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The Weirdest Things That Happened in Baseball in 2016

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

Baseball can be a strange sport, especially when you take into consideration that it’s been played professionally for more than 140 years yet continues to provide those “what just happened” moments. Take last season for example. In 2016 the oddball occurrences started in early April and continued up until Game 7 of the World Series.

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In fact, some may say the strangest thing that occurred on the diamond last season was that the Chicago Cubs ended the longest championship drought in sports by winning the World Series. But as you will see below, that was just one example of the weirdness that happened during the 2016 MLB season.

MLB's 2016 Calendar of the Weird

April

April 11 Two guys who had never before played in the majors — Trevor Story and Tyler White — are the season’s first Players of the Week in their respective leagues.

April 16 For the second straight night, the Yankees go 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position against Seattle.

April 17 A pair of Mets relievers — Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed — are credited with two strikeouts apiece in the ninth inning.

April 20 For the first time this season, in their 16th game, the Phillies reach double digits in hits — notching their 10th on a walk-off infield single in the 11th inning.

April 21 Chasen Shreve is the first pitcher in a decade to allow a home run on each of the first two pitches he throws in a game.

April 22 Wil Myers’ season-opening strikeout streak reaches 16 games.

April 26 The Braves fail to go deep for a 15th straight game — ultimately more than double the length of any other team’s streak in 2016.

May

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May 5 Six days after allowing a 12-run inning to the Mets, Giants hurlers are stung for a 13-run frame by the Rockies.

May 6 Reds relievers snap their stretch of being scored upon in 23 consecutive games in which one has appeared, setting a record for a single season.

May 8 With Bryce Harper, who was batting in front of him, being walked six times and getting hit by a pitch, Ryan Zimmerman leaves a record 14 men on base and makes the final out of four innings in Washington’s loss to the Cubs.

May 9 J.T. Realmuto is the first player in 10 years to lose a home run for passing a teammate on the basepaths.

May 13 The Phillies execute three bunt singles and a go-ahead suicide squeeze by pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in a 3–2 defeat of the Reds.

May 14 Thirty-five games into the season, the Braves become the last team to hit a triple and are still hunting for their 10th home run when everyone else has at least 29.

May 16 Jordan Zimmermann is the first pitcher since Lefty Grove faced Babe Ruth’s 1927 Yankees to win a game in which he permits at least eight runs and strikes out nine or more batters.

May 18 A 15th consecutive Phillies victory is by three or fewer runs.

May 19 Erick Aybar misses a game after having a chicken bone removed from his throat.

May 22 Giancarlo Stanton whiffs for the 17th time (tying a record for a six-game span) in his last 20 at-bats.

May 23 The A’s, after a franchise-record 83 games dating to 2015 without one, are the last team of the year to coax a seven-inning start from a pitcher.

May 23 Gio Gonzalez’s longest active streak of starts without allowing multiple homers (44) goes by the wayside when he serves up a second to the Mets — then a third two pitches later.

May 25 The Twins, 46 games into their season, finally have a two-win starter (Tyler Duffey).

May 27 The Elias Sports Bureau informs that, for the first time in 51 seasons, a player (Josh Donaldson) drives in a go-ahead run in four plate appearances in one game.

May 30 The Cubs bullpen provides seven perfect innings — the most in a game since 1917, when Red Sox starting pitcher Babe Ruth was ejected and Ernie Shore completed a no-hitter.

June

June 1 The Mets plate only one of their 20 baserunners and lose, 2–1, when rotund reliever Matt Albers doubles for the first hit by a White Sox pitcher in 11 years then scores the winning run.

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June 1 Exactly one-third of the way into their season, the Cardinals whack their 10th pinch-hit home run, matching their total in the previous four years combined.

June 4 Carlos Correa logs his third game-winning hit in the 12th inning or later in the past 12 days.

June 4 Jeff Samardzija serves up four gopher balls (plus a single and a double) in a span of 28 pitches.

June 9 A Prince Fielder home run ball blows up the cell phone of a fan who had held it up to protect herself from the oncoming missile.

June 13 James Shields is the first pitcher since 1894 to allow at least seven runs prior to the fourth inning in three consecutive starts.

June 15 The Mariners lose for the 17th time in their last 19 games of 13 or more innings.

June 19 The Padres win for the first time in 11 tries on a Sunday.

June 20 The Rockies and Marlins set a record by launching eight solo homers to account for every run of a game.

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June 21 After being defeated in their previous seven games while scoring a total of 12 runs, the Phillies lose despite tallying 10 times.

June 22 Washington’s Michael A. Taylor strikes out five times, then commits a three-base error that allows the game-tying and -ending runs to score.

June 25 The White Sox, joining the 1995 and 2004 Tigers, become the second franchise to lose a tilt in which it hits seven home runs.

June 28 Though he’s pitched fewer than 250 innings, J.J. Hoover sets a Reds record by allowing the sixth grand slam of his career.

July

July 1 For the second time in a week, Bryce Harper forfeits an extra base because he lollygags at the plate watching a drive he thought was going farther.

July 6 Thanks to Chase Utley (on the heels of C.J. Cron and Wilmer Flores), it is the first time in history that three players have six-hit games in a five-day period.

July 8 The White Sox, in their 86th game, turn their third triple play of the season.

July 10 The A’s begin a game having played a franchise-record 15 straight errorless games, then make four (including a game-ender) in a 2–1 loss to the Astros.

July 12 In an All-Star Game managed by Terry Collins of the Mets, none of the four players on his own team appear.

July 17 The lone run of a game scores on a passed ball for the first time since 1986, as the Reds edge the Brewers.

July 17 Farm clubs Bluefield and Greeneville combine for 56 strikeouts in a 20-inning game.

July 19 The Yankees fail to score in the first inning for a 23rd straight contest.

July 23 Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy is knocked out of a game when a TV monitor in the broadcast booth falls on his head.

July 24 Tyler Chatwood is first NL pitcher known to have won a game in which he pitched as few as five innings, did not allow a run and issued at least eight walks.

July 27 Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis commits what will be his only three errors of the season (201 chances) in the span of two innings.

July 28 Jeurys Familia blows his second save in less than 24 hours after converting 52 in a row over the previous 360 days.

July 30 Jameson Taillon is deprived of his first major-league hit when, after lining an apparent single, he is thrown out at first by the right fielder.

August

Aug. 3 Thanks in part to a three-run homer from Kevin Kiermaier, the Rays are the first AL team to be 20 or more games under .500 and score 12 runs in a shutout of the defending champs (Royals).

Aug. 11 Oakland starts a different pitcher for an eighth consecutive game — the first time in 55 years a team has done that.

Aug. 13 Brandon McCarthy, after walking three or fewer batters in 122 consecutive starts, issues five for the third outing in a row.

Aug. 19 A ninth different batter (Ehire Adrianza) notches the game-winning RBI in the last nine supplied by Giants pinch-hitters.

Aug. 23 Danny Salazar has lasted a total of 11 innings over his last four starts.

Aug. 28 Kevin Gausman wins for the first time in 26 road starts.

Aug. 31 In a major-league first, rookies on opposing teams hit grand slams, as Stephen Cardullo and Andrew Toles connect.

September

Sept. 2 For the second time in three months, the Mariners cobble together a nine-run inning without the benefit of an extra-base hit.

Sept. 2-4 The Red Sox tie a post-1900 record by scoring at least 12 runs against the same foe (A’s) in a fourth straight meeting... then tally 11... then are shut out.

Sept. 5 Chad Bettis and Ubaldo Jimenez, who enter the day with a combined 5.70 ERA in 52 appearances and no complete games in their last 214 starts, both throw two-hitters.

Sept. 12 The White Sox score in all eight innings against Cleveland, and the Red Sox tally in their first seven versus Baltimore.

Sept. 14 The Diamondbacks are the first team in 86 years to hang a double-digit hit total on a team (Rockies) in 14 consecutive games of one season.

Sept. 14 Five teams with winning records are shut out on the same day for only the second time ever.

Sept. 25 The Mets bat 11 times (including four by Jose Reyes) with the bases loaded in a 17–0 destruction of the Phillies.

Sept. 28 The Twins put up a crooked number after 106 consecutive innings of scoring zero or one run — the longest streak in 74 years.

October

Oct. 2 The Angels conclude their season as the first AL team in more a century without an extra-inning win.

Oct. 7 Elias notes that, for the fourth time in five years, a left-handed batter who didn’t homer against a southpaw in the regular season did so in the postseason.

Oct. 19 The Indians clinch the ALCS despite everyone other than Francisco Lindor batting .138.

Oct. 25 Roberto Perez, who hit three home runs in 153 regular-season at-bats, goes deep for the third time in his 27th trip of the postseason.

November

Nov. 2 Three different Cubs catchers drive in a run as Chicago wins Game 7 of the World Series.

— Compiled by Bruce Herman for Athlon Sports