By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Ashway: 23 craziest things of baseball's second half
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News

Here’s an oddity for you.

The Braves ended the season by shutting out the Cardinals in a three game series. The Braves scored 12 runs themselves. When these two teams met in St. Louis in July, they also combined for 12 runs in their three game set.

That’s the fewest runs scored in a three game series between the Braves and Cardinals since 1958, when they played an 11-run series. But two of those games were shortened by rain.

And that’s just one of the myriad oddities that occurred during the second half of the baseball season.  With a nod of thanks to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, here are a few more oddities worth noting:

July 18: Chris Tillman allows a leadoff single as his only hit. He’s the only Oriole in history to do so, and he’s done it twice.

July 19: The Mets become the first team in the expansion era to manage only one hit in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position during a single game. Amazingly, they beat the Cardinals in 18 innings.

July 20: The Phillies are the 35th team to be 30 games below .500 at the break, but the first of those to start the second half 4-0. The streak ends the next night when rookie pitcher Aaron Nola loses, 1-0, on a homer by the Rays pitcher, rookie Nathan Karns. It’s the first such game since 1879.

July 23: Clayton Kershaw becomes the first pitcher since 1900 with 10 strikeouts, no walks and no runs in three straight starts. The last pitcher to register even two such games was Denton True “Cy” Young in 1905.

July 25: Cole Hamels no-hits the Cubs, the first to throw a no-hitter for the team with baseball’s worst record so late in the season since 1916. The Cubs hadn’t been no-hit since Sandy Koufax threw his perfect game at them on Sept. 9, 1965. That streak lasted a record 7,920 games. The Reds now have the longest streak—7,027 games—since they were last no-hit, on June 3, 1971. By Ken Holtzman—of the Cubs!

July 27: Kris Bryant hits a come-from-behind, walk-off homerun, a first for the Cubs since Ad Gumpert did so in 1889.

Aug. 2: The Cubs reach the 10-games-over-.500 plateau for the first time since the end of the 2008 season. In the interim, every other MLB team has been there.

Aug. 7: Kyle Schwarber becomes the first Cubs rookie with multiple runs batted in three games in a row since Randy Hundley in 1966. Interestingly, both arrived as catchers.

Aug. 10: Johnny Cueto shuts out the Tigers with eight strikeouts in his home debut with his new team, the Royals. Over the past 20 years, only two others made such a dramatic home debut: Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, members of the 2015 Hall of Fame class.

Aug. 14: Matt Kemp hits for the first cycle in Padres history. What team has the longest cycle drought now? The Reds! (Eric Davis in 1989.)

Aug. 16: Madison Bumgarner throws a three-hit shutout, strikes out 14 and hits a homer. The last pitcher to have such an outing: Early Wynn in 1959 (his homer was the only run of the game.)

Aug. 19: The Astros’ Carlos Correa hits his 15th homer before turning 21, in just his 62nd game. That puts him behind only Willie Mays (55 games) and Frank Robinson (58) but in mighty fine company.

Aug. 22: The Pirates win, 3-2, with all three runs coming on solo home runs. Since 1887, in over 10,000 games played in Pittsburgh, this is only the second game of its kind. The other, in 1949, included a homer by Ralph Kiner.

August 24: The Mets beat the Phils, 16-7, as a record 10 different players homer. The Reds beat the Tigers, 12-5, marking the first time in history two teams won by at least seven runs after trailing by at least five runs on the same day.

Sept. 8: Tim Hudson becomes the first pitcher over age 40 to homer since Nolan Ryan in 1987.

Sept. 11: David Price wins his 15th game for the second year in a row, pitching for two teams both years. That’s a first since Jim McCormick turned the trick in 1884 and 1885.

Sept. 12: David Ortiz becomes the fourth player to hit 500 homeruns and be on three World Series champions. He joins Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson.

Sept. 16: Mike Olt becomes the first player ever to homer for both the White Sox and Cubs.

Sept. 19: The Red Sox score five in the ninth to beat the Jays. Coming in, the Sox were 0-65 when trailing after eight innings, and the Jays were 73-0 when leading after eight. Such a game hadn’t occurred so late in the season since 1944.

Sept. 26: Astros middle infielders Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa both hit two homers. That’s an American League first since 1936, when Tony Lazzeri and Frankie Crosetti of the Yankees did so.

Sept. 30: The Cardinals set a National League record, breaking a tie with the Braves, winning 100 games for the ninth time.

Oct. 2: Chris Sale sets a White Sox season record with 274 strikeouts. The old record of 269 was set by Ed Walsh in 1908.

Oct. 4: The Braves become the first team to shut out a playoff-bound team in both ends of a doubleheader on the final day of the regular season.  At least they finished on a high note.