The 10 weirdest stat lines of the past 10 seasons

May 13th, 2020

Part of baseball's beauty is in its weirdness. A fan can show up at the ballpark for any game and have the chance to see something that only happens once in a blue moon.

Here is a look back at some of the most idiosyncratic games that players have had over the last decade in Major League Baseball -- some good, some not so good, some just plain odd.

These are 10 of the weirdest stat lines of the last 10 seasons ... one for each year, from 2010 to 2019.

2010: Edwin Jackson, D-backs -- June 25 vs. Rays
9 innings pitched, 0 hits, 8 walks, 1 hit-by-pitch, 149 pitches

E-Jax's no-hitter lives on as one of the strangest of them all. How he completed one of pitching's crowning achievements with EIGHT walks is one of the great mysteries of the baseball universe. Just think: The D-backs have two no-hitters in franchise history -- Randy Johnson's perfect game ... and Jackson's wild ride.

The 149 pitches Jackson threw are the most by any pitcher in any game in the past decade. The eight walks he issued are tied for the most in any game a pitcher won. And as far as no-hitters, Jackson, A.J. Burnett in 2001 and Jim Maloney in 1965 are the only pitchers on record to allow 10 baserunners on their way to glory.

2011: Eric Hinske, Braves -- April 19 vs. Dodgers
Pinch-hitter, 2 plate appearances, 2-for-2, home run, RBI single

Hinske's night as a pinch-hitter began when he batted for Jonny Venters with the Braves holding a 2-1 lead over the Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning and looking for some insurance. Facing a rookie reliever by the name of Kenley Jansen, Hinske delivered a two-run homer down the right-field line at Dodger Stadium.

Normally, that's also where his night would have ended. But the Braves teed off on young Kenley and the Dodgers bullpen, and suddenly they'd batted around. Pinch-hitter Hinske got to bat again, and he lined an RBI single to center to round out the scoring at 10-1. When the bottom of the ninth began, in came reliever Cristhian Martinez for Hinske, and the big man was gone, with a unique stat line to his name. Hinske is the only player all decade to bat twice as a pinch-hitter, knock not one but two RBI hits and leave the game without ever needing to play the field.

2012: Freddy Garcia, Yankees -- April 10 vs. Orioles
4 2/3 innings pitched, 4 runs, 5 wild pitches, Yankees win

Garcia took the mound at Camden Yards for his 2012 season debut and promptly threw five wild pitches -- two in the first inning, two in the fourth and one in the fifth -- the last after talking manager Joe Girardi into letting him try to finish the inning, which he did not. Poor Russell Martin spent all evening chasing down pitches at the backstop. "I don't remember when’s the last time I had that many," Garcia said afterwards. That's because the answer is never.

Garcia's five wild pitches were the most by any pitcher in a game since Rick Ankiel's yips in the 2000 NLDS, and they were the most in the regular season since Ken Howell in 1989. (Maybe Howell and Ankiel were intimidated by having to face the master of command himself, Greg Maddux, who was the opposing starter in both of their games.) No one's thrown five wild pitches since Garcia, either. Naturally, the Yankees won the game, 5-4, in 12 innings.

2013: Erik Bedard, Astros -- July 20 vs. Mariners
6 1/3 innings pitched, no hits, 3 runs, loss

Bedard is the only pitcher this millennium to throw more than six no-hit innings … and lose. So what happened? Through five innings, the veteran left-hander was looking good. He was shutting out his former team, the Mariners, and Houston led 2-0 at Minute Maid Park. But in the sixth, there was a walk, another walk, a passed ball, a sac fly and another passed ball, and suddenly Bedard's lead had evaporated.

With one out in the seventh, after he issued his fifth walk of the game, Bedard's pitch count had reached 109. Despite his intact no-hitter, and his 10 strikeouts, Bedard didn't want to risk his arm after three shoulder surgeries. Manager Bo Porter asked Bedard, "Are you sure?" Bedard answered, "I'm done."

Jose Cisnero came on in relief and promptly surrendered a two-run double. The tiebreaking run was charged to Bedard, the Astros lost, 4-2, and Bedard took the loss despite his no-hit effort. Porter called it "probably the strangest game I've been involved in since Little League to the big leagues."

2014: Madison Bumgarner, Giants -- World Series Game 7 vs. Royals
5 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 runs, save

It's one of the most iconic postseason performances of all time. But Bumgarner's box score from the Giants' Game 7 clincher against the Royals is still beautiful to behold six years later. It's only fitting that a singular performance -- on that stage, with those stakes, on just two days' rest after Bum threw a shutout in Game 5 -- came with a singular stat line: a five-inning save.

Bumgarner's five scoreless innings of two-hit relief, protecting a one-run lead the entire way, is an achievement worthy of being the only five-inning save in MLB postseason history. But remember, there was a question at the time whether Bumgarner would be credited with the win instead. Thankfully, the official scorer gave the win to Jeremy Affeldt and a save to Bumgarner, because it is truly the greatest save of all time, and one of the craziest stat lines.

2015: Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees -- July 28 vs. Rangers
7 plate appearances, 1-for-5, 2 catcher's interferences

Ellsbury is the king of catcher's interference. Yes, we're talking about the baseball rarity when a batter makes contact with the catcher's mitt on a swing, and is automatically awarded first base. Ellsbury is both the all-time and single-season catcher's interference record holder -- he has 31 in his career, two more than Pete Rose, and he drew 12 in 2016 alone. But this is the only time he ever drew two catcher's interferences in one game.

Ellsbury was surprisingly not the only player to draw multiple catcher's interferences in a game in the 2010s. But his stat line stands out in weirdness. Why? He's the only one who drew them off two different catchers. In a 21-5 blowout of the Rangers, Ellsbury led off the game with a catcher's interference drawn against Robinson Chirinos, and he bookended it by drawing one against Tomas Telis leading off the ninth. By that time, the Yanks were up 14 runs … and Adam Rosales was pitching for Texas. That's right, Ellsbury even victimized a position-player pitcher. Truly, he made catcher's interference into an art form.

2016: Bryce Harper, Nationals -- May 8 vs. Cubs
7 plate appearances, 0-for-0, 6 walks (3 intentional), hit-by-pitch

Harper was coming off his monster 2015 MVP season (1.109 OPS) and an equally monstrous April 2016 (1.121 OPS) when the Nats came to Wrigley and Joe Maddon gave him the Barry Bonds treatment. The Cubs refused to pitch to Harper all series, and the tactic culminated in the finale with a stat line you might never see again.

In a 13-inning game, Harper batted seven times, but finished 0-for-0. He walked six times, three times intentionally. In the other trip to the plate, he was hit by a pitch. Harper saw 27 pitches; he didn't swing once. He tied the MLB record for most walks in a game, became the first player in MLB history to reach base in all seven plate appearances in a game without getting a hit, and the only player to record seven plate appearances but zero official at-bats.

The gambit worked, too. The Cubs swept the four-game series while walking Harper a record 13 times.

2017: David Peralta, D-backs -- April 22 vs. Dodgers
4-for-5, 4 extra-base hits, 0 RBIs

Having four extra-base hits in a game at all is uncommon, but not that uncommon. Sixty-eight hitters did it over the last 10 seasons. But here's what happened only once in the 2010s: a hitter had four extra-base hits, and somehow didn't drive in a single run. Peralta (and his stat sheet) were the victims of weird baseball. He hit a club-record four doubles in Arizona's 11-5 win over the Dodgers at Chase Field, but not one of those 11 runs came off his bat.

Peralta just missed a home run on his double to deep center in the first inning. When he doubled in the fourth, a homer by Chris Herrmann had cleared the bases in front of him. When he doubled in the seventh, he was leading off the inning. And on his last double in the eighth, he actually had a runner on base, but A.J. Pollock only got to third. That made Peralta the first player with four extra-base hits and no RBIs since Nomar Garciaparra in 2003, and one of just 12 players on record to post this brand of weird stat line. The first was Babe Ruth in 1918, so at least Peralta has good company.

2018: Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays -- March 31 vs. Yankees
1-for-3, 3 stolen bases (2nd, 3rd, home)

Pillar achieved one of the more exciting feats of the decade when he stole second ... third … and home against the Yankees, all in a row. The magic happened in the eighth inning, starting with a single off Dellin Betances. Pillar wasted little time stealing second and third. Then he started dancing off third base. Betances ignored him. So Pillar broke for home. Betances' panicked attempt to step off and throw him out went to the backstop, and Pillar scampered in safely.

Now, a few other players in the 2010s were credited with stealing second, third and home in succession in the same inning. There was Mallex Smith in 2019, Wil Myers in 2017 and Dee Gordon in 2011. But Pillar was different, because Pillar is the only one who pulled off a straight steal of home. The other players took advantage of pickoff attempts of runners on first base to steal home on the back end of the play. Not Pillar. He did it the old fashioned way. That's how you get a unique stat line.

2019: Pablo Sandoval, Giants -- May 6 vs. Reds
1-for-4, home run, stolen base | 1 inning pitched, 0 hits, 0 runs

What do Sandoval and Christy Mathewson have in common? (Aside from both being Giants legends, of course.) They're the only two players in the modern era to have a do-it-all game in which they hit a home run, stole a base and pitched a scoreless appearance. Both games were even against the same team, the Reds.

In Mathewson's game on May 23, 1905, he threw a shutout at the Polo Grounds and also knocked around Reds pitcher Orval Overall. More than a century later, Panda stole his first base in seven years, belted a three-run homer and pitched a clean inning of mop-up duty. Just a couple of Giants icons sharing a piece of weird baseball history.