In what’s becoming a regular feature, here are notes and thoughts for Red Sox fans this week:
- The Sox were on the wrong end of a historical oddity this past week, falling to the Rays 1-0 in a 10-inning loss. It was just the second time Boston was held to one or fewer hits in an extra innings game. The only other time that happened was September 18, 1934 at the St. Louis Browns, a game Boston won 2-1 in 10 innings. The last time any team was held to a single hit or less in an extra innings affair was May 7, 2013 when the White Sox’ one hit wasn’t enough to beat the Mets 1-0 in 10 innings at Citi Field. Last Tuesday’s shutout by Tampa Bay was the first time that’s happened to Boston in extra innings at home since April 15, 1991 when the Sox lost to the Indians 1-0 in 13 innings.
- Another historical oddity from the week that was is far more pleasant to recount. On Friday, Mookie Betts became just the third Red Sox player since 1913 with four hits in a 9-inning game to include two triples and a double. The others are Dom DiMaggio in 1950 and Harry Hooper in 1919. Betts is only the 66th player in all of baseball to accomplish that feat since at least 1913. Yasiel Puig was the most recent to do so on July 25, 2014. According to Elias, Baseball’s all-time record for triples in a single game is four, set by George Strief on June 25, 1885 and again by “Scrappy” Bill Joyce on May 18, 1897.
This week Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta became the 31st big league hurler to collect multiple no-hitters over his career. Arrieta no-hit the Reds on April 21, 2016 just eight months after no-hitting the Dodgers on August 30, 2015. Two Sox pitchers have had multiple no-hitters while with the club: Dutch Leonard (pictured right) vs the St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers on August 30, 1916 and June 3, 1918, respectively, and Hall of Famer Cy Young vs Philadelphia and New York on May 5, 1904 and June 30, 1908, respectively. Earlier in his career, while playing for Cleveland, Young had no-hit Cincinnati, too, on September 18, 1897.
- On Saturday Clay Buchholz gave up his 99th career home run, but his very first grand slam. Over the last five seasons starting in 2012 Red Sox pitchers have allowed 11 grand slams. In the American League for that same time, only the Indians (9) have allowed fewer.
- Except for the Yankees, no club has belted more grand slam home runs than the Red Sox since the start of 2012. Boston has 20, New York as 23.
- Monday April 25th marks the 55th anniversary of the first AL win for Red Sox pitcher Gene Conley, who was also a member of the NBA Champion Boston Celtics that year. It wasn’t just a fluke. Conley, a three-time All-Star, won a World Series with the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and then three NBA titles with the Celtics in 1959, 1960, and 1961. In all, he pitched in 11 MLB seasons. Conley, who is now 85, finished his MLB career with three Red Sox seasons going 29-32 with a 4.57 ERA in 76 appearances (72 starts).
- Facing the Astros and the Braves for their next seven games should be a chance for the Red Sox to collect some wins (though Boston was smoked by Houston on Saturday). At the start of the weekend, the Astros were tied with the Twins for the worst record in the AL and the Braves had the worst record in all of baseball, having started the season with 9 straight losses.
- Mike Trout has amassed 464 runs over the last five seasons, all of them with the Angels, while no other player has even gotten to 400 in that same time. Dustin Pedroia has collected 301 runs from 2012-16, the closest of any player that’s been with the Red Sox exclusively in that span of time.
- Johnny Cueto, known to have favored the Red Sox as his landing place this past off-season, has started 3-0 with his new club, the Giants. He’s the 9th pitcher in San Francisco’s long history to start and win each of his first three games with the club joining big names like Hall of Famer Juan Marichal in 1960, Bill Swift in 1992, and Brad Penny in 2009.