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Appearances Without Throwing A Strike A Look at High-Scoring Games (and the Twins’ Futility)
In my last postArmando Almanza
This feat has happened 44 times since 1950, which is as far back as Baseball-Reference’s pitch totals go. None of the 44 got 2 outs. I’ll break these games down by how the pitcher got the out.
First off, let’s look at the pitchers who picked a runner off base. These are true pickoffs, with the runner returning to his original base, not the ones in which the runner is out trying to advance (those are in the next list).
|1||Mitch Williams||1989-04-28||CHC||SDP||W 3-1||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|2||Mitch Williams||1989-09-11||CHC||MON||W 4-3||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|3||Jeff Parrett||1990-06-10||PHI||CHC||L 3-7||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|4||Richie Lewis||1994-07-23||FLA||COL||L 4-5||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|5||Ed Vosberg||2000-07-14||PHI||TOR||L 2-3||0.1||0||2||0||0||0||1||0|
|6||Jerry DiPoto||2000-10-01||COL||ATL||W 10-5||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|7||Joe Beimel||2003-05-30||PIT||STL||W 7-3||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|8||Mike Stanton||2007-05-02||CIN||HOU||L 1-3||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|9||Brayan Villarreal||2011-04-12||DET||TEX||W 5-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Not only did Mitch Williams pull off this tricky feat twice–something only 8 other players have done–he did it twice in one season. Even better, both these pickoffs resulted in the last out of the game; he was awarded a Save for each game, without throwing a strike in either! None of the other games were Saves, but Vosberg, Beimel, and Villareal all received Holds for their efforts.
Next up, these are the pickoff-caught stealings. On these plays, the runner is caught stealing by the pitcher (not the catcher).
|1||Tony Sipp||2010-07-25||CLE||TBR||L 2-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|2||Trever Miller||2010-05-06||STL||PHI||L 2-7||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|3||Fu-Te Ni||2009-09-12||DET||TOR||L 6-8||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|4||Alan Embree||2009-07-07||COL||WSN||W 5-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|5||Salomon Torres||2006-06-28||PIT||CHW||L 3-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|6||B.J. Ryan||2003-05-01||BAL||DET||W 5-2||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|7||Tim Worrell||2002-05-19||SFG||FLA||L 2-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|8||Rheal Cormier||2001-04-29||PHI||LAD||L 1-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|9||Eric Plunk||1990-06-04||NYY||BOS||L 3-5||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|10||Kenny Rogers||1989-08-30||TEX||MIN||L 3-7||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||1||0|
We have a Fu-Te Ni sighting! Also, it’s always nice to see Eric Plunk’s name pop up. One of the worst pitching names ever–right up there with Bob Walk and Grant Balfour. Except for Sipp and Kenny Rogers, the rest of these guys are like the “journeyman reliever All-Stars.” There were no Saves or Holds in this group, but Embree and Ryan actually recorded Wins for their 0 pitch efforts.
The third group is the true caught stealings, in which the catcher throws the runner out trying to advance. These are fun because the pitcher didn’t really do anything to deserve the out, but he gets credited with it anyway.
|1||George Estock||1951-08-11||BSN||BRO||L 1-8||0.1||0||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|2||Johnny Klippstein||1963-07-29||PHI||LAD||L 2-6||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|3||Gary Wayne||1990-09-05||MIN||MIL||L 4-7||0.1||1||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|4||Pat Clements||1992-05-19||SDP||NYM||L 0-8||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|5||Gregg Olson||1993-07-25||BAL||MIN||L 2-5||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|6||Yorkis Perez||1996-05-12||FLA||COL||W 7-5||0.1||1||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|7||Tom Candiotti||1997-05-04||LAD||CHC||W 5-2||0.1||1||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|8||Marc Wilkins||1997-08-19||PIT||SDP||W 5-3||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|9||Steve Reed||1998-04-08||SFG||HOU||L 3-6||0.1||0||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|10||Mel Rojas||1998-04-28||NYM||HOU||L 3-4||0.1||0||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|11||Lance Painter||1998-07-01||STL||KCR||L 4-6||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|12||Danny Graves||1998-08-09||CIN||MIL||L 3-4||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|13||Matt Whiteside||1999-09-30||SDP||ARI||L 3-5||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|14||Scott Forster||2000-08-05||MON||HOU||W 10-9||0.1||0||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|15||Armando Almanza||2001-04-17||FLA||ATL||W 3-2||0.1||2||8||0||2||1||0||1|
|16||Kyle Farnsworth||2003-07-02||CHC||PHI||W 1-0||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|17||Scott Munter||2005-05-26||SFG||LAD||L 4-6||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|18||Chad Paronto||2007-05-06||ATL||LAD||W 6-4||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|19||Scott Proctor||2007-08-01||LAD||SFG||W 6-4||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|20||Ramon Ramirez||2008-08-01||KCR||CHW||L 2-4||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|21||Shawn Camp||2010-05-20||TOR||SEA||L 3-4||0.1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
My favorite entry on this list is Tom Candiotti’s. He came in with Brian McRae on second, with Jose Hernandez at the plate. McRae successfully stole third, but then tried to steal home on what turned out to be ball 4 to Hernandez. McRae was out at the plate, of course, resulting in one of the strangest baseball plays: the walk that results in an out.
Paronto and Farnsworth recorded Wins in their appearances, and Gary Wayne took the loss in his when the man he walked came around to score after he left the game. Again, no Saves, but several players received Holds: Camp, Forster, Rojas, Almanza, Wilkins, and Candiotti.
The final group consists of the other outs; I’ll explain the circumstances for each after the list.
|1||Brendan Donnelly||2009-09-30||FLA||ATL||W 5-4||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2||Randy Flores||2002-06-14||TEX||HOU||W 9-6||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|3||Mark Wohlers||2001-08-16||NYY||TBD||W 12-5||0.1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|4||Bobby Shantz||1964-06-11||STL||LAD||L 0-5||0.1||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
Donnelly came into the game with the 2 outs in the 9th inning and Braves’ Matt Diaz on third base representing the tying run. His very first pitch was an extremely wild one, but for some reason Diaz stopped halfway to home plate, then belatedly decided to go anyway, and was thrown out. Because he wasn’t running on the play, it wasn’t a caught stealing; because he didn’t advance, it wasn’t a wild pitch. It was just a “caught advancing.” For the last out of the game. I was watching that game, and as a Braves fan, I can tell you that it was one of the more dumbfounding losses I’ve ever seen. That is no way to lose a game.
Flores also came into the game with 2 outs in the 9th inning, but he had it a bit easier. His Rangers had a 3-run lead and only a runner on 1st. After Flores threw one pitch (a ball), his catcher, Ivan Rodriguez, threw to first and picked off the runner, Richard Hidalgo. For that, Flores (like Donnelly) got a Save.
Wohlers also came on with 2 outs in the 9th, though his was not a save situation (his Yankees led by 8 runs). Still, his situation was stressful, as the bases were loaded. On his first pitch, the catcher (Todd Greene) let the ball get to the backstop for a passed ball. The runner on 3rd (Aubrey Huff) scored, but when the runner on 2nd (Felix Martinez) tried to score as well, he was thrown out to end the game. The throw went from the 1st baseman to the pitcher, so the pitch must have taken a crazy bounce after getting by the catcher.
Finally, Shantz’s game is different from the others. He came in with his team trailing 2-0, with a runner on 3rd and 2 outs in the 7th inning. I can’t say for sure, but this play must have been similar to the Donnelly play above, because the runner on 3rd (Maury Wills, renowned baserunner, of all people) was “caught advancing” to home.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of all these fascinatingly strange games. Come back later for what I’m sure will be more wild and wacky facts about baseball.
Tagged with: Armando Almanza bad good games baserunning Bobby Shantz Brendan Donnelly Eric Plunk Fu-Te Ni Kenny Rogers Mark Wohlers Mitch Williams Randy Flores rare feats Tom Candiotti
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
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