Hall of Famer Frank Thomas says Jeff Nelson was the toughest pitcher he faced
When newly-elected Hall of Famer Frank Thomas was asked which pitcher was the toughest to hit, his answer was somewhat surprising:
Relief pitcher Jeff Nelson.
"He can get me out just by walking out of the bullpen," said Thomas. "It was pretty bad."
Just how bad was it? Let's go to the stats!
Thomas faced Nelson a total of 40 times, compiling a .161/.275/.194 line with 11 strikeouts and no home runs -- decidedly below his career averages.
In fact, of the 38 pitchers who faced Thomas at least 40 times, Nelson induced the lowest BA and OPS, and was the only qualifying pitcher to never give up a home run.
Some of the other names on that list: Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Andy Pettitte.
So, Big Hurt was right -- Jeff Nelson just had his number. That's baseball for ya.