Fun from Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times today: 2012’s most exciting and incredible games.
It not only highlights the games themselves, but talks a bit about what makes a game wild: close-and-late? Comebacks? No-hitters? Big swings and constant lead changes? All of that really.
Jaffe puts them on a point scale and tries to quantify the excitement. Which, yes, I admit plays into stathead stereotypes, but we’ll let it pass because Jaffe’s good at what he does.
Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.
As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.