August 10th, 2007

10-J, 10-M

Ten random things: August 10

Ten pitchers who struck out four batters in a single inning:

  1. Archie Corbin (April 28, 1999)
  2. Hooks Wiltse (May 15, 1906)
  3. Kerry Wood (September 2, 2002)
  4. Orval Overall (October 14, 1908)
  5. Jerry Spradlin (July 22, 1999)
  6. Blake Stein (July 27, 1998)
  7. Bob Gibson (June 7, 1966)
  8. Matt Young (September 9, 1990)
  9. Bruce Ruffin (July 25, 1996)
  10. Jim Davis (May 27, 1956)

Today's list was suggested to me by my good friend Eric Kripke.

Ah ha ha, but of course I am making with the joke. Earlier today I needed to look up who currently holds the career record for having been struck out most often (Reggie Jackson), and I happened to notice a link to a web ste purporting to list pitchers who had struck out four batters in a single inning. Now, I'm not a baseball fan, but even I know that there are only three outs in any given inning. So how could this be?

Well, it's like this. If the pitcher throws a third strike, but the catcher fails to field it cleanly -- i.e. he drops it -- or it gets stuck in the umpire's mask, the batter gets to advance to first base. But it still counts as a strikeout. The first pitcher to accomplish this unusual feat was Bobby Mathews of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1885; it's happened another 49 times since then.

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