A look at all 20 punchouts in Roger Clemens' 20-strikeout game against Seattle in 1986.
There is a secret haven of MLB gems hidden in iTunes right now. Under the heading "Baseball's Best", you can find over 150 games ranging from the 1952 World Series to Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009. The games feature no-hitters, record-breakers, classic postseason battles and more. Best of all, these games are available in their full, original broadcasts (including everything but the commercials) for only $1.99. Today we look at one of these gems: the Seattle at Boston matchup on April 29, 1986, when Roger Clemens set the major-league record for strikeouts in a game.
Heading into this Tuesday night game in front of 13,414 fans, the Mariners are 7-12 and batting .207 on the season. They have also not had two consecutive hits in 64 innings. The lineup looks like this:
From Wrigley Field on Friday, Bradford bids goodbye to the Cubs' fragile former phenom, Kerry Wood.
Orson Welles used to say the key to playing a larger-than-life character was to give him plenty of advance billing before he actually appears on the stage or screen. Harry Lime becomes the most interesting character in The Third Man more than 50 minutes before Welles makes his dramatic entrance in the film. It was a little like that with Kerry Wood, whose ridiculous velocity, strapping build, and Texas background had him pegged as the heir to Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens before we ever saw him in Chicago.
Wood was the fourth pick of the 1995 draft, taken behind Darin Erstad, Ben Davis, and Jose Cruz Jr., and almost immediately there were problems. Less than a week after the Cubs drafted him, Mike McGilvray, his high school coach back in Grand Prairie, Texas, used him in both ends of a doubleheader in the state quarterfinals. Wood threw 145 pitches in the first game and 32 more in the nightcap. Grand Prairie won both games.
Prince Fielder's new deal has albatross potential, but the Tigers hope it doesn't turn out like one of John's picks for the worst contracts of the free-agent era.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
As your mind reels at the size of Prince Fielder's payday, take a look at this list of 10 free-agent deals that didn't work out well for the teams that handed them out, which originally ran on February 20, 2007.
How do pitchers adapt to situations with runners on second or third, where a ball in play equals danger on the scoreboard?
In the firsttwo installments of this series, we dug into the mystery of whether pitchers are able to beneficially change their approach in double-play situations. By digging through pitching data from 2005-09, we were able to make a few general statements:
Different hurlers have different capacities for pitcher-on-pitcher violence.
Cliff Lee has performed at an incredibly high level since joining the Phillies rotation last month, compiling a minuscule 0.68 ERA in 40 frames, effectively making Phans phorget that they were ever engaged in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Lee's junior circuit strikeout rates were generally of the good but not great variety, somewhere in the range of 6.1 and 6.8 per nine innings, yet his 39 whiffs while wearing red pinstripes has resulted in a fantastic rate. Switching to the National League tends to improve a pitcher's performance for a few reasons, but the most obvious of them involves the chance to face pitchers (Ed. Note: Phlailing?) as opposed to additional hitters with Papi Hafner Thome-level power. In his five Phillies starts, Lee has faced the opposing pitcher seven times, recording strikeouts on four different occasions. While the sample here is much too small to make any sort of definitive claim, the underlying idea that his strikeout total has been padded by opportunities to whiff the pitcher piqued my interest.
Wrapping up the JAWS rankings for this year's Hall of Fame eligibles.
Finally, we come to the pitchers on the BBWAA ballot for the Hall of Fame, a mercifully short list this time around, featuring four holdovers and three newcomers. Among this group, Bert Blyleven is the standout, and while he's certainly no lock to gain election this time around, he jumped to nearly 62 percent in last year's vote, suggesting that the work done by statheads here and elsewhere to boost his candidacy is finally getting through to the voters.