There was some headline grabbing baseball news from this weekend. Alex Rodriguez announced that his playing days will come to an end this Friday. Also, Ichiro Suzuki collected his 3,000 hit. However, the one news item that is probably flying below the radar of most MLB fans is Ken Giles and his performance on Sunday.
Giles and the Astros were taking on the Texas Rangers. Although recently anointed the new closer for the team, Giles was called on prior to the 9th inning to work a higher leverage situation. Rather than pitch one inning, Giles ended up pitching 1 and 2/3 innings for the team. Although this might not sound all that interesting, the highlight of his performance was that Giles ended up striking out six batters, an anomaly because a pitcher working 1 and 2/3 innings should strike out 5 batters at most. Giles was able to collect 6 strike outs while only being credited with 1 and 2/3 innings of work because one of the batters that struck out ended up reaching first base when a Giles’ third strike pitch got away from the catcher. As a result, Giles ended up striking out 4 batters in a single inning.
Baseball has a long and storied past that is filled with countless iterations of ways games play out. I love when unusual events occur. Everyone who follows baseball will remember Ichiro collecting 3,000 hits and A-Rod stepping away in 2016 after a 22 year pro career. However, let’s acknowledge Ken Giles and his unusual accomplishment today before it becomes a forgotten footnote to a (mostly) meaningless game in early August.
Here is the ESPN box score for curious parties: http://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=360807118
Giles’ performance on the night:
Innings Pitched: 1.2
Runs/Earned Runs: 0/0