Adding to our previous list here on July 11th, we have learned of several more items of interesting but rather useless baseball trivia, most of which were discovered by the Elias Sports Bureau and its computers.
Home run by the new kid (not Ted Williams)
Rafael Devers, who has been in the Major Leagues less than three weeks, hit a game tying two-strike opposite field home run on national television last night (August 13) off Aroldis Chapman in the Red Sox dramatic win at Yankee Stadium. By doing so, he produced his own array of so-called records. They are:
(1) The fastest pitch (102.8 MPH) anyone has homered on since MLB started tracking pitch velocity in 2008.
The best previous speed (102.4 mph) resulted in a home run off Chapman by Kurt Suzuki of the Twins last season.
(2) Only the second homer Chapman has allowed to a left handed batter in his career. The other was by Luke Scott in 2011.
(3) The first home run that Chapman has ever allowed at Yankee Stadium from either side of the plate.
Benetendi also has one for the books
Not to be outdone, fellow rookie Andrew Benetendi’s nine RBI’s in the 3-game series was the most by a Boston player since Manny Ramirez notched ten in 2006.
The new Baby Bosox
Devers is the youngest player on the Red Sox and Benetendi the runner up. The Yankees have been known this season as the “Baby Bombers.” Now they can share their youth with the “Baby Bosox.”
Career homers against the Yankees
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays hit his 36th career home run against the Yankees on August 10th, the most by any active player against the Bronx Bombers. He had been tied with Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay. Obviously, this will be an ongoing “competition” whenever their teams play the Yankees. Meanwhile, Aaron Judge struck out (twice) extending his streak of games to 27 in which has fanned, the most by any Yankees’ player.
The walking rookie
The night before the Honorable Judge drew his 82nd walk against the Blue Jays to break the Yankees’ rookie high set by Charlie (King Kong) Keller in 1939. (BTW, Ted Williams, holds the major league record with 107 also in 1939).
Numbers by Nunez
Eduardo Nunez, acquired by the Boston Red Sox shortly before the waiver deadline from San Francisco, went 2-5 against Tampa Bay on August 10th, giving him the most hits (21) by a Red Sox player in his first 11 games with the team. How do they find this kind of stuff?
Best 50-game run
When the Dodgers’ defeated the Mets on August 5th, it was their 43rd win in the last 50. That’s the best 50 game output since the 1912 New York Giants.
Three uniforms and three starts
Jaime Garcia was the starting pitcher for the Yankees’ in their August 4th loss at Cleveland. He thereby became the first hurler to make three straight starts for three different teams (the others being Atlanta and Minnesota). Who remembers when Gus Wehing did the same in1885, during the games’ dark ages. Good old Gus, we learned from Wikipedia, made his three straight starts for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Louisville Colonels, which was then in the National League. But don’t fret Gus Wehing fans. He still holds the record for hitting the most batters in a career.
Magic Numbers: Eight in Twelve
Corey Kluber of Cleveland struck out eight New York Yankees on August 3rd and became the fourth pitcher to fan at least that many in 12 straight starts. The others were Randy Johnson (4 times), Pedro Martinez (twice), and Nolan Ryan. Two variables are involved here, the number of strike outs and number of consecutive starts. Without computers, it would probably require months of research to come up with this gem. And why mention it anyway? Answer: Good stuff to pad a game story.
Guessing the unseen audience
The Yankees 7-3 win over Detroit on July 31st was claimed to have to be seen on YES by 446,000 viewers, thus becoming the cable station’s most-watched program since the record high attracted by the Derek Jeter farewell in 2014,. That, they say, drew 1.25 million. In addition, the Yankees games in July averaged 336,000 viewers on YES, the most in that month since 2012. But who really knows? Those viewer numbers are not an absolute science.
Catchers in the way
In the June 27th game against the White Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Yankees was awarded first base on catcher’s interference for the 29th time in his career, It tied him with Pete Rose for the most times being plunked. That’s a record that may soon not be able to be claimed by Charlie Hustle!
Brandon Phillips of the Atlanta Braves singled on April 5th in his 35th consecutive game against the Mets, the longest such streak against that team by any player. It is also the longest road hitting streak by a player against any opponent since the Cardinals’ Joe (Ducky) Medwick’s 46 games at Brooklyn from 1933-37.
As long as the game of baseball is played, there will be more of these things to inform (and amuse) us. We’ll try and stay on top of them.