10 of the wildest box score lines from 2023

December 30th, 2023

In a given MLB season, players produce tens of thousands of single-game box score lines. Most, of course, are fairly standard. But each year, a handful stand out from the pack.

That’s what we’re highlighting and celebrating here. Some of these lines are superb. Others might make you cover your eyes. Some are just plain bizarre. But all are rare, if not unique, in some way.

These are 10 of the wildest box score lines of the 2023 season, split between hitters and pitchers.


, April 22 vs. A’s
5-for-5, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, HBP

When you think about Garcia’s 2023, you think first about his postseason heroics, and for good reason. But the second-time All-Star enjoyed a huge regular season as well, and no performance was bigger than this one, in an 18-3 blowout of Oakland. Garcia reached base safely in all six trips to the plate, including a trio of two-run homers and a two-run double. Only one other player in Major League history has combined at least five extra-base hits and eight RBIs in the same game: Josh Hamilton, also for Texas, in his four-homer game on May 8, 2012.

, Astros, June 3 vs. Angels
1-for-1, R, HR, 4 RBIs, 4 BB

Bregman garnered a Barry Bonds comparison for this game from someone who would know -- manager Dusty Baker. In his first two plate appearances, Bregman walked. In his third, he launched a grand slam. Then he drew two more walks for good measure. Per OptaSTATS, Bregman became the first player in the Modern Era (since 1900) to draw at least four walks in a game while also hitting a slam in his only official at-bat. For the game, Bregman saw 19 pitches, taking 17 for balls, hitting one foul and launching the other out of the park.

, Astros, Sept. 10 vs. Padres
2-for-3, 2 R, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, BB

The deuces were wild for Tucker in this 12-2 Houston rout, as he joined Jayson Werth (2007) as the only players in the past 27 seasons to triple twice and swipe two bases in the same game. But the degree of difficulty for Tucker was actually much higher than the raw line would indicate. First, both of his steals came in the same inning (the fourth), when he drew a leadoff walk and took both second and third before scoring on an error. Two innings later, he knocked two RBI triples during an eight-run Astros sixth, off two different left-handed relievers. Tucker became the first Astro to triple twice in an inning and just the second MLB player in the Expansion Era (since 1961), joining the Rockies’ Cory Sullivan in 2006. Oddly enough, Tucker had zero triples in 139 games entering Sept. 10 but then five in his final 18 games of the season.

, Guardians, June 17 at D-backs

A 5-for-5 game is special but on its own not enough to secure a spot on this list. What made this particular 5-for-5 game so unusual was what else wasn’t part of his box score line. All five hits were singles. (In fact, three were infield singles hit to third base, one of which was originally ruled an error prior to a scoring change.) None drove in a run, and after each one, Rosario was stranded on base. It was only the 10th time (and fourth in the past 45 seasons) that a player had a 5-for-5 game with no extra-base hits, runs or RBIs. Cleveland lost, 6-3.

, Phillies, July 23 at Guardians
0-for-1, R, 3 SB, 4 BB (IBB)

Stott drew a free pass in three of his first four plate appearances before coming to the plate in the top of the 10th inning and being walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. He later stole his third base of the game and scored his first run as the Phillies won, 8-5. It was the first time since 1991 (Darren Lewis) that a player collected at least four walks and three steals in a game.


, White Sox, June 18 at Mariners
7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 16 K’s

It’s emblematic of the difficulty of Lynn’s 2023 season that the game in which he set a career high and tied a White Sox record with 16 strikeouts was also a loss. (“It doesn’t matter how many you strike out if you don’t win the game,” said Lynn, whose 33 swinging strikes were the most by a pitcher in a game in 2023.) Before Lynn, only nine pitchers had posted a performance of at least 16 K’s and three earned runs, with Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton each doing it at least three times apiece. This was only the fourth instance of a pitcher reaching both of those thresholds in no more than seven innings.

, Royals, June 29 vs. Guardians
6 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K’s

This is the sort of performance that used to be much more common but has fallen almost completely by the wayside in this high-strikeout era. Then again, Greinke has never been afraid to walk his own path. Only one other pitcher in the past 32 seasons (Texas’ John Rheinecker in 2006) had served up at least 11 hits and two walks in a game, failed to record a single strikeout and still allowed two runs or fewer. Greinke didn’t retire the side in order in any of his six innings but mostly worked around damage, with help from a pickoff, eight stranded runners and some strong defense. In stark contrast to Lynn, Greinke notched only a single swinging strike on his 82 pitches thrown.

, Dodgers, July 30 vs. Reds
6 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 10 K

There were 145 times this past season when a pitcher struck out at least 10 batters and walked zero or one. Of those 145, 116 came with no more than two earned runs allowed, while only one came with more than five. That was Grove, a Dodgers rookie making his 17th career start and whose three home runs allowed did not help his cause. It was the first time in 20 years (Ryan Dempster in 2003) that a pitcher paired at least eight earned runs with double-digit K’s.

, Padres, July 9 vs. Mets
6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K’s, 4 HBP

One might think that a pitcher wild enough to hit four batters would also issue some walks. That was not the case for Musgrove in this one. The right-hander, who hit only five other batters all season, plunked four Mets -- three on errant curveballs or changeups. (The only fastball of the bunch barely grazed the elbow guard of Brett Baty.) It was just the 50th four-HBP game by a pitcher on record and only the seventh of those to not also include at least one base on balls. Musgrove was the first from that select group to also hold the opposition scoreless, aided by a season-high three ground-ball plays.

, Red Sox, July 17 at A’s
6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 13 K’s (in relief)

Boston’s use of an opener in this one (Brennan Bernardino) set up Pivetta for an historic relief appearance in a 7-0 victory at Oakland. Pivetta, a starter for most of his time in the Majors, tied his career high in K’s while coming out of the bullpen, striking out the side in three different innings. He not only set a franchise record for strikeouts by a reliever but became only the sixth pitcher from any franchise to reach that number. Before Pivetta, Randy Johnson in 2001 was the only pitcher to do it since 1965.