Kernels: For openers

Our weekly look at the interesting and unusual in baseball stats

Happy New Year! (And this isn't the kind you want to celebrate by dropping a ball.)

You might have heard that MLB's regular season started in earnest this week. And while the season openers did provide their share of interesting nuggets, you can turn just about anything into a factoid by adding "on Opening Day" to it.

So while a few of our favorites are listed below, we're going to jump ahead to stuff you might have missed from later in the week.


On Friday, Charlie Blackmon joined a fairly exclusive club by recording a six-hit game, just the third in the majors since the start of 2010, and the second in Colorado Rockies history (Andres Galarraga, 1995). But it was the makeup of those six hits that was unique.

Opening Day Kernels

Shawn Green's four-homer game for the Dodgers in 2002 was the last six-hit game with four of them for extra bases. The combination of three homers and a double has been done several times. But Blackmon's mix of one homer and three doubles had never been done before in major-league history.

We will, however, give a shout-out to Larry Twitchell, who had a home run and three triples in his six-hit game for the Cleveland Spiders on August 15, 1889.


Saturday's most dramatic moment was provided by the New York Mets, who trailed the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 going to the bottom of the 9th, loaded the bases, and then got a walk-off grand slam from Ike Davis.

It was the seventh walk-off slam in franchise history, but just the second by a pinch hitter. And the man who hit the first one was on the field again Saturday. That's Tim Teufel, who is now the Mets' third-base coach. He launched one in the 11th inning to beat Philadelphia on June 10, 1986.

The Reds had opened their season with four one-run games, something they had seen only twice before (1943 and 1924). Had Davis done anything except go deep, they would likely have set a franchise record.


On Wednesday,there was both a game-ending wild pitch and a game-ending bases-loaded walk. The "bounce-off" was the first for the Chicago White Sox since Ozzie Guillen scored from third on July 4, 1997, while the walk was the 13th such play in Texas Rangers history. Their previous one was issued by the Diamondbacks to Todd Zeile-- scoring Rusty Greer-- on July 16, 1999.


Having acquired infielder Brandon Hicks out of the Mets' farm system over the offseason, the San Francisco Giants now boast three Brandons with Belt at first base and Crawford at short. On Saturday Bruce Bochy wrote them 6-7-8 in the batting order, a sequence with which the Dodgers' guest PA announcer, actor Jason Bateman, had a little fun by introducing "another Brandon!".

There have been just 40 Brandons to play in the majors, and not a single one before 2000. The Diamondbacks had pitchers Lyon, Medders, and Webb for several years. But only once before had three of them ever batted in succession-- and Hicks was part of that trio as well. He got a brief callup from Oakland in 2012, and on June 27 that year, he followed Inge and Moss batting 6-7-8 in a 2-1 win over Seattle.

Those Athletics also had pitcher McCarthy and a three-game appearance by first baseman Allen, to set the record with five Brandons in a season.


Speaking of the Oakland Athletics, they made news for an unusual reason this week.

MLB rainouts in California
All-time (Date of last)

Their Tuesday game was postponed by rain, their first rainout at home since May 5, 1998. That broke a string of 1,276 home games played as scheduled. They started a new streak with a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday... and that streak ended at three. Friday's game was unable to be played due to the soggy condition of the field from rain earlier in the day.

They were the 99th and 100th rainouts in the entire history of the five California MLB teams. The Giants lead the way with 32, including the last time there were two in a season: Back-to-back days in April 2006.