Truth might be stranger than fiction, but baseball can be stranger than either of them, and here's all the proof you need.On April, 2007, Carlos Delgato swung at a pitch that actually hit him.
In back-to-back starts, May 21 and 27, Giants starter Russ Ortiz won a game in which he gave up 10 runs (in 6 2/3 innings), then failed to win a game in which he gave up one hit (in six innings).
In a span of four days (Aug. 5-8), A's closer Jason Isringhausen blew one save without throwing a pitch (balk). Then he came into a game in New York, blew a save on his first pitch (Bernie Williams homer) and turned that tie into a loss on his next pitch (David Justice homer). So that's two blown saves on one pitch, a loss on the next pitch, if you're scoring.
In a game in which he became the fourth player in history to play all nine positions in one game, Texas' Scott Sheldon had no balls hit to him at any of those positions. (His only chance: at catcher, where he at least caught a strikeout).
In game against San Diego, Rockies catcher Ben Petrick performed the Strange But True Feat of the Year 2000, by driving in four runs -- with zero hits. (Two RBI ground balls, one sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk were all it took.)
Charlie Manuel opened his big-league managing career in Cleveland by getting ejected in two of his first three games.
Rickey Henderson had no extra-base hits in a month and a half with the Mets, then homered in his first at-bat with the Mariners.
Devil Rays starter Ryan Rupe gave up two grand slams in one season -- to the same hitter (Jermaine Dye), five months apart (April 26 and Sept. 1).
The Yankees set the most impossible record of the year twice. They hit three sacrifice flies in an inning in two different games. Detroit's Bobby Higginson made the first one possible by dropping a fly ball. Anaheim's Ron Gant guided them through the second one by dropping one fly ball on Aug. 19, then catching another one but forgetting the outs, to let Jorge Posada score from second.
The Twins and Royals each hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the same game. Neither of them hit back-to-back-to-back homers in any game in the '90s.
In that same game, the Royals started their day against Eric Milton by having none of their first 20 hitters reach base. They followed that act by having their next nine hitters reach base.
In a game against the White Sox, Juan Gonzalez made the third out of the first, second and third innings.
Kevin Elster hit three home runs in the very first game ever played at Pac Bell Park. After that, he didn't hit three homers in any month all season.
Jeff Cirillo had an even more amazing quiniella: He managed to have a three-homer game and a 217-at-bat homer drought in the same season.
Hideo Nomo allowed a home run after he was out of the game. It isn't easy, but to pull it off, Nomo had to allow a shot off a left-field railing by Mike Stanley that was first ruled a single. Nomo was then yanked by manager Phil Garner. So he was literally sitting in the dugout when the umpires conferred -- and changed the call to a home run.
In a game in Texas, the Rangers blew a five-run lead and the A's blew an eight-run lead in the same game.
With some slight assistance from a pulled groin, Texas infielder Frank Catalanotto went 29 straight days (between April 19 and May 18) without making an out. He got hits in five straight at-bats, then went on the disabled list, then came back and had a 5-for-5 game.
But he couldn't top backup Astros catcher Tony Eusebio, who had one of the most innovative hitting streaks of all time. It lasted 51 days (just 12 days shorter than Joe DiMaggio's) -- but only 24 games. So Eusebio had more days in which he extended the streak by not playing than he did by playing.
In a Mets-Giants game, the first batter of the day (Jon Nunnally) and the last batter of the day (Jeff Kent) hit home runs.
The vagabond-starter-of-the-year award goes to Florida's Jesus Sanchez. In August and September, he made successive road starts in the Mountain (Colorado), Pacific (Arizona), Central (Houston) and Eastern (Atlanta) time zones, then made his next start in -- where else? -- Canada (Montreal).
On their first meeting since their humongous nine-player trade the previous winter, the Tigers and Rangers miraculously got through a whole game without using any of the nine players in that trade.
The White Sox hit five home runs in one game and lost. Then they gave up five home runs the next day and won.
The Braves turned a ground-ball double play in which both outs were at first base. (Ground ball to first for one out. Late throw to the plate. Rundown between first and second.)
The Marlins somehow lost a game against San Diego in which they stole 10 bases.
The Cubs and Expos played a 1-0 game in which the only run was driven in by a pitcher who didn't get the win (Ismael Valdes).
In a game in Houston, both Benes brothers -- Andy and Alan -- gave up a home run to the same hitter (Lance Berkman).
Thanks to spectacularly creative base running, the Cubs started an inning by having their first five hitters reach base -- and wound up with more outs (two) than runs (one).
It took Tigers reliever Danny Patterson only two pitches to strike out Oakland's Ramon Hernandez -- thanks to manager Phil Garner, who cooperatively yanked C.J. Nitkowski after Hernandez ran an 0-2 count trying to bunt. Patterson then threw ball one, strike three.
In one year the Yankees out-homered the Red Sox in their head-to-head games at Fenway Park, 14-0.
In their incredible game in which they used 42 players, the Tigers and Red Sox used 17 different players in the top of the eighth inning, then ripped through five more players before a pitch was thrown in the bottom of the eighth.
Strange Baseball Injuries
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