King Felix strikes out four in one inning

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Felix Hernandez headshot.jpgIt’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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.