June 9, 1961
Making his first start of the year in the second game of a doubleheader, the California Angels’ Ryne Duren fans seven straight Red Sox to set an American League record in a 5-1 victory.
Duren’s streak started when Frank Malzone whiffed to end the first inning with two men on. He went on to strike out the side in both the second and third innings before Carl Yastrzemski grounded out to begin the fourth.
The hard-throwing Duren ended his outing with 11 strikeouts. He gave up one run and walked four in 6 2/3 innings. Eli Grba took over in the seventh and finished the game from there for a save.
Duren’s rotation stint didn’t last, however. He walked eight in 2 1/3 innings in a game against the Athletics later in June. He was sent back to the pen in July after two starts in which he combined to allow eight runs and walk nine in 4 2/3 innings.
Duren was selected to his third and final All-Star Game in 1961 anyway, but he didn’t get to pitch. He ended the year 6-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 14 starts and 30 relief appearances. He struck out 115 and walked 79 in 104 innings.
Duren ended up making 32 career starts and going 7-11 with a 4.55 ERA. A feared reliever in his early years because of his wildness and poor eyesight, he finished with a 3.57 ERA in 279 appearances out of the pen. In 589 1/3 major league innings, he struck out 630 and walked 393.
Duren’s AL strikeout record was matched a few times during the 1960s before being broken by Nolan Ryan on July 9, 1972. Ryan struck out eight in a row against the Red Sox then and again just a year later versus the Tigers on July 15, 1973. The major league record for consecutive strikeouts is 10, set by the Mets’ Tom Seaver on April 22, 1970. He fanned the last 10 Padres he faced and 19 overall.
Duren passed away earlier this year at age 71.
From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.
Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.
The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.
Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”
The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.
Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.
The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.