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Pitchers with 4+ RBIs (Sorry, Mets fans) September 23, 2008

Posted by tomflesher in Academia, Baseball.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Last night, the Cubs’ Jason Marquis hit a rare grand slam. Even rarer is that Marquis was the starting pitcher and got the win. Still rarer: Marquis had one hit and 5 RBIs.

That raises the question: just how common an event is Jason’s productivity?

Marquis’ batting line:

J Marquis, P: 3AB, 1R, 1H, 5RBI, 0BB, 0SO

And his pitching line:

J Marquis, W (11-9) 6.2IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 4SO, 1HR, 4.43 ERA

(From the Baseball-Reference.com box score). Marquis also hit into a fielder’s choice in the 5th that accounted for his 5th RBI.

Grand slams by the pitcher are… well, not common, per se, but they happen with some degree of regularity. The last one was earlier this year, also against the Mets, by King Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. That was also Hernandez’s first and last at-bat of the 2008 season, giving him the coveted OPS of 5.00. Hernandez also had a sacrifice hit in the game, but didn’t score a runner, leaving him at a paltry 1AB, 1H, 4RBI. Since he pitched 4.2 innings, he also didn’t get the win, although his team did. He’ll have to do better than that to compete with Marquis.

Meanwhile, in 2006, Micah Owings had a 4-for-4 game for the 2007 Diamondbacks as the starting pitcher. Owings had 4 hits and six RBIs, including one home run. He also got the elusive win, pitching 7 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs (all earned), and struck out 7. That left him with an impressive game score of 66. Sadly, Owings’ home run was a leadoff, so it was only a one-RBI strike. Still not quite what we’re looking for.

So, let’s see… We can whittle this down from stats in which the team wins, the pitcher has 1 at-bat and at least 5 RBIs, using starting pitchers. We have to go all the way back to 1977 to find a similar line, with Larry Christenson of the Phillies hitting his grand slam against the Cubs. In the top of the second, Christenson sacrificed Bob Boone in, and then hit his grand slam in the top of the 7th. Christenson pitched 7 innings, giving him the all-important win. After facing two batters in the 8th, he was relieved by Tug McGraw, who would walk in his only plate appearance and score, giving him a weird line of his own.

I guess when one pitcher has a weird night, his reliever has to follow suit.

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