May 23, 1991
Making just his second start of the season, the Phillies’ Tommy Greene, a former first-round pick of the Braves with six major league victories to his credit, pitched a no-hitter against the Expos, striking out 10 and walking seven in the process.
Facing the Expos again five days later, he hurled a second straight shutout, allowing three hits, walking none and striking out nine in what could be argued was an even better performance. He threw 130 pitches in the no-hitter, as opposed to 110 in the second shutout.
In all, Greene allowed one run over 31 innings during the month of May. He went on to finish the season 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 207 2/3 innings, a total he reached despite pitching out of the bullpen for six weeks.
Unfortunately, it was one of only two healthy seasons Greene would have as a major leaguer. After throwing 120 pitches eight times in 1991, including 136 and 133 in September outings, he went 3-3 with a 5.32 ERA in a 1992 season in which he was limited by shoulder problems.
Healthy again in 1993, he went 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA to finish sixth in the NL Cy Young balloting. However, he was a major bust in the postseason, giving up 17 runs over 11 2/3 innings in his three starts. In his lone World Series outing, he allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in Game 4. The Phillies overcame his struggles and took a 12-7 lead in the fifth inning, only to eventually lose to the Blue Jays 15-14.
Suffering from more shoulder problems, Greene won just two major league games after 2003. He retired at age 30 after a 1997 season spent primarily with Houston’s Triple-A affiliate.
The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.
The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.
The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.
Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.