So far, the 2011 season is shaping to have enough lore and awesomeness attached to it as the last couple of years.
Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox hit their 300th craeer home runs in back-to-back plate appearances.
White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle pitched the 16th perfect game of the modern era, and joined Addie Joss, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Jim Bunning, and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to throw a perfect game and a no-hitter.
Eric Bruntlett of the Philadelphia Phillies joined Johnny Neun as the only players in MLB history to turn an unassisted triple-play to end a game. Bruntlett’s was only the 15th time an unassisted triple-play has been turned in MLB history.
Troy Tulowitzki had an unasissted triple-play in 2007, but on August 10th, 2009, he became only the second player to have an unassisted triple-play and hit for the cycle.
Albert Pujols became the only player in major league history to hit 30-plus home runs in his first ten seasons.
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays became only the seventh player in major league history to record 50 home runs, 100 walks, and 30 doubles in the same season, joining Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Hack Wilson, Jimmy Foxx, Barry Bonds, and Babe Ruth.
The Year of the Pitcher:
Jamie Moyer of the Phillies became the oldest pitcher in MLB history to pitch a complete game, at 47 years, 170 days in a 7-0 victory over the Atlanta Brave. This also made him the only pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in four consecutive decades (80’s, 90’s, 00’s, and 10’s).
Stephen Strausburg of the Washington Nationals quickly made his presence known and silenced the critics about his hype. His debut on June 8th consisted of an 11 strikeout, no walk performance against the Pirates, becoming the first player to accomplish such a feat. On June 18th, he struck out 10 White Sox hitters to record 32 K’s in his first three appearances, an MLB record. His next start, June 23rd against the Kansas City Royals saw him strikeout 9 more for a total of 41, breaking Herb Score’s record of 40 K’s in his first four starts.
Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history (2nd in A’s history). Exactly 20 days later, Roy Halladay of the Phillies threw the 20th MLB perfect game. This marked the first time in baseball’s modern era two perfect games were thrown in the same season. Braden’s perfect game was the first in A’s history since 1968 and Halladay’s the first in Phillie’s history since 1964.
On a depressing note, a third perfect game was nearly pitched by Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga on June 2nd. First base umpire Jim Joyce blew a call, thinking that Gallaraga had just missed covering the base. Joyce broke down after the game, blaming himself for runing the perfect game.
Ubaldo Kimenez threw the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history. Edwin Jackson, as a memeber of the Arizona Diamondbacks threw one, as did Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza.
In the NLDS, Roy Halladay became the only player in MLB history to have two no-hit games in the same calendar year, with one of them ocuring in the post-season. His no-no in game one of the NLDS is the first post-season no-hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Now, in 2011, three days into the season:
In the MLB opener between the Brewers and Reds, the Brewers first two hitters, Ricky Weeks and Carlos Gomez, crushed home runs, the first tike such a feat has occured in 42 years. Ironically, the Reds accomplished it.
Rangers hitter Ian Kinsler has become the first player in major league history to hit lead-off home runs in the first two games of the season.
Wow. That’s a lot of stats. But, that’s today’s game. Full of interesting factoids and stellar performances, the quantities of which seem to escalate every year.
Anyway, next sport…
Unfortunately, VCU fell just short to Butler 70-62. UConn won however, in a one-point nailbiter.
NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship:
UConn over Butler.
That’s all for today. More coming early next week.