Quote of the day
"Why should I stretch? Does a cheetah stretch before it chases its prey?" -- Ken Griffey, Jr., during his prime, when he often skipped the team stretching exercises before a game
Felix Hernandez not only pitched his first win since April, but he tied a major league record by striking out four batters in the 8th inning, courtesy of a 3rd strike wild pitch. Jered Weaver had a similarly strong outing, throwing seven shutout innings against the Royals.
Weaver’s pitching opponent was Zack Greinke, whose record now stands at 1-7. He does have an ERA of 3.60, a WHIP of 1.25, and a BAA of .259. Those numbers are respectable, but not stellar. And evidently not good enough to post wins on the Royals. Last year on June 4, Greinke was 8-1 with a 1.10 ER, 0.90 WHIP, and a .211 BAA. Almost Ubaldian.
By the way, four strikeouts in an inning is not as rare as a perfect game (for now, at least), but about 5 times rarer than a no-hitter, occurring only 52 times in major league history. The last instance was in June, 2008, when – curiously – the feat was accomplished twice within a week.
The historical stats on 4 strikeout innings were taken from Baseball Almanac, so I assume they are complete. There is an oddity, however. There are no reported instances between 1916 and 1956. Five instances were recorded from 1888-1916, and 47 occurrences are recorded from 1956 on. Makes you wonder whether there is some reason for the 40 year drought other than just random chance.