It’s not as exciting as a perfect game — it’s not even as exciting as a near-perfect game — but I almost like quirky stuff like this better: Felix Hernandez struck out four guys in one inning last night. The wild pitch punchout went to Joe Mauer, but the King then bore down and got Justin Morneau looking. Here’s the video of all four strikeouts.
Thanks to MLB.com we now know that the 4K feat has happened forty-nine times. The first one I remember from that list was Mike Scott, who did it in 1986. Thanks to getting the USA Today and its then-astoundingly comprehensive weekly stats page at home that summer ’86 was the first season I really followed statistics closely. Because of it, I was totally fixated on Scott’s rising strikeout totals and I thought the 4K inning — mentioned in a little blurb in the next morning’s recaps — was the most awesome thing ever.
On some weird level it kind of is. At least for dorks like me.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.
Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers notched his first major league hit in style on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners. The 20-year-old smashed a solo home run to straightaway center field, padding his team’s lead to 2-0 in the third inning.
Per MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account, Devers is currently the youngest player in baseball at 20 years and 275 days. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of walks and a run scored in Tuesday’s 13-inning loss to the Mariners.