May 8th, 2012
Chris Davis. Winning Pitcher. Let that one sink in for a little bit.
In a game built for ridiculousness, it took 17 innings for there to be a winning and losing team between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox on Sunday. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox 9-6 in 17 innings thanks to a 3-run home run by Adam Jones in the top of the 17th inning.
It’s always interesting to look at box scores that involve games like this; although I don’t pity the person who has to print out the box score… it’s probably 10 pages long. Among the craziness of the game were the 18 pitchers used and 570 pitches used between the two teams to get to the decision.
Why would we talk about these two teams on a blog about the Frisco RoughRiders though? Well, the story of that game was Chris Davis, a former RoughRider.
But beyond even Davis, there were SEVEN other former Frisco RoughRiders used in the game and nine former Texas Rangers in all. Of the eight former RoughRiders used in the game, five of them are on the Baltimore Oriole’s 25 man roster, or 20% of their roster. How many minor league teams can say they have 20% of a different organization’s roster? To go further, how many minor league teams can say that about an organization that is currently 19-10?
Here is a look at how the former RoughRiders did in the 17 inning marathon:
Tommy Hunter, P- 4.1 IP 8 H 5 R 1 BB 2 K 1 HR 82 Pitches- 54 Strikes
Darren O’Day, P- 0.2 IP 1 BB 1 K 22 Pitches- 13 Strikes
Pedro Strop, P- 2 IP 1 H 1 K 25 Pitches- 14 Strikes
Chris Davis, DH- P- 0 for 8 with 5 strikeouts; 2 IP 2 H 0 R 1 BB 2 K 23 Pitches- 15 Strikes —- W (1-0)
Endy Chavez, PH- LF- 0 for 3
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B- 0 for 8 with 2 strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C- 1 for 5 with a double, RBI, run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, Sac Fly
Vicente Padilla, P- 1 IP 2 H 1 R 0 ER 2 K
Yes, the former RoughRiders were a combined 1 for 24 in the game with 9 strikeouts. However, they had the winning pitcher, so that has to count, right?
What Chris Davis did in the game was quite interesting and historic. Davis pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. And it’s not as if he faced a bunch of hitters who don’t belong in the major leagues to accomplish that. Davis managed to strikeout Adrian Gonzalez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, both of whom did appear in a Frisco RoughRider uniform.
By earning the win in the start, he became the first American League position player to earn a win as a pitcher since 1968. The pitcher that day was Rocky Colavito, for the New York Yankees, per ESPN.
Chris Davis also pitched as much as any non-starting pitcher in the game did and had the fifth best strike percentage of any pitcher in the game that pitched more than 10 pitches (17 pitchers did that).
Obviously the most interesting aspect of this start was how Chris Davis went 0 for 8 with 5 strikeouts as a hitter and then earned trending status on twitter as the winning pitcher with 2 scoreless innings. The final outs of the game came on a double play that Darnell McDonald, the “losing pitcher” and also a position player, hit into.
Davis was the last in a string of five consecutive Baltimore Orioles relievers to pitch two scoreless innings, one of which was former RoughRider/Ranger Pedro Strop.
Former RoughRider/Ranger, Tommy Hunter, started the game for the Baltimore Orioles. In his six starts for Baltimore this season, the combination of Pedro Strop and Darren O’Day have come in relief in four of the starts. Pedro Strop, alone, has pitched in relief of five of the six starts. In Hunter’s start on April 29th, the three pitchers that the Orioles used that day were Hunter, O’Day, and Strop. The winning runs that game were Endy Chavez and Chris Davis.
It’s always interesting when one of these types of games takes place. If something like this happens again with the Orioles, chances are that we’ll be talking about it again.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look into what might happen if something like this happened to Frisco.
Written By: Michael Damman
Photo Credit: Frisco RoughRiders