100 Weirdest Things That Happened in Major League Baseball Last Season

A rundown of the odd, offbeat and unexpected occurrences of the 2018 baseball season.

Since the 2019 MLB season will be here soon, it seems like the ideal time to look back at last season and remember all the amazing, bizarre and unexpected things that happened. And yes, a lot of crazy "stuff" went down.

 

Here's a look at the highlights:

 

Dec. 20 – A second of the four active players who owned their franchise’s career home record is traded in a 10-day period, as Evan Longoria follows Giancarlo Stanton in changing uniforms (leaving Ryan Braun and Ryan Zimmerman).


Jan. 25 – Christian Yelich is traded away by his boyhood idol, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.


Feb. 7 – Catcher Raudy Read, who won Washington’s 2017 Bob Boone Award for “professionalism, leadership and consistency” is suspended for 80 games after testing positive for a PED.


March 29 – Zach Duke’s one-inning Twins debut goes like this – strikeout (batter takes first on wild pitch), wild pitch, strikeout, intentional walk, strikeout, two-run triple, strikeout (that’s four).


March 30 – After going 210 games without a 1–0 victory, the Giants win their first two of the season by that score.


March 31 – Braves manager Brian Snitker is ejected for the second time in the first three games of the season.

 

April 2 – Phillies reliever Pat Neshek opens a pack of Topps Heritage baseball cards and pulls an ultra-rare red-ink autographed Shohei Ohtani (later saying he regretted selling it on eBay for $6,100).


April 3 – The Orioles, playing their fifth game, finally score against a starting pitcher.


April 5 – A bald eagle, flying around as part of the pregame ceremony, mistakes Mariners pitcher James Paxton for its handler and lands on his shoulder.


April 7 – The Giants end their 57-game drought without a home run from their cleanup hitters.


April 10 – Mickey Callaway and Alex Cora become the third and fourth managers in history to win nine of their first 10 games.


April 10 – The Red Sox score nine runs on three hits in the sixth inning against the Yankees.


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April 12 – For the first time since 1935, two teams on one day’s schedule get their only hit of a game from a pitcher.


April 13 – The Angels are the initial team in 58 years to use nine different starting pitchers in their first 15 games, yet they win 12 of them.


April 14 – Deven Marrero’s first “home run” isn’t, as teammate Alex Avila negates it by passing him on the bases.


April 15 – The Elias Sports Bureau reports that there are 87 more strikeouts than hits in the day’s slate of games — a record.


April 17-18 – Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Zach Duke, both age 34 when their game starts on the 17th, turn 35 during the 16th inning on the 18th.


April 18 – A 27th game of the three-week-old campaign begins in sub-40-degree temperatures (it snowed!) — eight more than in any other full season in at least the last half-century.


April 21 – Lucas Giolito is the second pitcher in history (following Pat Caraway in 1931) to allow and many as nine runs, seven walks and five hits in a start of two innings or less.


April 22 – Brandon Belt sets the known record of seeing 21 pitches in a single at-bat, lining out on the last.


April 22 – The Yankees field a team of all 20-somethings for the first time since 1942.


April 24 – Forfeiting a certain double, Noel Cuevas of the Rockies trips over first base on his first major league hit.


April 26 – Carlos Martinez hits a batter (three of them, in fact) in a seventh consecutive game dating to 2017, matching Pedro Martinez and Dave Bush for the fourth-longest streak ever.


April 27 – Anthony Senzatela is the first reliever to earn a win and drive in the only run of a game since Joe Niekro in 1990.


April 28 – The Diamondbacks are the sole team since the 1907 Cubs to win their first nine series of a season.


April 30 – The Red Sox, after hitting nary a grand slam in 2017, tie a record by drilling six before May 1.


May 1 – Slotted into the leadoff role for the initial time this season, slumping sluggers Bryce Harper and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs.


May 1 – The 2018 Braves are the first team to start a game with three players as young as Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Soroka and Ozzie Albies since the 1978 Braves fielded Bob Horner, Glenn Hubbard and Eddie Milner.


May 2 – Yoenis Cespedes’ diamond necklace snaps as he slides into second base, scattering thousands of dollars’ worth of gems in the dirt.


May 2 – Carlos Martinez becomes the second Carlos Martinez to hit a home run in the major leagues, the first being his teammate Jose’s father.


May 3 – After allowing home runs on three consecutive pitches over two games, including two in the opener, Nick Goody is DL’d with elbow inflammation between games of a doubleheader.


May 5 – Eight years to the day after he was first called up from the minors, Craig Kimbrel becomes the quickest pitcher by age, appearances and opportunities to record his 300th save.


May 6 – Cubs reliever Luke Farrell is walked off by an extra-inning, two-run homer in back-to-back games against St. Louis.


May 9 – For just the second time in 24 years, a pair of first basemen (Matt Carpenter and Joe Mauer) bat leadoff in the same game.


May 11 – The maiden hit of Dustin Fowler’s career is a single off the player he was traded for in 2017 — Sonny Gray.


May 13 – Jacob deGrom throws 45 pitches in the only inning of his start, yet doesn’t allow a run.


May 15 – One-fourth of the way through the campaign, the Blue Jays trot out their seventh shortstop — catcher Russell Martin.


May 20 – The Red Sox throw their first 13-hit shutout in more than a century.


May 20 – Hours after laying down Toronto’s first sacrifice bunt of the season, in the team’s 47th game, Richard Urena is shipped to the minors.


May 20 – Wilmer Font tees up his 12th home run in his 21st inning of work over the past two seasons.


May 23 – For not the first, but the second time in their history, the Mets field a battery of players who were born on the same day — Jacob deGrom and Devin Mesoraco, following Bobby Jones and Albert Castillo.


May 27 – After starting in none of his first 588 appearances, Sergio Romo is — thanks to the Rays’ “relief day” strategy — the first pitcher since 1975 to start four games in nine days.


May 28 – Making his initial major league plate appearance, Dustin Peterson loses track of the count and trots to first base on ball three — then strikes out.


May 29 – The Twins tie a record by suffering an eighth walk-off loss in their first 50 games.


May 30 – Six innings into their eventual whitewash at the hands of the Rays, the A’s half of the box score reads no hits, four errors, a passed ball and three hit batters.


May 30 – A goose, chased from the Comerica Park outfield, falls two levels after crashing into an LED board, where it is wrapped in a blanket by a veterinarian and released after a check-up at the pet hospital.


May 31 – “We forgot to get the ball,” laments Cubs manager Joe Maddon after Javy Baez draws his first unintentional walk in 183 plate appearances.


June 1 – There are five shutouts — a season-high to date — on National Donut Day.


June 1 – The Rangers are the fourth team with which Bartolo Colon has thrown a gopher ball to Albert Pujols.


June 2 – The Cubs strike out 24 times, including all five times they load the bases, but beat the Mets, 7–1, in 14 innings.


June 3 – Charlie Culberson ups his career home run total to eight — and his walk-off total to four.


June 7 – “Felt the best I had in a while,” pronounces Tyler Chatwood after walking seven batters, hitting one and throwing three pitches over the heads of three in 4.2 innings.


June 9 – Despite throwing more strikes than balls, Charlie Morton either walks or hits 10 of the 23 batters he faces.


June 9 – The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Mets are the first team since the 1919 Senators to lose eight straight games despite an ERA as low as 2.16 ERA by their starting pitchers in that span.


June 13 – Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres are the youngest opposing players since 1887 to hit a home run in the same game.

 

June 15 – None of the five runs in the Pirates-Reds game is driven in by a hit.


June 15 – In the longest such streak in more than a half-century, the Mets fail to put up a crooked number in an inning for an 11th straight game.


June 17 – Brewers reliever Adrian Houser enters a game, vomits, faces two batters, vomits again, and faces three more batters to finish the inning.


June 18 – Juan Soto hits a home run five days before his major league debut — in the continuation of a game that had been suspended on May 15 when he was in the minors.


June 19 – Pitching in the Cubs’ 70th game, Tyler Chatwood walks his 61st batter — a total that would have been the most on the staff for the entire 2017 season.


June 24 – On the day after pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hits the first grand slam by a Reds pitcher since 1959, staffmate Michael Lorenzen rips a pinch-hit homer.


June 24 – Jerry Blevins, making his first start after 532 relief appearances, allows longballs to the first two batters he faces.


June 25 – Duane Underwood Jr. survives a 41-pitch first inning of his career without being scored upon, but, in the second, throws a home run ball on his first offering.


June 26 – Jake Bauers steals the first base of his career after having three apparent ones in the previous two weeks erased by a delayed balk call, an overturn by replay and a batter’s interference.


June 30 – Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen now have hit four home runs — two of them grand slams and two as pinch-hitters — in eight days.

 

July 2 – Pirates pitcher Nick Kingham misfires on a throw to first base after a comebacker, balks the runner to third and allows him to score when he misses a throwback from his catcher.


July 3 – Vidal Nuno is the first reliever in the DH era to earn a victory and collect multiple hits in the same game.


July 4 – Kyle Higashioka, after beginning his career 0-for-22, gets three hits in his next 11 at-bats — all home runs.


July 7 – The Mets put their leadoff man aboard in seven innings, but go 0-for-17 with runners on base and are shut out.


July 11 – German Marquez’s home run off Daniel Descalso is the first in 32 years by a pitcher off a position player.


July 11 – For the first time ever on the same day, two teams (Indians and Rockies) take a lead of at least 17 runs before the fifth inning.


July 14 – Maikel Franco picks up a two-hopper along the third base line and, thinking it was foul, flips it into the stands.


July 15 – Twins manager Paul Molitor employs Fernando Rodney in the fifth inning so his closer could catch his flight to the Dominican Republic for an immigration hearing.


July 15 – The Brewers are the initial first-place club since 1964 to be swept in a five-game series.


July 21 – As per Elias, Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. are the first pair of opposing under-21s to homer in the same game since 1887.


July 24 – The Cardinals option out Daniel Poncedeleon, who had spun seven no-hit innings in his major league debut the night before, to open a roster spot for rookie Austin Gomber, who then throws 6.1 no-hit innings in his first start.


July 24 – Utilityman Kike Hernandez gives up a three-run homer in the bottom of the 16th inning, likely making him the first player ever to go 0-for-7 and suffer a pitching loss in the same game.

 

July 27 – Clayton Kershaw is the first NL pitcher ever to get a hit, draw three walks and drive in two runs in a game.


July 28 – As the largest Vegas favorite of the season (-420 for you bettors), the Yankees are creamed by the Royals, 10–5, in the opening game of a doubleheader.


July 31 – As the Mets languish in a 24–5 beating by the Nationals, their TV announcers begin reading verbatim from the team’s media guide with the theme from “Masterpiece Theater” playing in the background.


Aug. 2 – The Dodgers score 21 of the 26 runners they put on base against Milwaukee. Their onslaught includes reaping four RBIs from all three outfielders — the first time any team has done that since 1964.


Aug. 6 – The Mets end an 0-for-29 drought with runners in scoring position/two outs.


Aug. 10 – Made possible by the new minor league rule in which extra innings begin with a runner on second base, Hayden Deal of Rome (Braves) records three outs on the only two pitches made in an inning.


Aug. 14 – On a day Trevor Richards serves up home runs on his first two pitches of the game, Patrick Corbin extends his streak to 1,064 without allowing one.


Aug. 14 – The Tigers (haplessly) execute the ever-popular “two-run sacrifice fly double play” against the White Sox.


Aug. 15 – Zack Wheeler records a victory in sixth straight start — as many as in his previous 36.


Aug. 16 – The Rangers turn a triple play that does not include retiring the batter — the first of its kind since 1912.


Aug. 16 – Precisely 31 years after tallying 23 runs in a game, the Mets set a franchise record with 24.


Aug. 17 – The Cubs are the third team to turn seven DPs in a nine-inning game, needing everyone in a 1–0 win over the Pirates. 


Aug. 19 – Jose Urena follows up a one-pitch start (ejected) with his first career complete game.


Aug. 21 – The Dodgers lose for the eighth time in their last 11 games, with each of the defeats going to a different pitcher — seven of them relievers.


Aug. 24 – The five hits in David Bote’s last 34 plate appearances include three home runs, two of which were walk-offs.


Aug. 29 – Andrew Benintendi makes all three outs (sacrifice, GIDP) of Boston’s 11-run seventh inning.


Sept. 4 – The first seven Brewers runs of their 11–1 defeat of the Cubs score on a wild pitch, a passed ball, a hit-by-pitch, an error and three sacrifice flies.


Sept. 8 – Noah Syndergaard is the first pitcher in 19 years to win a start in which he allowed 17 base runners.


Sept. 10 – Jakob Junis completes a six-start stretch in which he walks only three batters, but hits five.


Sept. 15 – For the first time ever in a contest that did not employ a DH, no player on either team (Marlins at Phillies) both batted and pitched.


Sept. 19 – Yasiel Puig leaves a game early because, for the fourth time in a year-and-a-half, his house is burglarized.


Sept. 21 – Lourdes Jr. and Yuli Gurriel are the first brothers to hit multiple home runs on the same day.


Sept. 27 – Two innings short of a $500,000 bonus, CC Sabathia is ejected from his final start of the year.


Sept. 28 – ESPN Stats & Info discovers that the White Sox finished 14–18 in starts by Lucas Giolito, whose ERA was an MLB-worst 6.13 — the identical record as the Mets in starts by Jacob deGrom, whose ERA was an MLB-best 1.70.

 

Sept. 29 – A fan fires a Giancarlo Stanton home run ball back into the field of play — and hits him with it.


Oct. 17 – As the Red Sox beat the Astros in the ALCS, at least one run is scored in eight different innings of a postseason game for just the second time.


Oct. 20 – The League Championship Series MVPs — Jackie Bradley Jr. and Cody Bellinger — each bat .200.


Dec. 14 – The Indians now have traded players named Yan, Yandy and Yonder in the past 15 days.

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