Weird and Wild: The Mayor (Sean Casey) restores order after Pham-Pederson fantasy football flap

Weird and Wild: The Mayor (Sean Casey) restores order after Pham-Pederson fantasy football flap

We take one week off from Weirdness and Wildness, to pursue other assignments. And what happens? This sport runs amok. What else?

Yadi got to pitch — in a shutout? … An innocent little wild pitch turned into an error on the center fielder? … A Burger homered on National Burger Day?

Yep, that all happened in between Weird and Wild columns. But somehow or other, a fantasy football dispute overshadowed all of it? In real life? Well, it’s a good thing this column knew exactly how to ride to the rescue.

1. Trouble on Fantasy Island

What do we do when fantasy football chaos erupts across the otherwise blissful world of baseball? We need peace. We need harmony. We need law. We need order. In other words …

We need The Mayor!

Well, we have big news here at Weird and Wild World Peacekeeping Headquarters. The Mayor — the great Sean Casey — is here to save Planet Baseball, whether Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson are ready for him or not.

“I just want people to get along,” the euphoric longtime first baseman/bat artist/MLB Network analyst told Weird and Wild, with that kumbaya vibe he’s been so famous for since the day he debuted with the Reds 25 years ago.

So since he’s The Mayor … and since the site of The Slap was Cincinnati … and since Cincinnati was the first place anybody ever called him The Mayor … and since he’s still playing in a fantasy league with a bunch of former Reds teammates ranging from Adam Dunn to Aaron Boone … we’re saying this is right in his jurisdiction.

But how can Mayor Casey and the Weird and Wild column restore calm, you ask? By offering this helpful set of Fantasy Football Do’s and Don’ts, straight from the beautiful mouth, mind and soul of The Mayor himself (with some edits for clarity and brevity).

WEIRD AND WILD: OK, let’s try some do’s or don’ts. And you can tell us what’s a “do” and what’s a “don’t.” So let’s start with this: Play fantasy football. Do or don’t?

MAYOR CASEY: That’s easy. That’s a “do.” Definitely.

WEIRD AND WILD: All right, what about: Play in a fantasy football league with players on opposing teams, including guys who you don’t even know. Do or don’t?

MAYOR CASEY: Yeah, that’s a “do.” It’s good. It’s cool. It’s fine. Unless they slap you in the outfield.

WEIRD AND WILD: Exactly. Thanks for making that distinction. How about: Send trash-talking GIFs via text to your whole league. Do or don’t?

MAYOR CASEY: Yeah, sure — if the trash-talk is funny. But it sounds like some guys don’t know how to trash-talk. Like, when you get personal in the trash-talking, that’s tired. So if you’re a tired trash-talker and you don’t know how to do it, just don’t send GIFs to people. … If you don’t know how to be funny and you’re not a funny guy, don’t send GIFs that you think are funny because people will take offense to it. And then things will happen.

WEIRD AND WILD: Apparently! So do or don’t: Quit your fantasy league in the middle of the season (as Pham did)?

MAYOR CASEY: No. Don’t. … Just finish. Like your mom always said — your mom and dad — you’ve got to finish what you started. So don’t quit.

WEIRD AND WILD: OK, do or don’t: Hold a grudge for, like, seven or eight months over some fantasy football roster shenanigans?

MAYOR CASEY: I say don’t do that. It’s gonna turn out bad. It’s just gonna fester in your heart. You don’t want that. All I want now, Starkie, is peace. Fantasy football is not that big a deal that you should actually care enough to physically assault somebody.

WEIRD AND WILD: So what’s the cutoff for how long you’re allowed to hold a grudge?

MAYOR CASEY: Well, I think grudges are dumb. Like how about you just put your ego aside one time and realize that people are starving in Haiti, and fantasy football with millionaires is not that big a deal. Work your perspective muscle better, please.


“Work your perspective muscle better, please,” says Sean Casey, center, pictured in 1999. (Getty Images)

WEIRD AND WILD: Yes. So now, do or don’t: Slap a guy who you’ve never personally met?

MAYOR CASEY: Never. Never, never, ever, ever. That’s a ruse for getting your total butt whipped.

WEIRD AND WILD: How about this one? Do or don’t: Slap a guy right after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock?

MAYOR CASEY: Don’t! I think we’ve learned through that thing that slapping somebody when you’re a public figure is not a good idea.

WEIRD AND WILD: Right. What could possibly go wrong? OK, do or don’t: Drag Mike Trout into your mess if he’s the commissioner?

MAYOR CASEY: I mean, there are so many don’ts here, it’s unbelievable. So don’t do that.

WEIRD AND WILD: Here’s another prospective do or don’t: After you get slapped by a guy in the outfield, go on tour with Chris Rock?

MAYOR CASEY: I mean, listen, if you’re looking to make a couple extra bucks, then you would do that. But usually, I would say to let the incident die as quickly as you can. Don’t do any more posting about slapping.

WEIRD AND WILD: How’s that working out? We’re almost a week into this, and everybody is still all over it.

MAYOR CASEY: Yeah, that’s just ridiculous. It’s like Slapgate. Are you kidding me? It will not die.

WEIRD AND WILD: Well, that’s the next thing. Do or don’t: Talk about it with the media every single day?

MAYOR CASEY: Oh my God. Don’t. Let it die. … Everybody, just stop talking about this. Uncle!

WEIRD AND WILD: You’re declaring uncle, and you’re the mayor?

MAYOR CASEY: I am. I say: Let’s stop this. There are too many good stories in baseball. Let’s get off the fantasy football slap and bringing in Mike Trout’s name. We just had the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard case. We don’t need anything else like that.

WEIRD AND WILD: All right, so you’re the mayor. If you could decree, by executive mayoral action, what should happen in the future when there are fantasy football disputes involving players who happen to find themselves in the same outfield, what is your decree, Mr. Mayor?

MAYOR CASEY: I just want people to get along. Like, what are we doing here? Maybe we need to just take a deep breath and meditate. Everyone needs to meditate. Why are we so angry that we need to wait seven months later to go slap somebody over a transaction for fantasy football? The fact that I’m even saying that seems so ridiculous.

WEIRD AND WILD: It does. So in the future, if anybody slaps anybody, we should all meditate? And that’s not just the slapper or the slap-ee. That’s everybody?

MAYOR CASEY: Everybody. We’d be a lot better as a society if we all just sit back and meditate a little bit.

WEIRD AND WILD: Great advice. So do you feel as though you and I have done our part for humanity to arrest the slapping trend?

MAYOR CASEY: I do. I think we’ve definitely given people some options, and we’ve definitely given out some things that people can do to calm things down.

WEIRD AND WILD: Well, I know I feel better anyway. Thanks. Now I’ve gotta go. I think I’ve gotta go meditate.


Commissioner Trout agrees: Go meditate. (Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

2. Welcome to Mystery Pitcher Theater

It’s been two weeks since the last episode of the Weird and Wild column. Way too much weirdness and wildness has transpired for me to possibly get to it all. But the parade of position players heading for the mound? Wow. That’s been so wacky in and of itself, we present special breaking coverage of America’s favorite new show — Mystery Pitcher Theater!

YADI-VISION! It was painful to have to wait almost two weeks to get Yadier Molina’s first trip to the mound, on May 22, into a Weird and Wild column. But at least he’ll be happy to hear I’m going to ignore those four hits, four runs and two homers he served up to the Pirates, just because … he was brought in to pitch with his team pitching a shutout!

What? How rare is that? Oh, absolutely as rare as you’d think. I could find only three true position players in the modern era who were brought in to pitch while their team had a shutout going in the late innings. Here they come:

• Babe Ruth, on Oct. 1, 1921. Didn’t go well. Gave up six runs and blew a 6-0 lead, but then the Yankees left him in the game until they won it in the 11th!

Russell Martin, on Aug. 27, 2019. Dave Roberts waved Martin in with the Dodgers three outs away from a 9-0 shutout of the Padres — and he actually completed the shutout.

Yadi, in that surreal Sunday morning game in Pittsburgh. Definitely did not complete the shutout … but at least did not blow the lead, unlike that bum, the Babe. So Yadi, great work.


It wasn’t a typical trip to the mound on May 22 for Yadier Molina. (Charles LeClaire / USA Today)

CARDINALS AND TIGERS BUT NO BEARS, OH MY! Ah, but one more thing on Yadi. It’s mind-blowing that two Sundays in a row, the Cardinals let him and fellow legend/non-pitcher Albert Pujols finish off games their team went on to win.

So what was the last team to use two position players to get the final outs of victories in the same season? It was those 1918 Tigers, with Bobby Veach and Ty Cobb doing those honors. Unbelievable.

HANSER ALBERTO, D-BACK DEMOLISHER! Then there was Hanser Alberto, another Dave Roberts mystery-pitcher favorite. The Dodgers summoned him in relief to finish off two wins in a week and a half — on May 17 and May 26. And that’s Weird and Wild enough. But wait. It gets better.

Both of those wins came against the same team (the Diamondbacks). And best I can tell, that makes Alberto the first true position player to get the final outs in two wins against the same team in the same season since … the immortal Emil Frisk.

I’d never heard of Emil Frisk until this. But he finished off 14-13 and 12-11 wins for the Tigers, against the original Milwaukee Brewers, on April 25 and April 28 in 1901. One of those games was merely the first game in the history of the American League. Emil gave up 12 runs in those two wins, but hey. Whatever!

GOING, GOING, GONZO! But even Dave Roberts couldn’t match Gabe Kapler’s place in mystery-pitcher managerial history. The Giants’ ever-innovative fearless leader thought it would be cool to ask rookie outfielder Luis González to pitch two days in a row (May 22-23). And although Day 1 (two shutout innings!) went better than Day 2 (three runs), there was this:

According to ace MLB.com tidbit-finder Sarah Langs, that made González the first true position player in (at least) the expansion era to take the mound in back-to-back games. Which also means he has now pitched on back-to-back days as many times this season as reliever Collin McHugh … because baseball! It’s the best.

CHICAGO FIREMEN! Finally, as we’ll remind you again later in this column, May 26 will go down as quite a day in Chicago baseball annals, for multiple reasons. But for the purposes of Mystery Pitcher Theater, there’s this reason:

Josh Harrison pitched for the White Sox, in a 16-7 loss to the Red Sox, that day. And Andrelton Simmons pitched for the Cubs, in a 20-5 thrashing by the Reds. So …

In case you were wondering — because of course you were wondering — my friend, Doug (Kernels) Kern reports that yep, this was the first time in history that both Chicago teams let position players pitch on the same day, which could only get more Weird and Wild if they did that against each other.

3. Weird and Wild stuff we loved this week (and last week)

THE FENWAY/WRIGLEY TRIFECTA — So here’s a fun thing that doesn’t happen much:

May 19 — Trevor Story hits three home runs at Fenway.
May 20 Josh Rojas hits three home runs at Wrigley.

Last time we had three-homer games at Fenway and Wrigley within 24 hours: Sept. 15, 1996. Frank Thomas at Fenway and Benito Santiago at Wrigley. Beautiful.

LATE NIGHT WITH THE ZOMBIES — Noted Zombie Runner fan Rougned Odor hit a 13th-inning walk-off homer for the Orioles on May 20. (More on that later.) So perhaps you’re thinking: What Weird and Wild record could he possibly have set?

That’s easy. He hit the latest Zombified walk-off homer in history! That’s what. Previous record-holder: Miguel Sanó, who walked one off for the Twins in the 12th last June 21.

ALBERT DOES HIS MATT STAIRS IMPRESSION — Who knew Albert Pujols really wanted to be Matt Stairs when he grew up? Now we know. Sir Albert wasn’t in the lineup May 22, when the Cardinals played that aforementioned Sunday morning game in Pittsburgh. But in the fifth inning, after the caffeine kicked in, he did get to pinch hit … and did this.

Then he stayed in the game, got to bat again in the ninth … and did this.

So that’s two home runs — in a game he didn’t start? Whoa. Not only is that something Pujols had never done before. It’s something that …

Nobody with 600 career homers had ever done before … or 500 homers … or even 400 homers. But then Albert, a guy with 681 homers (at the time), worked it into his busy schedule. Cool!

NEEDS FIVE GUYS — What did Jake Burger do for the sake of this column last Saturday? He homered — on National Burger Day. So …

Yep. That’s one Burger to go!

4. This week in useless info

VLAD DEMANDS A RECOUNT! Maybe you can’t recall the results of every election of your lifetime. But it seems Vlad Guerrero Jr. can.

He finished second last fall in the AL MVP balloting — to some hotshot named Ohtani. And apparently, Vladdy thought last week that Shohei should know exactly how he feels about that.

I know my friend Ryan Spilborghs and all the folks at MLB Network Radio were proud of beating me to the answer of this question: Who’s the last MVP runner-up to go deep off the MVP the next season? But I took it one step further.

I beat them to the answer to this question: Who are all the MVP runners-up to go deep off the MVP the following season? Ready? Here’s that spectacular list:

Pete Rose off Bob Gibson: June 10, 1969*

Johnny Mize off Bucky Walters, Sept. 25, 1940

Lou Gehrig off Lefty Grove: April 25, 1932**

* Rose’s only career homer vs. Gibson
** Gehrig’s first at-bat vs. Grove the next season

(SOURCES: MLB Network Radio, Baseball-Reference/Stathead, and way too much manual labor by the Weird and Wild column)

THEN AND NOW — Time marches on. Useless Info is there to chronicle exactly how it marches. You’re welcome.

Mets shortstops then and now: Remember trusty Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson? In 1973, he drove in a run in nine games all season. Now back to 2022 and current Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor … who just drove in a run in 10 games in a row.

Brewers closers then and now: Remember always-entertaining Brewers closer of yesteryear Derrick Turnbow? Here’s how his last 20 2/3 innings of the 2006 season went: 29 hits, 22 walks, 4 hit-by-pitches, 35 runs, 30 earned runs, 4 blown saves, 6 losses. Now back to 2022 and current Brewers closer Josh Hader … whose last 20 2/3 innings (dating to last September) have looked slightly different! As in: 5 hits, 7 walks, 0 hit-by-pitches, 0 runs, 35 strikeouts, 18 saves, no blown saves.

Craig Kimbrel then and now: The Craig Kimbrel of yesteryear was something to see. Kimbrel in 2013: Scored on in six appearances all season (out of 68). Now back to 2022 and the current edition of Craig Kimbrel … who was just scored on in six appearances in a row.

Time marches on, all right. And it keeps this column in business.

CITY OF ERA RUINS — There are baseball days the great city of Chicago will remember forever. Then there are days like May 26.

Cubs: Cough up 20 runs (to the Reds).
White Sox: Give up 16 runs (to the Red Sox).

Times other than that when both Chicago teams gave up at least 16 runs on the same day: Zero!

But hey, we’re here to help everyone in Chicago who suffered through all 36 runs that day. And our soothing message is this: You are not alone. Literally! Because, with the invaluable help of our friends from STATS Perform, we’ve dug up every instance in which two different teams from the same city (or metropolis) allowed at least 16 runs in a game on the same day.

METRO DATE    TEAMS/RUNS

Philadelphia 

July 6, 1934   

A’s (18), Phillies (16)

Philadelphia

July 13, 1923

A’s (16), Phillies (21)

Pittsburgh 

May 19, 1890

 Alleghenys (18), Burghers (16)

NY/NJ

Aug. 12, 1886  

Metropolitans (19), Trolley Dodgers (27)

What a list!

BUT THE CUBS ARE GONNA CUB! And then came last Saturday. White Sox 5, Cubs 4, in 12 very strange innings on the South Side of Chicago.

Somehow or other, these two teams figured out a way to score in just one of the first 17 half-innings — and then scored in the next five half-innings in a row. But that wasn’t even the Weird and Wild part. That part was astutely detected by loyal reader Matthew Hatfield:

Wonder who the last MLB team is/was to blow a lead in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings before falling in the 12th? Am sure @jaysonst has or will have the answer.

I’m on it! I asked Baseball-Reference’s dogged lead investigator, Kenny Jackelen, to dig into that very question. Whereupon he found … only one other game in the BR database in which any team led in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings — and lost, but not in any of those innings.

That team was Todd Dunwoody’s 1998 Marlins, who lost a bizarre game in Philadelphia on July 24, despite holding leads in the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th innings. And yep, I saw that one live — and asked the same question that day that Matthew Hatfield just asked!

WE’RE AT WRIGLEY, SO LET’S SAVE TWO — Can’t exit Chicago yet, friends. We have Josh Hader to deal with. On Memorial Day, the Cubs and Brewers played a doubleheader. The pitcher who saved Game 1: Josh Hader. The pitcher who saved Game 2: Josh Hader 2.0.

So how could I not ask Kenny Jackelen to help me with the complete list of closers who have saved both ends of a Memorial Day doubleheader (since the dawn of the modern save rule in 1969)? Here comes that list:

2022 — Josh Hader (Brewers) vs. Cubs
1977 — Rollie Fingers (Padres) vs. Giants
1972 — Sparky Lyle (Yankees) vs. Tigers

Remember when Memorial Day doubleheaders were a thing? Let’s get back to that thing, OK?


Josh Hader pitches in Game 2 against the Cubs on Memorial Day. (David Banks / USA Today)

GOING, GOING … OOPS — How about this for 24 hours in the life of a closer:

Last Sunday night in New York, Phillies closer Corey Knebel blows a save by allowing a game-tying, ninth-inning long ball to Mets rookie Nick Plummer. Phillies lose in 10 innings.

Now fast-forward to the next day against the Giants. Ninth inning again. Tie game this time. Knebel serves up another painful home run — this time a go-ahead shot by Evan Longoria. Phillies lose in 10 innings again.

I’m not sure what got into me, but I just got curious. Who was the last Phillies closer, I wondered, to give up home runs in the ninth inning or later two days in a row? It ate up way too much of my theoretical “holiday” weekend. But here’s what I found:

Jose Mesa — did this on Aug. 2-3, 2003. But … the Phillies had a 10-3 lead in the first game and were tied 2-2 in the second. Not the same deal.

Ricky Bottalico — did this on July 28-29, 1997. But … the Phillies had an 8-3 lead in the first game and a 6-3 lead in the second. Also not the same deal.

So … how many other Phillies closers have ever done what Knebel did — given up tie-breaking and/or lead-blowing home runs in the ninth or later, two days in a row? Obviously, that answer is: None!

THE BEST INTENTIONS – I once saw Reds manager Pete Rose intentionally walk Mike Schmidt in the first inning of the season. And I thought that was the ultimate show of respect, until Tuesday … when Royals manager Mike Matheny intentionally walked Guardians masher José Ramírez twice in the first two innings.

So what do you need to know about that? Oh, only that …

• Matheny had handed out just two intentional walks in the entire month of May before Ramírez showed up. And …

• According to the remarkable Sarah Langs, Ramírez then became only the ninth hitter to have that happen in the 49 seasons of complete public play-by-play data. And …

• One of the other eight was a guy named Terry Francona, who happens to be Ramírez’s manager in his other life. But …

• Francona was then a No. 7 hitter, who got walked twice so the Cardinals could face the light-hitting No. 8 batsmith, Angel Salazar. And that’s very different. So …

• The only other No. 3 hitters to get intentionally walked twice in the first two innings in all that time were three guys you might have heard of: Dave Parker (May 21, 1986), Albert Pujols (June 16, 2009) and Freddie Freeman (April 7, 2021).

THREE FOR ONE — Have you noticed this? Adley Rutschman (first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft: Now in the big leagues. … Spencer Torkelson (first pick in the 2020 draft): Started the season in the big leagues. … Royce Lewis (first pick in the 2017 draft): Now on the injured list in the big leagues.

If you’re counting along at home, you know that makes three former No. 1 picks making their big-league debut in the same season. And in answer to your questions, Baseball America’s Knower of All Draft Things, JJ Cooper, reports … that is not the record.

Most in any season — 4, in 1989 (Ben McDonald, Andy Benes, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff King).

Only other years with 3 — 2007 (Luke Hochevar, Justin Upton, Josh Hamilton) and 1987 (B.J. Surhoff, Shawn Abner, Tim Belcher).

Only real shot this year could tie the record – Remember Mark Appel, the 2013 No. 1? He’s unretired and with the Phillies organization. He has a 2.11 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies’ bullpen hasn’t been what you’d call untouchable. So you never know!

FIELDS OF GOLDSCHMIDT – Paul Goldschmidt didn’t start being a great player in St. Louis. And he didn’t start being a great player in May. But I think he just had the greatest month in Cardinals history. And did I really just type that?

Goldschmidt’s May:

.404/.471/.817/1.288 slash line
42 hits
23 extra-base hits
10 homers
33 RBIs

I could find only one other calendar month, by any Cardinal, that included a .390 average with at least 10 homers, 22 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs. It was by a guy named Stan Musial. Here’s Musial in May 1954:

.390/.486/.772/1.259, with 11 homers, 22 extra-base hits and 40 RBIs

But even that month doesn’t quite equal Goldschmidt’s month. So I don’t think I can convince myself to say that Stan was great, but he was no Paul Goldschmidt. But yeah, I thought about it.

5. This week in Strange But Trueness


Kevin Pillar is tagged out at third base by Ke’Bryan Hayes during the Pirates’ three-game sweep of the Dodgers this week. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

FEVER PITTS — As we like to remind you in this section of the column, the best thing about baseball is …. It. Makes. No. Sense.

On that note, we present the Strange But True case of the Pirates versus the Dodgers.

Pirates vs. Dodgers this season: 5-1

Pirates vs. everyone else: 17-26

Pirates vs. all other teams .500 or better: 3-15

Pirates vs. Dodgers (2017-21): 2-23*

Pirates series won vs. Dodgers in 2022: 2-for-2

Pirates series won vs. all other teams .500 or better in 2022: 0-for-6

(* h/t Jim Passon)

You just can’t explain some things in life. But especially …

Baseball!

PINCH THAT MAN — I can’t say I was hanging on every pitch of the Tigers’ May 25 game with the Twins — but a friend of mine was. And he alerted me to this Strange But True development:

6th inning — Harold Castro homers. Tigers trail, 2-1.

8th inning — Harold Castro homers again. Tigers pull even, 2-2.

9th inning — Harold Castro’s spot in the order arrives again, with the bases loaded. Whereupon …

Manager A.J. Hinch pinch hits for the man responsible for the only runs his team had scored!

OK, so it was Miguel Cabrera who pinch hit. Nevertheless … how often do you see a player hit home runs in two straight at-bats, then get pinch hit for? Turns out it’s more often than you’d think! Here are the last five times it’s happened, courtesy of STATS:

DATE TEAM OPPONENT PLAYER PINCH HITTER

5/25/2022

Tigers

Twins

Harold Castro

Miguel Cabrera

8/20/2021

Royals

Cubs

Salvador Perez

Jarrod Dyson

8/17/2021

Rays

Orioles

Nelson Cruz

Francisco Mejía

7/30/2019

Pirates

Reds

Corey Dickerson

José Osuna

9/14/2017

Yankees

Orioles

Aaron Judge

Greg Bird

But how often has it happened to any Tiger, in the 49 seasons of complete public play-by-play data? That would be never … until last week.

DEJA BOOM — Baseball writes scripts for itself that should never be possible. But it’s all good with the Weird and Wild column. That brings us to this cool moment for Yankees catcher Jose Trevino on May 24.

That was the second walk-off hit in Trevino’s career. Now let’s show you the first.

That was June 17, 2018, in the third game of Trevino’s career. So that’s two walk-offs, for two different teams, four years apart. Notice anything about them?

YES Network’s James Smyth did. The guy who scored the winning run, on the only two walk-offs of Trevino’s big-league life, was the same base runner — Isiah Kiner-Falefa — for two different teams. Because baseball is awesome.

WALK IN THE PARK — The Strange But True magic number: 1,012. And what’s so Strange But True about that? Oh, only that it’s how many days (since Aug. 11, 2019) the Orioles went between walk-off homers until Anthony Santander ended that streak on May 19.

But that isn’t even the Strange But True part, because the very next day, this happened.

So that’s no walk-offs in 1,012 days … followed by two walk-offs in two days. Not surprisingly, this caught the attention of loyal reader John Pfaff, who asked:

As you may have heard, the Orioles just went over 1,000 days since their last walk-off home run (before Thursday), and then hit one in two consecutive days. Is that the longest time between (walk-off homers) for a team that (then) hit two in a row?

So of course, we looked! Although, by “we,” I actually mean Baseball-Reference’s fantastic Katie Sharp. She combed through Baseball-Reference’s database and found …

Just two other teams in that database ever went three years between walk-off homers – and then walked it off two days in a row:

2014 Cardinals — no walk-offs from June 19, 2011 (Skip Schumaker) to July 7-8, 2014 (Matt Adams and Kolten Wong).

1925 Tigers — no walkoffs from May 4, 1922 (Harry Heilmann) to June 1-2, 1925 (Frank O’Rourke and then Ty Cobb, to salvage a 16-15 game in which the Tigers had just blown a 10-run lead).

You’ve just read a little research project that tied together Rougned Odor, Skip Schumaker and Ty Cobb. So is that Strange But True enough for you?

POP STARS — What goes up must come down. Noted Moneyball fan Sir Isaac Newton said that once. Well, he should know that more than three centuries later, the Cardinals were still listening.

MLB Network Radio’s hyper-observant Steve Phillips alerted me to the Cardinals’ max-hang-time out-making in their May 26 game against the Brewers. And for good reason, because the Cardinals …

• Made seven of their 27 outs on foul popups.

• Made nine total outs on popups to various infielders.

• Hit five foul popups to the first baseman (Rowdy Tellez) alone.

• Had one player (Juan Yepez) who went 0 for 4, with four popouts.

Seem kind of Strange But True to you? It did to me — and Steve. So I put my friends from STATS on the case. Not surprisingly, that chewed up hours of somebody’s previously enjoyable life. Sorry!

At least they found three other games in the last 49 seasons in which a team had at least seven foul-ball popups and at least nine popouts. But they discovered only one other game in which all of those things happened:

Diamondbacks-Dodgers, Sept. 20, 2001. On their way to winning the World Series, the D-Backs … hit 11 infield popups … and seven foul popups … and five popups to the first baseman … and had Matt Williams pop out four times. So pop until you drop — or until you make it into the Weird and Wild column.

WANT TO SPLIT A DOZEN? The Marlins definitely weren’t the first team to find out this week that Coors Field is still America’s No. 1 home for crooked numbers. So here was the good news: They scored 14 runs in Game 1 of a Coors doubleheader Wednesday and then 12 more in Game 2.

Ready for the bad news? They scored all those runs and did not sweep that doubleheader, which is Strange But True, even by Coors standards.

Thanks to the miracle of Baseball-Reference/Stathead, we can report that only two other teams in the modern era have put up at least 12 runs in both games of a doubleheader but managed to avoid sweeping it:

• The first was hard-hittin’ Mark Whiten’s 1993 Cardinals on Sept. 7. Lost a seven-lead-change 13-12 whopper to the Reds in Game 1. But then rode four memorable Whiten home runs (and 12 RBIs) to a 15-2 win in Game 2.

• The other was Gabby Hartnett’s 1935 Cubs on Aug. 21. Blew an 8-2 lead in Philadelphia during a 13-12 Baker Bowl special in Game 1. But had slightly more fun winning a 19-5 wipeout in Game 2 that included a 12-run sixth inning in which 17 Cubs batted.

And that was the whole list … until the Marlins arrived at Coors Field, where the numbers get more crooked every day.

INTO THE WILD — Finally, you know that thing they always say about baseball — that every day, when you go to a ball game, you might just see something you’ve never seen before? Well, if that sort of thing gets your heart thumping, just watch this.

The defensively challenged Phillies can do those things, the ones you’ve never seen before. But this one? The old wild pitch/E-8 — or, as a friend of mine prefers to describe it, the old wild pitch/E-2, E-4, E-6, E-8? I wasn’t quite sure anyone had ever seen that.

So I reached out to my good friend Dave Smith, founder of Retrosheet, knowing that if I could drag anybody into this absurd research project, it would be him. He rummaged through the entire Retrosheet play-by-play database, back to 1914, and found, amazingly …

One other WP/E-8!

It looked a lot like this one. Aug. 23, 2003. Cubs at Diamondbacks. A Shawn Estes pitch skips past the catcher, Paul Bako … whose throw winds up in center field … where Kenny Lofton misplays it … allowing Alex Cintron to burn all the way home from first … and that later results (indirectly) in Lofton departing this game, to be replaced in center by … my Starkville podcast cohort, Doug Glanville. Because life is way too concentric. And also because …

Baseball!

(Top photo of Joc Pederson: Eric Espada / Getty Images)


#Weird #Wild #Mayor #Sean #Casey #restores #order #PhamPederson #fantasy #football #flap

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