Thursday, December 22, 2011

4 Strange Feats from Last Season

As ESPN's Jayson Stark points out in his recent piece entitled "Strange but True Feats of the 2011 Season", some unusual occurences transpired this past MLB season.

And it just so happens the Reds were involved in at least four of those. Here are the excerpts taken from the article pertaining to Cincinnati:

Strange but truest pitching feat of the year
When the Phillies and Reds kicked off their May 25 game at Citizens Bank Park, Wilson Valdez was right where he belonged -- at second base. But by the time they finished that game, more than six hours (and 19 innings) later, "2B" wasn't the only marking next to Valdez's name in the box score. There was also this:


Yessir, if you play baseball long enough, you never know who might show up on the mound, hitting 89 on the radar gun and turning into the winning pitcher. So on this night, the Phillies' friendly neighborhood utility whiz did all this:

-Became the first second baseman to win a game as a pitcher since the most famous Cub never to play for the Cubs -- Cub Stricker in 1888.

-Won a game on the mound this season before John Danks, Barry Zito, Phil Hughes, Padres Opening Day starter Tim Stauffer annnddddd … the guy who had started the previous year's All-Star Game for the NL, Ubaldo Jimenez.

-And became the first player to start a game as a position player and finish it as the winning pitcher since … (yessir) Babe Ruth in 1921! And any time you can pair Babe Ruth and Wilson Valdez in the same factoid, you have yourself an official great moment in Strange But True history.

Strange but true hitting feat
-As loyal reader Joel Luckhaupt reports, in a May 16 game against the Reds, the ever-resourceful Miguel Cairo saw 12 pitches in the sixth inning -- and didn't swing at any of them. This was season No. 25 in the fabulous pitch-count era, and nobody has ever gone swing-free in an inning for that many pitches except Cairo, a guy who (in an extremely unrelated development) hasn't walked 20 times in a season in over a decade.

Strange but true pitching feat
-As loyal reader Marty Bernoski reports, Aroldis Chapman had a stretch over three outings in which he managed to allow eight runs -- and get one out.

Strange but true game
-The Reds figured out a way to lose a July 28 game against the Mets even though they thumped eight doubles and two homers while doing it. How crazy is that, you ask? The Reds had lost one other game in the history of the franchise in which they got 10 extra-base hits -- 24 years earlier to the day.

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