Friday Fun Facts

I know you were wondering why Doug Slaten got the victory instead of Miguel Batista, who became the pitcher of record after he relieved John Lannan with two outs in the fifth–starters have to pitch at least 5.0 innings to be the pitcher of record. Lannan would have earned the victory had he recorded the final out in the fifth, but Batista became the pitcher of record after getting the last out in the fifth.


Batista inherited two runners in the bottom of the fifth and allowed one to score. If he had stopped pitching after he recorded the final out in the fifth, he would have posted the 1/3 inning win–there were 54 of them last year. But here is where it gets semi-tricky… Batista pitched into the seventh inning and surrendered a two-run homer, cutting the Nats lead to 7-6. Slaten recorded the final two outs of the seventh and the official scorer decided to give him the victory. This is where rule 10.17 (c) comes into play–yeah, the one you memorized in middle school.


And Rule 10.17 (c) reads… The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.


It is clear that the official scorer did not find Batista’s three hits, two runs and one home run in 1.2 innings as effective and that’s why Slaten got the win.


In other news just as irrelevant… I am always amazed at the people at Elias Sports Bureau. I can’t imagine where we would be without them. They know everything. And if they don’t know everything, they sure can find anything. I think the world would be worse off without them. They let us know the last time someone went 4-for-4 on their birthday without driving in a run on the road after an hour rain delay with a 14 mph wind to the NE. They are good.


Here are five things I learned this week from Elias. I am now a better person because of it.



Tyler Clippard, who was credited with the victory in the Nationals win over the Mets, now leads the National League with seven wins this season. The last relief pitcher with a league lead with seven or more wins was the Braves Gene Garber in 1987; his eight wins led the National League as late as June 12 that season. Only one other pitcher in major-league history accumulated seven relief wins in as few as 34 team games: Houston’s Jim Ray had 7 wins in the first 28 games of the 1972 season.


Roger Bernadina came into Wednesday’s game against the Mets with a .212 career batting average and no home runs in 113 at-bats over his 41-game major-league career. But he went 3-for-5 with two home runs–including one off New York’s relief ace Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the ninth that broke a 4-4 tie–and made a sliding, backhanded catch that saved three runs in the Nationals 6-4 victory. Bernadina became the first major-leaguer in nearly 11 years to enjoy a multiple-homer game after entering that game homerless in at least 100 big-league at-bats. The last player to do that was Tim Hyers of the Marlins, who hit what proved to be the only two homers of his major-league career in an 11-6 victory over the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg on June 6, 1999. Among the other players who did that but went on to have careers that lasted a bit longer than Hyers were Hall-of-Famers Lou Boudreau and George Kell.


Miguel Olivo’s 10th-inning home run capped a 5-for-5 day as the Rockies defeated the Phillies, 4-3, in Denver on Wednesday. Put this in your “Elias Says” Hall of Fame: only two other players in modern major-league history have gone 5-for-5, climaxed by a game-ending home run: Jim Northrup did it for the Tigers (actually going 6-for-6) in a 13-inning win over the Athletics in 1969, and Fred McGriff did it for the Braves against the Cubs in 1996. Several other players have had five hits in a game in which they hit walkoff home runs (without going 5-for-5), including Hall-of-Famers Kiki Cuyler, George Brett and Jim Rice, as well as Pedro Martinez’s former sparring partner, Don Zimmer (who did it for the Dodgers in 1957).


Ryan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs in the Nationals’ game Thursday at Coors Field. It was Zimmerman’s second two-homer game this season and the sixth of his career. His first two-homer game came in Washington on Aug. 4, 2007 but all five since then have been in Nationals road games.


Zack Greinke, the 2009 A.L. Cy Young Award winner, recorded his first win this season with a 6-4 victory against the Indians on Thursday. Greinke entered the game with a 0-4 record in seven starts this season, even though he had the 11th-lowest ERA in the American League (2.51). Excluding relievers, the only other defending Cy Young winners who did not get their first victory the next season until their eighth game or later were Jim Lonborg in 1968 (9th game) and Frank Viola in 1989 (8th game).

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