Sunday, June 15, 2008
Four Strike Outs, One Inning
Four strike outs in one inning is a rare and confusing thing. Minnesota Twins starting pitcher, Scott Baker, did just that today against the Milwaukee Brewers. Baker is the first Twin to with four strike outs in one inning.
The third inning started when Baker struck out Ryan Braun swinging. The second batter, Prince Fielder, went down in three. But, the ball got away from catcher Mike Redmond, while Fielder easily reached first base on the wild pitch. Baker recovered the inning by striking out Russell Branyan and Mike Cameron on six straight pitches.
As I said, it's a confusing event. When a batter has two strikes on him and takes a swing at the third strike and the catcher does not field the ball cleanly, the batter can run to first base. If the catcher does not regain control of the ball and either tags out the runner or throws to ball to first before the runner, the pitch is recorded as a strike, but not an out.
Since 1911, when Walter Johnson first, the American League has had 19 pitchers to achieve four Ks in one inning. Scott Baker makes 20.
In the National League, 30 pitchers have managed the feat between 1888 when Ed "Cannonball" Crane played for the New York Giants and 2006 when Brad Penney pitched for the LA Dodgers.
Chuck Finley (AL) remains the only pitcher with 4 strike outs in one inning. He has three - twice in 1999 with the CA Angels and again in 2000 playing for the Cleveland Indians.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.