Brad Lidge's rare feat: five baserunners, one inning, one save

7 Comments

Brad Lidge has certainly come up with some, shall we say, creative saves while struggling the last two years, but perhaps nothing tops today’s.
After entering a 5-2 game against the Rockies to start the top of the ninth, he gave a double and a homer to bring the Colorado to within one. He then allowed the Rockies to load up the bases with two outs before finally retiring Ryan Spilborghs on a comebacker to end the game.
In yielding three hits and two walks (one intentional), he became the first pitcher in two years to allow five men to reach and still pick up a one-inning save.
The unusual occurence had happened a total of 12 times since 2000, including once in a Lidge save back in 2005. Lidge, though, was hurt by an error in that one and both runs he allowed were unearned. Here’s the list:
1. Jeff Brantley (Phillies) – May 21, 2000
2. Ricky Bottalico (Royals) – Aug. 7, 2000
3. Trevor Hoffman (Padres) – April 3, 2002
4. Billy Koch (Athletics) – Sept. 27, 2002
5. Jorge Julio (Orioles) – May 9, 2004
6. Keith Foulke (Red Sox) – April 8, 2005
7. Brad Lidge (Astros) – Aug. 10, 2005
8. Bobby Jenks (White Sox) – Sept. 29, 2006
9. Todd Jones (Tigers) – May 19, 2007
10. Joe Borowski (Indians) – July 20, 2007
11. C.J. Wilson (Rangers) – Sept. 2, 2007
12. C.J. Wilson (Rangers) – June 15, 2008
Of course, all of these pitchers allowed exactly two runs. However, for Lidge’s 2005 save and Borowski’s in 2007, both runs were unearned.
That today’s five-baserunner save featured a homer made it even more rare. None of the previous 11 had. Brantley’s did, though.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

Elsa/Getty Images
19 Comments

Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.