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Old 04-25-2019, 04:09 PM
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The most unlikely event/record in major league baseball histoty


A trivia site recently had the question: "what is the unlikeliest even/record that*could* happen in major league baseball game.
The answer given--a game-winning home run is hit in the bottom of the ninth by a pitcher throwing a perfect game against a pitcher who was, till then, also tossing a perfect game.
Thus strikes ne as artificial, and rather silly,but suggests a more interesting similar question what was the most unlikely event/record that* did actually occur* in a real major league game.
Note: The following would be great answer were it true, but it probably is not :
When I was a kid, many, many, many years ago, that every kids baseball fans book that had this record.
.
A third baseman in the nineteenth century once made fur errors o one batted ball.
He boggled a grounder, threw over second baseman's hard, dropped a throw from the right fielder, and threw wildly over the catchers head,,permitting the batter to go to first,second, third, and home.
Alas, his probably never happened. I sent the piece to Cooperstown HoF.
The response was that the player was a real major leaguer, the box score didn't reflect the claim and hat the payer, who was known s a jokester, probably made it up.p.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:34 PM
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A batted ball bouncing off an outfielder's head and into the stands for a home run.

Oh wait, that really happened.
  #3  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
A batted ball bouncing off an outfielder's head and into the stands for a home run.

Oh wait, that really happened.
A bird crosses between the batter and pitcher and gets hit by the pitch.

Oh wait, that really happened.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:42 PM
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Setting aside ones that are not only improable, but have never actually happened, like the example in the OP's trivia contest:

I'd nominate Johnny Vander Meer throwing no-hitters in two consecutive starts in 1938. As of today, a total of 299 no-hitters have been thrown in MLB history, thirty-six pitchers have thrown multiple no-hitters, five have thrown multiple no-hitters in the same season, but no one else has matched Vander Meer's feat.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-25-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
A batted ball bouncing off an outfielder's head and into the stands for a home run.

Oh wait, that really happened.
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
A bird crosses between the batter and pitcher and gets hit by the pitch.

Oh wait, that really happened.
I remember when both of those happened. Oh they were great.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
A bird crosses between the batter and pitcher and gets hit by the pitch.

Oh wait, that really happened.
An outfielder, finishing warmups in between innings, tosses the baseball to the ballboy, and hits and kills a seagull.

Oh wait, that really happened, too.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:42 PM
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I assumed this thread was started to mention the 20th anniversary of what could very well be the strangest thing that ever actually happened in a baseball game - Fernando Tatis hitting 2 Grand Slams in a single inning... off the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park).

Meanwhile his kid is an early favorite for rookie of the year.

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Old 04-25-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
A batted ball bouncing off an outfielder's head and into the stands for a home run.

Oh wait, that really happened.
Is anyone else surprised at how unfazed Canseco is? I'd think a batted ball (albeit, a high fly vice a line drive) could do pretty serious damage. But seconds later, he was laughing about it.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
A trivia site recently had the question: "what is the unlikeliest even/record that*could* happen in major league baseball game.
The answer given--a game-winning home run is hit in the bottom of the ninth by a pitcher throwing a perfect game against a pitcher who was, till then, also tossing a perfect game.
Thus strikes ne as artificial, and rather silly,...
It's especially silly in that you can always make an event more improbable by adding more qualifiers. For instance, what's more unlikely than that?

A game-winning home run is hit in the bottom of the ninth with a full count by a pitcher throwing a perfect game against a pitcher who was his brother who was, till then, also tossing a perfect game in Game 7 of the World Series.

And you can do this with the real events that actually happened, too. Like, what's more unlikely than a ball bouncing off of a fielder's head for a home run? A ball bouncing off of the head of a fielder who wrote a successful book, for a home run. It's like the old joke, "The odds of this poker hand are only 1 in 2.6 million!" Yes, but nobody won any bets by that hand coming up. To get anything meaningful, you have to say something like "the most unlikely event that anyone anticipated".

Last edited by Chronos; 04-25-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:36 PM
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Is anyone else surprised at how unfazed Canseco is? I'd think a batted ball (albeit, a high fly vice a line drive) could do pretty serious damage. But seconds later, he was laughing about it.
I always assumed there was a lot of bone above that neck. It also explains the bounce.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
An outfielder, finishing warmups in between innings, tosses the baseball to the ballboy, and hits and kills a seagull.

Oh wait, that really happened, too.
How about getting hit by a car in the outfield? Or mauled by a tiger after sliding into 2nd? Or an outfielder getting his head torn off by the ball? Oh wait, that really...uh...was caught on film, therefore happened!

https://youtu.be/ktE9ZYAV1C4
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:48 PM
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How about actually knocking the cover off a brand-new ball?
  #13  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I'd nominate Johnny Vander Meer throwing no-hitters in two consecutive starts in 1938. As of today, a total of 299 no-hitters have been thrown in MLB history, thirty-six pitchers have thrown multiple no-hitters, five have thrown multiple no-hitters in the same season, but no one else has matched Vander Meer's feat.
I think the "double no-hitter" by Fred Toney of the Reds against Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs on May 2, 1917, was even more improbable than that. Both pitchers threw nine no-hit innings against one another. Vaughn's no-hitter was broken up in the 10th, and the Reds scored a run. Toney preserved his no-hitter through the 10th for a 1-0 win.

Then you also have to mention hard-luck Harvey Haddix, who pitched 12 perfect innings for the Pirates in 1959 and lost.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-25-2019 at 09:12 PM.
  #14  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:39 PM
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Another of my favorites is Matt Young's no hitter that wasn't. I watched the entire game on TV.

Last edited by jaycat; 04-25-2019 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:40 PM
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This week marks the 20th anniversary of Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slam home runs in the same inning off the same pitcher.

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"What would it be comparable to?” legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch afterward. “I don’t know how you could compare it to anything. One inning is so preposterous."
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:18 PM
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Joey Gallo registered 1,337 plate appearances before hitting his first sacrifice fly.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:05 AM
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Another of my favorites is Matt Young's no hitter that wasn't. I watched the entire game on TV.
Yes, but not the worst "no hitter" loss by a long shot. The most ridiculous one was by Andy Hawkins of the Yankees who pitched 8 no-hit innings in 1990 but lost 4-0 on 2 walks and 3 errors in the bottom of the 8th.

As the article says:

Quote:
You're not reading this because of an error and two walks. Those aren't events that are usually recounted 25 years later, and they shouldn't be. You're reading this because something happened. If we're all lucky, we'll never see it again in the late innings of a no-hitter. This is the Sistine Chapel of ruining a no-hitter, and it would be sacrilege to recreate it.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-26-2019 at 12:06 AM.
  #18  
Old 04-26-2019, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
An outfielder, finishing warmups in between innings, tosses the baseball to the ballboy, and hits and kills a seagull.

Oh wait, that really happened, too.
Best quote from that article:

Quote:
Pinchuk: I still remember Billy Martin’s comments: “Cruelty to animals? That’s the first time he hit the cut-off man all year.”
  #19  
Old 04-26-2019, 06:43 AM
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In 1970, Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.

Duplicate that, I dare ya.
  #20  
Old 04-26-2019, 07:54 AM
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Surely the most unlikely possible thing is something that has never happened?

Incidentally, a player committing three errors on one play has certainly happened, because you can actually look up the video of Tommy John doing it. The four-error story about Mike Grady is absolutely not true.

Grady was a character, to use a nice term. He was a pretty good player with a solid bat, but he was equally known for the size and rapidity of his yapping. He was a big-talking, hard-drinking lout who wore out his welcome wherever he went. It would be very much in his character to just make up funny stories about his playing days to amuse an audience, and back then it was hard to look this stuff up.

Grady definitely WAS part of a pretty rare play, though; he was one of the runners in a triple steal, I believe the first recorded in MLB history. I don't think that has happened more than a few dozen times.
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Last edited by RickJay; 04-26-2019 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:55 AM
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How about a Bald Eagle landing on player pre-game?
  #22  
Old 04-26-2019, 08:38 AM
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Were those nachos covered in shredded bald eagle or something?
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:48 AM
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Were those nachos covered in shredded bald eagle or something?
Try this link
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:05 AM
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My favorite is Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin hitting home runs back to back in their first ever at-bats. So many variables, so unlikely to happen again.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:04 PM
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Here's something interesting:

There has been only one triple play accomplished in any MLB postseason, and it was of the unassisted variety.

And there has been only one no-hitter in the World Series, which was a perfect game.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
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Here's something interesting:

There has been only one triple play accomplished in any MLB postseason, and it was of the unassisted variety.

And there has been only one no-hitter in the World Series, which was a perfect game.
Interestingly, Larsen is the last living member of the starting lineups.
Quote:
Larsen said he's the last living "Brownie" from the St. Louis team he played on and the last starter left from both teams during his perfect game.

"That carries a little weight by itself, but I'm just not sure how much," he said with a smile. "The last one to go was Yogi (Berra, who caught for Larsen) in 2015. It's lonesome when you get to the top."
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:46 PM
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Five years ago today the Giants turned a 4-6-3 double play. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that this play went from second baseman Brandon Hicks to shortstop Brandon Crawford to first baseman Brandon Belt...making it quite possibly the only "All Brandon Double Play" in baseball history.
  #28  
Old 04-27-2019, 10:52 PM
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It's especially silly in that you can always make an event more improbable by adding more qualifiers.
Well, that's kind of the basis of a whole lot of baseball announcer discourse.

The permutations are infinite--you can always just put together a new condition with another qualifier. So you just arbitrarily stipulate some conditions as though it were truly meaningful, and it gives you something to talk about. It's like 80% of what TV sports announcers do.

Announcer A: "Smith is the first relief picture to bunt two times in consecutive extra innings with an intervening single resulting from both a shortstop and third baseman error."

Announce B: "Wow, how about that."
  #29  
Old 04-28-2019, 12:39 AM
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How about a father and son hitting back-to-back home runs? On September 14, 1990, Ken Griffey and his son, Ken, Jr., playing for the Seattle Mariners, hit back-to-back homers off the Angels' Kirk MacCaskill. They are the only father and son ever to do so.

Last edited by cochrane; 04-28-2019 at 12:41 AM.
  #30  
Old 04-28-2019, 10:23 AM
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Five years ago today the Giants turned a 4-6-3 double play. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that this play went from second baseman Brandon Hicks to shortstop Brandon Crawford to first baseman Brandon Belt...making it quite possibly the only "All Brandon Double Play" in baseball history.
They did it again the next day.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/b...01404280.shtml

Granted, that one was Brandon-Brandon-Brandon, instead of Brandon-Brandon-Brandon. They never pulled off the more difficult Brandon-Brandon-Brandon that I can see.

They also did it May 3.

That was Brandon Hicks's last year in the majors. Maybe it was the .162 batting average, but maybe they put in a rule about limits on Brandons.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:38 PM
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In 1970, Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.

Duplicate that, I dare ya.
Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No

(With the immortal Bob Prince stroking his Green Weenie. )
  #32  
Old 04-28-2019, 05:36 PM
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[From Wikipedia]

On July 29, 2016, in a game between the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants, the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 8th inning. Brandon Crawford hit a line drive that was caught by Nationals' first baseman Ryan Zimmerman for the first out. Zimmerman then touched first base before Buster Posey could tag up, for the second out. Zimmerman then threw to third baseman Anthony Rendon, who stepped on third before Denard Span could tag up, for the third out. It was the first 3-3-5 triple play in MLB history.

I was watching when it happened. I believe it was also the first triple play of any kind in Nationals franchise history.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:07 AM
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Since you're talking about birds, what happens if a batter hits a ball which strikes a bird in the air and the ball then falls to the ground? Does the ball remain in play, or is the at-bat nullified? Presumably, this has happened a few times.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:16 PM
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2001 World Series, Game 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The Cardinals set two World Series milestones in their Game 6 win—the first team to come back from deficits in both the 9th and 10th innings, and the first team to score in the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th innings.[32] On Mike and Mike in the Morning the next day, ESPN senior baseball analyst Buster Olney called it the greatest game in the history of baseball.[33]
Not to mention that David Freese, a Cardinal who appeared in fewer than 100 games that season, got the hit that tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, then led off the bottom of the 11th with a walk-off home run.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
2001 World Series, Game 6.



Not to mention that David Freese, a Cardinal who appeared in fewer than 100 games that season, got the hit that tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, then led off the bottom of the 11th with a walk-off home run.
Can you link to that Wikipedia article? IIRC, the 2001 World Series was between the Diamondbacks and the Yankees.

Or do you mean the 2011 World Series?

Last edited by cochrane; 04-30-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:36 PM
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I'd say this is pretty unusual.

It's the only recorded instance on record of a bird being tagged by a pitch, though birds have been hit by fly balls on more than one occasion.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:52 PM
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I'd say this is pretty unusual.

It's the only recorded instance on record of a bird being tagged by a pitch, though birds have been hit by fly balls on more than one occasion.
Already mentioned by running coach in post #3.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:09 PM
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Since you're talking about birds, what happens if a batter hits a ball which strikes a bird in the air and the ball then falls to the ground? Does the ball remain in play, or is the at-bat nullified? Presumably, this has happened a few times.
It's ruled as a "no pitch". Add one to the pitcher's pitch count for fatigue factors, but do not advance the count.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:03 AM
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How about Phillip Humber's perfect game? His career was awful by any measurement: only 16 career wins, 5.31 ERA, 0.9 WAR. Even the year he pitched his perfect game (2012) he had a 6.44 ERA and a zero WAR. Amazingly enough, that game was his only career complete game.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:34 AM
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For an event - probably the image of Pablo Sandoval's bare, flabby tummy flesh caught on camera, mid-throw.
No other exposed (and quite gross) gut-flesh has ever been documented.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:12 PM
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It's ruled as a "no pitch". Add one to the pitcher's pitch count for fatigue factors, but do not advance the count.
This is not true. A batted ball that strikes a bird remains live and in play. A pitched ball that strikes a bird is ruled "no pitch".

https://baseballrulesacademy.com/use...s-bird-animal/
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:02 PM
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July 4 (5), 1985. Bottom of the 18th inning, Mets leading the Braves 11-10. 2 outs, one of the worst hitting pitchers in baseball - and one who had never hit a home run in his career - at the plate and an 0-2 count. Kid who foolishly stayed up most of the night following the game thinks it will finally end and he'll go to sleep. Pitcher hits a home run to tie it, and the game goes on ...

https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/...t-4-a-m-070215
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:14 PM
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Or do you mean the 2011 World Series?
Oops. Sorry
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:24 PM
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A bird crosses between the batter and pitcher and gets hit by the pitch.

Oh wait, that really happened.
Except that it happened in an Exhibition Game during spring training in Arizona, so it doesn't count. Except to the poor bird's family, of course. ;-)
  #45  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:13 PM
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There have been three MLB players named Randy Johnson and they all played in the 1980s.
  #46  
Old 05-06-2019, 04:51 PM
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By pitching a scoreless 8th inning in the Giants 12-4 loss to Cincinnati today, Pablo Sandoval became the second player in modern MLB history (Since 1900) with a home run, a stolen base, and scoreless pitching outing in the same game.

The other player to do so was Christy Mathewson, who pitched a shutout on May 23, 1905...also playing for the (NY) Giants...and also against the Reds.

But Pablo also hit a batter, so he's got that going for him...
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