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The Weirdest Things That Happened in Baseball in 2014

Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista

Baseball is filled with bizarre coincidences, amazing statistics, and lots of oddball occurrences. Last season was no exception. As spring training gets underway, we decided to look back at the kookiest from 2014 in our annual Calendar of MLB Weirdness. 

APRIL

April 2 Six pitchers blow saves in the ninth inning or later.

April 4 Billy Hamilton is thrown out stealing for the second straight time by a Mets backup catcher (Juan Centeno and Anthony Recker) after starting his career 13-for-13.

April 8 Toronto tops Houston, 5–2, as the teams combine to go 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position.

April 9  Ervin Santana’s first 20 pitches as a Brave are strikes. Phil Hughes needs 40 pitches to get his first out against the A’s.

April 12  Alfonso Soriano, staffing right field for the first time in his 16-year career, drops a soft fly on the first ball hit to him.

April 12 The Yankees fall to Boston, 7–4, despite each of their 4 through 7 hitters going 2-for-4 with a home run.

April 16 Three Baltimore pitchers combine for a 153-pitch shutout of the Rays.

April 18 The Giants play their eighth straight one-run game, winning half of them.

April 22 Alex Wood is the first pitcher in 34 years to allow one run in eight or more innings of back-to-back starts yet lose both.

April 21-23  The Braves and Marlins set an NL record for a three-game series by combining for 78 strikeouts.

April 24Brett Gardner goes 0-for-3 against the Red Sox but scores four runs.

April 25 The Angels hang 13 runs on the Yankees despite the top two spots in the order going 0-for-10.

April 26 Jose Bautista takes Koji Uehara deep with the first regular-season homer the Red Sox closer had allowed since June 30, 2013 — to Jose Bautista.

MAY

May 2 With the Rays playing a five-man infield, Brett Gardner records a 3-9 ground out — first baseman Sean Rodriguez to right fielder Wil Myers.

May 4 Called up from the minors, where’d been 2-for-25, George Kottaras becomes the first player to a hit a home run in each of his first two at-bats for the Indians.  

May 4 The Giants sweep a three-game series from the Braves without managing a hit with runners in scoring position.

May 9 All 16 of Kansas City’s hits are singles (14 of them off Brandon Maurer) in a 6–1 defeat of the Mariners.

May 16 Pitchers for six road teams spin shutouts for just the second time ever.

May 18 The Rockies turn a “retroactive” triple play when a runner is called out for interference.

May 24  Astros prospect Conrad Gregor hits his initial home run of the season in his 42nd game for Quad Cities, and it’s caught by his father.

May 26 Jeff Samardzija and Kyle Kendrick snap their streaks of 16 consecutive winless starts on the same day.

May 31  For the fifth time in his 12 outings, a Michael Wacha start is rain-delayed.

May 31  Four days after the game’s longest active streak of homerless at-bats ends at 1,465 (Ben Revere), its successor (Ruben Tejada, 552) goes deep, as well.

JUNE

June 3 The Jays beat the Tigers, 5–3, tying a record for most runs scored in the ninth inning of a game that was scoreless after eight.

June 3 37-year-old Jason Lane, who once hit 26 home runs in a season for the Astros, returns to the majors after a seven-year absence to throw 3.1 perfect innings of relief for San Diego.

June 4 The Padres’ sole hit is a bunt single and they get just two balls out of the infield, but they edge the Pirates, 3–2.

June 6 Jose Bautista blasts a home run, throws out a runner at the plate, gets a putout on a fan interference call and lines into a triple play.

June 8 David Freese, who’d never walked more than twice in a game in his six seasons, draws four on full counts.

June 11 Kansas City scores all its runs via sacrifice flies in a 4–1 defeat of Cleveland.

June 11  Padres starters Everth Cabrera, Jace Peterson and Carlos Quentin complete the night in a combined slump of 1-for-72.

June 13 Two Angel Sanchezes sign minor league deals and are assigned to Double-A — the pitcher with the Rays, the infielder with the Dodgers.

June 15 Baltimore’s Chris Tillman, after losing to Toronto, stands 0–4 with a 2.78 ERA at home and 5–0 with a 6.33 ERA on the road.

June 16  On the day Tony Gwynn passes away, Dee Gordon becomes the first Dodgers leadoff hitter to reach base five times since it was done three years earlier by Tony Gwynn Jr.

June 17 Oakland — the team with the lowest ERA in the American League — purchases minor league veteran Brad Mills from the Brewers for $1 and inserts him into its rotation.

June 30 The Indians are the first team since the 1918 Boston Braves to be shut out on one hit in back-to-back games.

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JULY

July 1  Rick Porcello is the first pitcher in 25 years to throw a shutout without walking or striking out a batter. It is his second straight whitewash since beginning his career with one complete game in 163 starts. 

July 1  For the second time in seven days, a pitcher (Tim Lincecum, following Clayton Kershaw) throws eight scoreless innings in a start following a no-hitter — something that hadn’t been done by anyone since 1991.

July 3 Hitless after five innings, the Diamondbacks rap out 13 in a 10–2 thumping of the Pirates.

July 4 Jason Hammel (7–5, 2.98 ERA) meets Tanner Roark (7–5, 2.98 ERA), with Hammel being yanked in the seventh inning because he had been traded — with his ERA still at 2.98.

July 5 The four-game trial of Astros rookie Domingo Santana is aborted after his 11th strikeout in 13 plate appearances.

July 6 The Orioles knock off the Red Sox for the 11th consecutive time those clubs have gone to extra innings.

July 8 To blow a 5–0 lead, all six Cubs pitchers allow exactly one run in a loss to the Reds.

July 9 As per Elias, Robbie Grossman is the first player since Mike Schmidt in 1988 to end a slump of 0-for-28 or worse with a four-hit game.

July 10 Colby Lewis allows 13 runs to Mike Trout and the Angels while throwing only 61 pitches — the fewest-ever offerings in a debacle of that magnitude.

July 18 Jonny Gomes homers in the first game after the All-Star break for the third consecutive campaign.

July 24 The Padres score nine runs in the sixth inning against the Cubs without the benefit of an extra-base hit.

July 28 Arizona wins for the 13th consecutive time in games that last at least 15 innings.

AUGUST

Aug. 1 The 12 hitters moved at the July 31 trade deadline go an aggregate 3-for-35 (all doubles) in their debuts with their new teams.

Aug. 1  For the second time this season and the seventh time in his career, Derek Jeter is the first strikeout victim of a pitcher making his major league debut.

Aug. 10 The Angels fail to record an assist, something that’s happened only four other times in a nine-inning game in the modern era.

Aug. 15 The Tigers give away Miguel Cabrera bobbleheads that read “Most Valuable Player, National League.”

Aug. 21 Five of eight games end in shutouts — the most in 48 years in that skimpy of a schedule.

Aug. 21 The Nats walk off their foe for the fifth time in their last six games.

Aug. 26 Reds catchers go hitless for a 13th contest in a row.

Aug. 27 The Yankees swing and miss at none of David Price’s 25 pitches in the third inning as he becomes the first pitcher since 1982 to allow a hit to nine consecutive batters.

Aug. 27  After 24 consecutive starts without doing so, Clayton Kershaw faces a batter with the bases loaded.

Aug. 27 Scott Van Slyke swats his 10th home run of the year — and fifth off Wade Miley.

Aug. 28 Yusmeiro Petit’s MLB record streak of retiring 46 consecutive batters is terminated on a double by pitcher Jordan Lyles, a career .154 hitter.

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

Sept. 1 Adam Dunn homers in his first game with a new team for the third time (Nationals, White Sox and A’s).

Sept. 3  Boston’s 3-4-5 hitters (David Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Nava) all begin the evening with a .263 batting average.

Sept. 7  Adrian Beltre drives in the only run of the game in the first managerial victory for Tim Bogar — his teammate of 13 years ago.

Sept. 11 For the third straight time, the Angels win in injured starter Garrett Richards’ rotation slot by using a succession of relievers — 23 in all.

Sept. 16 The two longest scoreless relief streaks in Royals history end on one swing, as Conor Gillaspie triples home runners put on base by Wade Davis (31.2 innings) and Kelvin Herrera (30.2).

Sept. 23 Felix Hernandez is the fourth former Cy Young Award winner of the season to allow at least seven runs in an inning, joining David Price, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw.

Sept. 24  Jon Lester finishes his year having faced 346 batters with at least one runner on base, yet without having attempted a pickoff throw.

Sept. 25 During the Mets game, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweets that they “can become the first NL team in 15 years to go an entire season without balking.” Two minutes later, a Mets pitcher balks.

Sept. 27 Cincinnati’s bullpen ends its 18-game losing streak two games shy of the 2012 Astros’ major league record.

Sept. 28 Henderson Alvarez, who in 2013 threw the first no-hitter in a season finale in 29 years, is the victim of Jordan Zimmerman’s no-hitter in this season’s finale — both 1–0 contests.

Sept. 30 Kansas City wins its seventh straight postseason game when facing elimination by defeating Oakland, which loses its seventh consecutive winner-take-all contest.

Oct. 1  Former Pirates reliever Kent Tekulve throws out the first pitch of their Wild Card game 26 days after undergoing a heart transplant.

Oct. 15 The Royals are the first team to clinch a postseason series while going at least 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position since the Yankees rode Babe Ruth’s three home runs to a win in Game 4 of the 1928 World Series.

— Compiled by Bruce Herman for Athlon Sports