The second half of this baseball season provided plenty of excitement.
The Braves won a division title, moving their manager to tears.
The Red Sox won a division title, going from worst to first in the span of a year.
The Dodgers won a division title, going from worst to first in the span of a few months.
The Pirates have a winning team, embroiled in a fierce race with the Cardinals and Reds.
And the Indians stalk a wildcard berth.But that’s not all. Thanks to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, here now are some other oddities from the second half of the baseball season:
July 19: What a return from the All-Star break! The Mariners’ Brad Miller hits two homers, but Brandon Barnes of the Astros hits for the cycle. It’s the first time in history that two rookies performed those feats in the same game.
July 20: The Mariners’ Michael Saunders hits a two-run double to beat the Astros, 4-2. It’s the fourth time a team scored four runs on only one hit. The previous three times, the White Sox achieved the feat.
July 21: The Braves beat the Mets, 2-1, after trailing, 1-0, going to the ninth. That’s the second time the Braves beat the Mets that way this year, and no team has done that to another since 1977 (the Mariners over the Rangers.)
July 22: Adrian Gonzalez hits his 228th career homer, but the very first one that takes his team from behind and puts them ahead in the eighth inning or later.
July 26: CC Sabathia becomes the fifth pitcher to allow seven or more runs in three straight games after winning his 200th game. He joins an elite list: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Burleigh Grimes, Phil Niekro, and Jack Morris.
July 27:Michael Bourn’s leadoff homer holds up for a 1-0 win, the first such win in Cleveland’s 113-year history…The A’s Derek Norris belts a pinch-hit, 2-run homer with the A’s trailing, 1-0. Norris had been 0-for-12 as a pinch hitter. He’s the second Athletic to pinch-hit a go-ahead homer this year. John Jaso did so on April 19, also against the Angels, pinch-hitting for … Derek Norris!
July 29:Jason Giambi, 42, becomes the oldest player to hit a walk-off homer, beating Hank Aaron by 45 days.
July 31:The Rangers complete a three-game sweep of the Angels, winning each game with a walk-off homer. This only happened once before, the Diamondbacks sweeping the Expos in 1999.
August 2:The Braves score five in the fifth for their fifth straight game with a five-run inning. They’re the fourth team with such a streak since 1900.
August 3:Five again for the Braves. Hits, that is. Their fewest hits in a win lasting at least 12 innings since May 26, 1959, the night Joe Adcock beat Harvey Haddix in the 13th after Haddix had pitched 12 perfect innings.
August 7:The Angels’ Mike Trout becomes the second player with two birthday homers by age 22, joining Buddy Lewis of the 1938 Senators.
August 8:The Braves (13 straight) and Tigers (12) own the first concurrent streaks of at least 12 wins since 1884.
August 9:Brian Duensing wins both ends of a doubleheader for the Twins, a franchise first since Walter Johnson did so in 1923.
August 10:The Braves’ 14-game winning streak ends with a 1-0 loss. That’s the longest streak ever ended with a 1-0 loss, breaking the record of 12 set by the Boston Redcaps in 1877. In the past 29 years, only one other team had a double-digit winning streak stopped in 1-0 fashion: these same Braves in April.
August 14:Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo shuts out the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It’s the first time ever the Cubs suffered four shutouts in five games at home, but they’ve only been playing since 1876.
August 16:In the worst-pitched game by starters in history, the Marlins Nate Eovaldi gives up 11 runs and 12 hits in only three innings. The Giants Chad Gaudin counters with eight runs and 11 hits in four. The Giants ultimately prevail, 14-10.
August 24:Arroyo becomes the second pitcher in the modern era with six or more strikeouts, no walks, and wins in four straight starts. He joins Pat Jarvis of the ’66 Braves.
August 26:Miguel Cabrera completes his second month of the season with over 30 hits, 10 homers, and 30 RBIs, joining Jim Rice (1978) and Albert Belle (1996).
August 27:The Brewers score in the first inning for the first time in 27 games, the longest streak since 1972 (Royals, 28) and the fourth longest since 1900.
September 1:The Indians’ Mike Aviles becomes the fifth player to give his team a 4-0 win with a grand slam in the ninth inning.
September 4:Matt Adams of the Cardinals is the first with two homers in the 14th inning or later, the first Cardinal with two extra inning homers in one game and the first with two go-ahead homers in extra innings since Vern Stephens of the Browns in 1943.
September 11:Mike Carp becomes the first Red Sox to pinch-hit a grand slam in extra innings.
September 15:Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox runs his record to 11-0, joining Max Scherzer of the Tigers, who won his first 13 decisions, as the third pair of pitchers to go 11-0 in the same season. Atley Donald and Steve Sundra, 1939 Yankees, and Dennis Lamp (Blue Jays) and Andy Hawkins (Padres) in 1985, were the others.
September 20:The evolution of the middle infield continues. Jeff Gyorko of the Padres becomes the fifth rookie second baseman to hit 20 homers, joining Joe Gordon (1938), Dan Uggla (2006), Alexei Ramirez (2008) and Danny Espinose (2011).
September 21:Raul Ibanez ties Ted Williams’ 1960 record of 29 homers by a player over age 40.
September 22:The Indians sweep a four-game series from the Astros, their sixth sweep of a four-game set this year, the most since the ’61 Yankees also had six. They tied the club record set by the ’54 Indians.