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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.