Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pitchers with 4 Strikeouts in 1 Inning

That's what I was talking about in yesterday's post. A Facebook friend had posted it as a baseball trivia question.

I'm sure you know how this can happen. A batter with two strikes swings at a pitch that the catcher does not field cleanly. The batter is allowed to attempt first base and is safe unless he is tagged out before reaching the bag. The pitcher is awarded a strikeout, but an out is not recorded. The pitcher then goes on to strike out the side.

The last time it happened was in back-to-back Dodgers games this season.

On May 15, Jansen struck out Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies on a passed ball. Gonzales then stole second. Jansen then struck out Hendley, Stubbs and LeMehiue on 10 pitches. The Dodgers went on to win the game 6-4, giving Kershaw his 2nd win of the season.

On May 16, Sanchez, who was then with the Dodgers but is now with the Yankees, struck out LeMehiue on a wild pitch. He then threw a wild pitch to Gonzalez allowing LeMehiue to move to second. Gonzalez then singled and Arenado hit a 3-run homer. Sanchez, the damage done, proceeded to strike out the next three batters. The Dodgers lost this game 7-1, Zack Greinke's first loss of the season.

I'm curious why there was a 40-year gap in 4-strikeout innings? A change in rules perhaps?

I was going to feature the last time a Phillie had done this but apparently a Phillie pitcher has never done it.

Not many pitchers have done this twice, but Zack Greinke, not has only done it twice but once in each league. He did it in 2014 with the Dodgers and once in 2012 with the Angels.

The last American League pitcher to do this was Anibal Sanchez in 2013.

He did it in the first inning of the first game of the ALDS against the Red Sox. He struck out Ellsbury to start the inning, the struck out Victorino with a wild pitch. Victorino stole 2nd and Pedroia walked. Sanchez then struck out Ortiz and Napoli and went on to win the game 1-0. There had not been a 4-strikeout inning in a playoff game since Orval Overal of the Cubs did it in 1908. Overal was 2-0 in the 1908 World Series, helping the Cubs to win their second World Series in as many years.

One final note, Chuck Finley has managed to do this three times, twice with the Angels (both in 1999) and with the Indians in 2000.

You can find the full list here. Box score information courtesy of baseball-reference.com.


Jupiterhill said...

Nice list. I thought for sure that Greg Maddux did it once for the Braves. After looking at the list, I guess it was Mark Wohlers that did it. I remember watching a Braves game on TV where it happened. I guess my fandom of Maddux just made me believe it was him.

Fuji said...

Remember seeing the Jansen moment a while back on a Dodgerfilms YT video. Very cool stuff.