I kid you not.
- Alex Gordon’s game-tying home run was the first to put team on top or tie a game in the 9th inning or later in the World Series since David Freese’s walk-off blast in 2011 game 6, exactly four years preceding this game.
- Johnny Cueto set many records with his outstanding two-hit complete game victory. To mention a few…
- The Dominican right-hander became the first pitcher in twenty years to toss a two-hitter (or better) in the World Series, since Greg Maddux in 1995 game 1.
- He also joined Roger Clemens in 2000 as the only pitchers to threw more than one eight-plus IP, two or fewer hits outings in a single postseason.
- Like his colleague Harvey in game 1, Jacob deGrom struck out just two Royals, and that was the fewest single-game record in his big league career, along with 3 other outings.
- Daniel Murphy has cooled off a bit. Not only has he gone homerless in first 2 games of the World Series, but he’s also struck out twice in each of them. Murphy has had one other multi-K streak in his entire career, spanning over three games from July 2nd to 5th, 2014.