If you're a fantasy baseball enthusiast, you probably noticed some interesting and unusual performances by starting pitchers this week. Here's a few of our favorites.
• Carlos Frias of the Los Angeles Dodgers was tagged for 12 hits and 10 earned runs Sunday as the San Diego Padres mounted a 20-hit attack. He's the third pitcher this year to give up 10 earned runs, but the first for the Dodgers since Brad Penny on May 7, 2008. Their last to allow 12 hits in addition to the 10 earned was Brooklyn great Ralph Branca, who threw a complete-game win (score 17-10) against the Pirates on June 25, 1949.
• The Dodgers fared a little better on Saturday, one-hitting the Padres, whose lone single was by the first batter of the game. Yangervis Solarte was then retired on a double play and the Dodgers sat down 26 in a row. That gave them the first "faced minimum" (27 batters, 27 outs, but not a no-hitter) in the majors this season. Josh Collmenter of Arizona singlehandedly threw the only one last year, and the Dodgers hadn't had one since Odalis Perez one-hit the Chicago Cubs on April 26, 2002. Saturday was also the first time in the live-ball era that the first batter of a game got his team's only hit and was then retired on the basepaths.
• Anibal Sanchez had the bizarre combination of seven runs and 11 strikeouts on Sunday, the first pitcher in the majors to do that since Cole Hamels on July 24, 2006. No Detroit Tigers hurler had done it since Ted Gray took a complete-game loss in the final game of the 1952 season. Sanchez also balked with Evan Gattis on third base Sunday. He did likewise with Jacoby Ellsbury of the New York Yankees on April 23, and is the first Tigers pitcher to balk in two runs in a season since Jack Morris in 1990.
• The Arizona Diamondbacks' Rubby De La Rosa threw nine innings in only 94 pitches Monday, but ended up with a no-decision because the game was tied. He's the fifth pitcher in Diamondbacks history with a nine-inning no-decision (the last was Edwin Jackson in 2010). On the same day, Corey Kluber worked the first nine innings of a tie game for the Cleveland Indians, though he recorded "only" 12 strikeouts (a 33 percent drop from his previous outing). His 30 whiffs in consecutive games trail only Luis Tiant (32 in 1968) in team history. The previous Clevelander to go nine innings, fan 12 and get a no-decision was Gaylord Perry on April 17, 1974. Perry worked the first 15 innings of a 4-4 tie against the Brewers before finally giving way to Ken Sanders, who promptly surrendered a walk-off homer to the first batter he faced.
As for two pitchers getting nine-inning no-decisions on the same day, the last time it happened in different games (i.e., not against each other) was on July 24, 1998, by Dave Burba (Indians) and Andy Larkin (Miami Marlins).
• You could spend a long time trying to match this week's New York Mets pitchers to their lines. Jon Niese gave up 11 hits and eight earned runs on Tuesday, the first Mets pitcher to hit both those numbers in a home game since Livan Hernandez against the Dodgers in July 2009. Bartolo Colón then duplicated the feat on Wednesday, the first team to do it on back-to-back days since Dewon Brazelton and Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres in April 2006.
On Saturday, Matt Harvey gave up a career-high seven runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the first time the Mets had three starters allow seven-plus in a five-day span since May 1999 when Rick Reed, Al Leiter, and Bobby Jones did it in consecutive games. They had three such games in all of 2014.
Harvey also had another tough-luck line on Monday, throwing eight scoreless innings but getting a no-decision on Jeurys Familia's first blown save of the year. The most recent Mets pitcher to throw eight scoreless and not get a win was none other than Matt Harvey, in his famous one-hit, 12-strikeout scoreless tie against the Chicago White Sox two years ago. The last Met to do it twice was Bret Saberhagen (four such starts from 1992-95).
Jacob deGrom allowed one hit in eight innings on Thursday, joining Kluber as the only pitchers this season with games of 11 strikeouts, no walks and no runs. Having also done that last July, he's just the second pitcher in Mets history with multiple such games; the other is Tom Seaver, who had four.
• Francisco Liriano recorded 12 strikeouts in six innings Sunday, the fourth pitcher to do that already this season. It happened just twice last year, and the only other Pirate to do it in the past decade was Gerrit Cole in 2013. Cole, for his part, went 8 1/3 on Friday with zero earned runs and 10 strikeouts. The most recent Pirates pitcher with zero earned and double-digit K's who started the ninth inning but didn't finish it was Bob Veale, who had a 2-0 lead against the Padres on May 7, 1969, but gave up two quick hits and was pulled.
In between, A.J. Burnett had 10 strikeouts and no walks on Saturday; he also had a base hit and drove in a run. No Pirates pitcher had done all that in a game since Jason Schmidt in 1996.
That also means the Pirates threw three straight double-digit-strikeout games this weekend; according to Elias Sports Bureau research, they hadn't done that since September 1969 (by Veale, Bob Moose, and Dock Ellis).
More notable pitchers (and a few other interesting feats) from the past week:
R.A. Dickey: First Jays pitcher with complete-game win allowing four runs since Roy Halladay in June 2009. First Toronto pitcher ever to give up home runs in the first and ninth innings of the same game.
Corey Kluber: First Cleveland pitcher to retire the first five batters of the game, all via strikeout, since Bartolo Colón did it twice in July 2000.
Kyle Hendricks: Walk-free shutout on Thursday, first for the Cubs since Jason Marquis on May 9, 2007. Last Cub to also have seven strikeouts was Mark Prior versus Expos in 2003 (Javier Vazquez had 14 K and 0 BB in same game).
CC Sabathia: Pitched 2 1/3 innings Saturday, his shortest start since June 21, 2009 (left after four outs with biceps tendinitis)
Randal Grichuk: First five-strikeout game by Cardinals batter since Ray Lankford did it three times in 1998.
Kendrys Morales: First Kansas City Royals hitter to have five-plus RBIs and drive in all team's runs in a game since Jeff King (three-run triple, two-run single) on May 29, 1998.
Cesar Hernandez: Received RBI Saturday when runner scored from first, despite missing first base and being out on appeal. Last batter to drive in a run from first without getting a base hit was Ferguson Jenkins on April 15, 1972 (also out on appeal; h/t Elias).
Slade Heathcott: First known player in live-ball era to have two hits and be awarded catcher's interference in either of his first two MLB appearances.
Nick Castellanos: Had all four Tigers RBIs on Wednesday via triple and groundout; first Detroit hitter to have every RBI for team (four or more) without a home run since Ray Knight in 1988.
James McCann: Per Elias Sports Bureau research, McCan was the first player whose first two career home runs were an inside-the-park and a walk-off since Tim Raines for Expos in 1981. Last to do it in same order (ITP first) was Willie Wilson of the Royals in 1979.