Clemens, Clemens ... and more Clemens
In his attempt to win 300 career games, Roger Clemens has unearthed many factoids.
We interrupt our continuous cork-o-mania coverage for a little 300th-win edition of the Useless Information Department:
The day Clemens won his first game, Milt Wilcox also won.
The day Wilcox won his first game (Sept. 5, 1970), Don Cardwell also won.
The day Cardwell won his first game (April 26, 1957), Warren Spahn won.
The day Spahn won his first game (July 14, 1946), Johnny Vander Meer won.
The day Vander Meer won his first game (June 2, 1937), Red Ruffing won.
And the day Ruffing won his first game (May 14, 1925), the winning pitcher for the Cubs was Grover Cleveland Alexander.
Useless Interleague Information
|The Sultan's Corner|
Joe DiMaggio (3)
May 13, 1955 -- Mickey Mantle
Lou Whitaker May 15-16, 1987
Braves -- June 8, 1961 (Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, Frank Thomas)
Gavvy Cravath 1913 19 HR, 2 pinch HR
Ken Dixon May 9-14, 1986
Useless Hitting-Streak Information
Players with the most streaks of 20-plus:
Pete Rose 7
Ty Cobb 5
Tris Speaker 5
Heinie Manush 5
Chuck Klein 5
Really Useless Information
Back-to-back boxscore lines of the century
Poor Jeff Austin. He didn't mean to put together possibly the worst back-to-back starts in modern history. But he had two all-timers.
0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 0 K and the scary tag line: Austin pitched to 7 hitters in the first inning.
2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 4 HR -- and he became the second pitcher in history (joining Roger Mason) to give up home runs to the first three hitters of a game.
The grim totals
All told, Austin faced 14 hitters, didn't get an out until the 11th batter he faced, allowed 10 to score, got two outs, and, of the 50 pitches he threw that weren't whacked for hits, he threw only 18 strikes. Yikes.
Fact of the day
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Austin was only the second pitcher in the last 30 years to get gonged in the first inning in back-to-back starts and allow at least five runs in each of them. The other: Woodie Fryman, on April 7 and 17, 1974. But Woodie got four outs (one of them on a caught-stealing).
Quote of the day
From Austin, on being sent to the minors immediately: "This team is better off without me on it."
Sacrificial lambs of the week
More proof that bunts are overrated:
The Blue Jays made it all the way from Opening Day to Memorial Day without a sacrifice bunt -- the longest sac-free streak to open a season in history, according to Elias. And they lead the major leagues in runs scored.
Reunion of the week
What made May 30 one of the coolest box scores of the year? It was the first game ever --regular season or postseason -- in which Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz all pitched.
The Padres recently went from April 26 through May 23 without a win from any of their starting pitchers. That's 26 straight starts, no wins. Last team to have a streak that long: the 1996 Tigers, who went the last 27 games of the season (including the entire month of September) without a win by a starter.
One-man offense of the month
In Geoff Jenkins' three-homer game May 21 against the Padres, not only did he hit all three homers off the same pitcher (Jake Peavy), he hit more homers off Peavy (in three at-bats) than the rest of his team had hits off Peavy (two, in 17 at-bats).
Last time a pitcher gave up three homers to one man in a lineup and fewer hits than that to the rest of that lineup, according to Elias: April 2, 1997, when Seattle's Scott Sanders served up three homers to Tino Martinez in five innings -- but only two other hits.
Corkage of the week
It's time for the mandatory cork note of the week -- most home runs hit in a season after being caught for bat-tampering (since 1970):
Albert Belle 50 -- 1995
Albert Belle 49 -- 1998
Albert Belle 48 -- 1996
Albert Belle 37 -- 1999
Graig Nettles 37 -- 1977
Reloaders of the week
The Phillies drew three bases-loaded walks last weekend in their May 30 game against the Expos. Believe it or not, it's the second time this year they've walked three times with the bases loaded in the same game. (The other came in one inning -- their 13-run inning in Cincinnati, on April 13).
Last team to draw three bases-loaded walks in a game twice in the same season, according to Elias: those ever-patient 1997 Mets.
Sweepers of the week
The Blue Jays just swept the Red Sox and Yankees on back-to-back weekends. And while you'd think you wouldn't see that much, the A's swept the Sox and Yankees in back-to-back series, from Aug. 7-12, 2001.
Deja vu-doo of the week
If Angels GM Bill Stoneman thought something looked kind of familiar Thursday in San Juan, when Expos rookie Julio Manon threw four shutout innings of relief against Stoneman's Angels, he wasn't hallucinating.
Expos public-relations whiz John Dever reports that Maroon was only the second Expo ever to throw at least four shutout innings in relief in his major-league debut. The other was the unforgettable Craig Caskey, who twirled 4 2/3 shutout innings against the Reds on July 19, 1973 -- in relief of (oui) Bill Stoneman.
Good news, bad news
The bad news for Hank Blalock on May 16 was that he struck out four times, in a game against the Yankees. The good news was, he drove in six runs (with two bases-loaded triples).
Many readers were dying to know the last guy to drive in that many runs in a game in which he whiffed that many times. And the answer is: You've got us.
Retrosheet's Dave Smith dug through every game back to 1972 -- and found no four-strikeout, six-RBI games. In fact, he found just one four-strikeout, five-RBI game -- by Devon White against the Phillies, on Aug. 20, 1998. White's line: 7 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 5 RBI, 4 K.
Useless factoids of the week
Retrosheet's Dave Smith checked all games back to 1972 and found this was the only time since that year that pitchers even got pinch hits in the same game, let alone the same inning. According to Retrosheet, there have been only 79 pinch-hits by pitchers during that span, including three by reformed outfielder-turned-pitcher Brooks Kieschnick this year. So that averages slightly more than two a season, let alone two in the same inning.
Minor league name of the week
And the winner is: electrifying Inland Empire outfielder Sheldon Fuse.
Bobbleheads of the week
The least-reported losing streak of the year was uncovered by our bobblehead czar, David Hallstrom. When the Devil Rays lost last Sunday on Lou Piniella Bobblehead Day, it made the three bobblehead managers (Frank Robinson, Bobby Cox and Piniella) a scary 0-3 on their bobblehead days this year.
So will the bobbleheaded leaders go 0 for the year? We regret to report the only team that can save them is (of course) the Tigers. Alan Trammell's bobblehead day is coming up Aug. 23.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your Useless Information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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