No major-league pitcher wants to give up a grand slam but, if he pitches long enough, he probably will. The slam-less streak of San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto ended at 1,662.1 innings pitched on April 21 when Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story hit a bases-loaded homer off him in the fourth inning. A few hurlers, though, manage to have long careers without surrendering a four-run homer. Jim Palmer holds the record going 3,948 innings, his entire 19-year career, without allowing a slam. The former Baltimore Orioles ace faced 213 batters with the bases loaded over 56 innings without giving up a big fly. Cueto’s teammate Matt Cain leads all active starters with 1,983.2 career slam-less innings facing 125 batters in 31.1 innings with the bases loaded. The 10 pitchers with the longest slam-free streaks in the bigs are (* – active; BF – batters faced):


Pitcher           Career    Loaded   BF

Pitcher           IP        IP       Loaded

Jim Palmer        3,948.0   56.0     213

Freddy Garcia     2,246.0   37.0     137

Mike Krukow       2,190.2   37.2     148

Joaquin Andujar   2,153.0   40.1     156

Mike Boddicker    2,132.2   32.0     125

Gary Peters       2,081.0   36.1     132

Matt Cain*        1,983.2   31.1     125

Clayton Kershaw*  1,788.1   26.2     97

Tim Lincecum      1,682.0   35.0     124

Eric Show         1,655.0   32.2     113


… Nationals shortstop Trea Turner produced the 16th cycle in Coors Field history on Tuesday night and the second at the Denver ballpark this season; since opening in 1995, Coors has accounted for nearly 20 percent of all cycles accomplished in the bigs and is closing in on the active record of 17 held by Fenway Park in Boston which debuted a bit earlier in 1912.

… The Cardinals and Giants, through Thursday, were the only major-league teams that had yet to record an outfield assist this season.

… After batting cleanup on April 23, Elvis Andrus had finally batted in all positions in the lineup in his career; this year alone, the Rangers shortstop has batted second, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

… Through Thursday, the Giants, Phillies, Royals and Rockies were the only major-league clubs that had yet to produce a three-run tater this season.

Jake Arrieta and Kris Bryant of the Cubs will make guest appearances on the season finale of the NBC series Chicago Fire on May 16.

… Umpires have started wearing an “MJ” patch honoring former umpire Mark Johnson in addition to the memorial patch for Russ Goetz they adopted at the start of the season; Johnson, who passed away last October, had a 21-year career (1,979 games) and remains the only MLB umpire born in Hawaii.

… When the Rays called up pitcher Chih-Wei Hu, he became the first Taiwanese player for the team and the 12th in major-league history; the right-hander joins the Marlins’ Wei-Yin Chen as the only active Taiwanese players in the bigs.

… Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki sold his loft-condo in the downtown arts district in Los Angeles during Spring Training for $2.45 million; the Marlins’ ageless star bought the unit, located in the 1920’s era Biscuits Company Lofts building, nearly 10 years ago.

… The nine World Series championships won by the Yankees since 1958 have all come when a Democrat occupied the Oval Office.

… On Monday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly agreed to sell the club for $1.3 billion to a group led by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush; if the deal is approved by the other MLB owners, Loria will realize a 720 percent profit on the $158.5 million he paid for the team in 2002.

… Stat wiz Bill Chuck notes that Astros ace Dallas Keuchel has given up only five runs this season; four have come on solo homers which means that only one of the other 31 baserunners he’s allowed (on 18 hits, nine walks, one hit batsman and three errors) came around to score.

… The Angels, through Thursday, led the majors having used 19 pitchers this season; the Reds and Padres led the N.L. having used 18.

… The Blue Jays are the only major-league team that had yet to record a win streak of least two games this season through Wednesday.

… On Tuesday, Brewers first baseman Eric Thames became the 18th different player to hit at least 11 homers in April in the majors.

… In all, 160 Jewish ballplayers had seen duty in the major leagues through Wednesday.

… According to Baseball America, Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri, will host the most games of any ballpark that is home to both a full-season minor-league team and a college team in 2017; the park will be the site of 70 games of the Double-A Texas League Springfield Cardinals, 24 games of the Missouri State Bears and 12 to 15 MVAC (Missouri Valley Athletic Conference) Tournament games for a total of 106 to 109 contests this season.

… Stat wiz Doug Kern notes that Monday was the first time since August 15, 1945, that the Cubs and White Sox won games on the same day while scoring at least 11 runs each.

… The Giants, through Thursday, were the only major-league club that had not hit a homer in either the first inning or the ninth inning of a game this season

… The NCAA Division II Great American Conference championship softball tournament will feature a matchup between the Southern Arkansas Muleriders and the Arkansas – Monticello Cotton Blossoms.

… Two 30-homer players from last season, Kyle Seager of the Mariners and Jose Abreu of the White Sox, had yet to hit a round-tripper this season after 81 and 79 plates appearances, respectively, through Thursday.

… New Era, the official provider of caps for MLB, is selling a commemorative Yankees 2000 World Series Championship cap that features an image of new Yankee Stadium which did not open until 2009.

… The Rangers and Red Sox were the only big-league teams that had yet to record a pinch hit in 2017 through Thursday.

… Reliever Sergio Romo is the 226th person to play for both the Giants and Dodgers.

… Infielder Adam Rosales of the A’s owns eight of the 10 fastest home run trots for outside-the-park taters since 2015 when Statcast began timing such things; the other two in the top 10 are owned by the Reds’ Billy Hamilton.

… The Pirates called up the first Lithuanian-born major-leaguer, pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas (born in Vilnius), on Monday then sent him down to Triple-A on Wednesday to call up the first South African-born major-leaguer, second baseman Gift Ngoepe (born in Pietersburg).

… According to SABR historian Trent McCotter, Bryce Harper has recorded three four-hit games this month; the record for four-hit efforts in a month is six shared by Ross Barnes (June, 1876) and Billy Hamilton (August, 1894).

Mike Trout joined Darin Erstad (1998) as the only Angels players to record at least five homers, five stolen bases and 15 RBIs in the month of April.


Bill Arnold/@sfgwire

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