Monday, September 8, 2008

Weird Batting Line...On Consecutive Nights

This comes via today's "Frosty Mug" on Brew Crew Ball which in turn gives a hat tip to the Pirates blog "Where have you gone, Andy Van Slyke?"

The post that started this chain noted that Rajai Davis was inserted into Oakland's Friday night game as a pinch-runner, subsequently scored, and later in the same inning hit a grand slam. The post looks at his batting line:
That gave him this awesome line for the night:

Davis, PR-DH 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 .247

That's 1/1 with two runs scored, four RBIs, no walks and no strikeouts. That's just not something you see every day.
You don't see that often, that's for sure. In fact, before Friday, only one player since 1956 had scored two runs while hitting a grand slam in his own plate appearance. That player? None other than Brewers outfielder Darrin Jackson on July 28, 1998. After replacing Dave Nilsson on the bases and scoring in the top of the 8th inning, Jackson hit a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth.

So, yes, Davis was only the second player in over fifty seasons to have a batting line like that, but that fact alone doesn't make this notable. What's really amazing is that the very next night a different player managed to put up the exact same line! In the eighth inning of Saturday's Cubs-Reds game, Cincinnati's Jolbert Cabrera pinch-ran for Edwin Encarnacion. He wound up scoring before the inning ended. In the ninth inning, he came up with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam off Carlos Marmol in his only plate appearance of the game.

So, after going 50+ seasons with only one such batting line in a game, MLB saw two players do it on consecutive nights. Baseball's a crazy game sometimes.


Bopperland said...

What a great find, especially the consecutive nights after such a gap.

It was noticed that in each case, it was a PR insertion followed by a GS hit. Could there have been other scenarios where the batter would be credited with only 1 at-bat and scored 2 runs? I'm thinking about some of the other events that would get a player to 1B without a credited AB. It just seems surprising that this couldn't have happened more often.

Theron Schultz said...

I suppose an error on a sacrifice fly could allow a batter to reach without getting credit for an at bat (but then his HR would have to be a 3-run homer, since the batter would get an RBI for the SF). A walk or HBP would also obviously not count as an at bat. Another weird way would be reaching due to interference. I'm not 100% sure on interference, but I the first couple cases are still counted as plate appearances.

I used one plate appearance as a condition when looking up batting lines. When you make it only one at bat as opposed to one plate appearance, there's eight other games, but seven of those involve walks and one involves a hit by pitch. I should have made it more clear that it's the zero walks/HBP's/reaching on errors that make the line so unusual.

Bopperland said...

Bopper strikes again!