Each Sunday in this space we bring you some of our favorite quirks, oddities and unusual plays from the week in baseball. This week the names are the same, but the feats are unique. Many thanks to our friends at Baseball Reference and the Elias Sports Bureau for research assistance.
Paging Mr. Wood
On Saturday, Alex Wood recorded 13 of the first 18 outs via the "K," becoming just the fourth Los Angeles Dodger ever to strike out 13 or more in the first six innings. The others on that list are Aaron Harang (2012, also against the Padres), Ramon Martinez (his 18-strikeout game in 1990), and Sandy Koufax (1959).
Meanwhile, Travis Wood pulled off a notable feat this week not by pitching but at the plate. He drew a bases-loaded walk for the deciding run in the Cubs' 13-inning win over Milwaukee. He became the first Cubs pitcher to draw a bases-loaded walk in extra innings since May 28, 1913! Larry Cheney, who also pitched 11 innings in relief, received a game-ending version in the 17th against the Cardinals.
Lay Down the Matts
Who's handy with Wood? Why, a Carpenter, of course. Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals had a homer and two doubles Thursday, and is only the fourth player in team history to drive in six runs from the leadoff spot. The others were Shawon Dunston (2000), Augie Bergamo (1945) and Taylor Douthit (1929).
Since Carpenter is helping us cobble together this column, why not a Shoemaker also? Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker fanned 12 batters on Saturday and left with a 1-0 lead, but Matt Wieters' homer in the ninth erased that. Shoemaker thus became the first pitcher in franchise history to strike out 12, walk zero, and not win the game. Their last non-winner with any 12-strikeout scoreless outing was Nolan Ryan in 1978.
Paging Mr. Davis
Khris Davis of the A's left Saturday's game with forearm tightness. Perhaps that was from belting three homers earlier in the week, capped with a walk-off grand slam. Only Joey Votto in 2012 had previously put together such a game, and it was just the second walk-off slam in Athletics history when down to their final out. Mark McGwire took Lee Smith deep on June 30, 1995.
Rajai Davis, hitting ninth Tuesday, reached base five times, scored four times and drove in three runs. He's only the second number-nine hitter in Cleveland history to do that, the other being pitcher George Uhle against Detroit on June 1, 1923. Rajai then homered twice Wednesday, becoming the first Indians batter with three runs and three RBIs in consecutive games since Larry Doby in June 1953.
Cleveland ended up sweeping the intrastate series, with the first two games (15-6 and 13-1) marking the first time one Ohio team had hung back-to-back 13's on another since May 1893, when the Reds dropped a pair to the Cleveland Spiders.
More Names from the Week
Ruben Tejada, Friday: Per Elias research, Tejada is the first Cardinals position player to give up two homers while pitching since Jack Dunleavy on May 23, 1904.
Mookie Betts, Saturday: Fourth leadoff hitter in Red Sox history with five RBIs against Indians. Joins Luis Aparicio (1971), Dom DiMaggio (1948) and Bobby Doerr (1939).
Noah Syndergaard, Tuesday/Sunday: First pitcher in Mets history to fan 10, walk none, and allow zero earned runs in back-to-back starts.
Carlos Beltran, Friday: First Yankee with three extra-base hits and three RBIs, but zero runs scored, since Joe Girardi on Aug. 23, 1999.
Jordan Zimmermann, Monday: First Tigers pitcher to give up 11 hits, eight runs, and win since Fred Hutchinson on June 6, 1950.