By Bill Arnold and Rick Wacha
SAME NAME, SAME PLACE
For the first time in major-league history, two pairs of the same surnamed starters faced off against each other on July 12. The Cincinnati Reds’ Sonny Gray opposed the Colorado Rockies’ Jon Gray, while the San Francisco Giants’ rookie starter Shaun Anderson faced Chase Anderson of the Milwaukee Brewers. This was Chase Anderson’s third time matching up against another pitcher named Anderson. Since 2010 12 pitchers, who have shared the same surname, have started games against the other. The two most recent matchups saw each of the four starters receive a no-decision. The first such meeting between same surnamed starters occurred when the St. Louis Brown Stockings’ starter George Bradley dualed the Boston Red Caps’ starter Joseph “Foghorn” Bradley during the National League’s premiere season on Sept. 12, 1876.
A run through Retrosheet’s daily game logs produced the 12 following matchups that featured the same surnamed pitchers since 2010:
|Date||Visiting Starter/Team||Home Starter/Team|
|7/12/2019||Sonny Gray (ND), Reds||Jon Gray (ND), Rockies|
|7/12/2019||Shaun Anderson (ND), Giants||Chase Anderson (ND), Brewers|
|4/16/2019||Jorge Lopez (L), Royals||Reynaldo Lopez (W), White Sox|
|8/12/2017||JC Ramirez (ND), Angels||Erasmo Ramirez (ND), Mariners|
|6/18/2016||Nick Martinez (ND), Rangers||Carlos Martinez (ND), Cardinals|
|6/9/2016||Gio Gonzalez (L), Nationals||Miguel Gonzalez (W), White Sox|
|7/5/2015||Jorge De La Rosa (W), Rockies||Rubby De La Rosa (L), D’backs|
|5/3/2015||Chase Anderson (ND), D’backs||Brett Anderson (ND), Dodgers|
|4/10/2015||Brett Anderson (ND), Dodgers||Chase Anderson (ND), D’backs|
|6/25/2015||Rubby De La Rosa (ND), D’backs||Jorge De La Rosa (ND), Rockies|
|8/21/2012||Roberto Hernandez (L), Indians||Felix Hernandez (W), Mariners|
|6/26/2012||Daniel Hudson (L), D’backs||Tim Hudson (W), Braves|
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and Gaylord Perry‘s first major-league home run. His first homer came in the third inning with two outs off Claude Osteen at Candlestick Park during a day game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perry’s homer occurred at 1:51 p.m. PDT, a mere 34 minutes after astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to land on the moon at 1:17 p.m. PDT on July 20, 1969. Five years earlier San Francisco Giants’ manager Alvin Dark foresaw history – when he commented to then San Francisco Examiner sportswriter Harry Jupiter’s question about Perry’s weak swing – by correctly predicting, “Mark my words, a man will land on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run.” Perry’s homer came in the pitcher’s 548th plate appearance and 486th career at bat.
AROUND THE HORN
… Through Thursday Miller Park, home of the Brewers, is tops in the majors with 3,064 foul balls, while Globe Life Park, the residence of the Rangers, ranks as the top A.L. park with 3,059.
… White Sox rookie pitcher Dylan Cease joined Prince Fielder and J.T. Snow as the only players in major-league to ever wear the number 84; Fielder wore the number while playing for the Rangers in 2014-16 and Snow wore the digits with the Red Sox in 2006.
… Whit Merrifield is on pace to join Rogers Hornsby (1922), Chuck Klein (1930), Wade Boggs (1985), Derek Jeter (1999) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) as the only players to match the major-league record for most games (135) with a hit since 1920; the Royals’ right fielder leads the majors with 128 total hits in 81 games and has been held hitless in just 17 games.
… According to Baseball Info Solutions, which began tracking injury related events in 2015, the Brewers’ Yasmani Grandal leads all catchers to have taken head shots – either foul balls or backswings by a bat – 80 times over the past five seasons.
… Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto saw his attempt to beat Wally Moon‘s 47-game, consecutive-game streak of reaching base safely by a visitor at Wrigley Field end at 41 straight games on Wednesday afternoon; Moon set the “Friendly Confines” record between the years 1957-62 (Cardinals and Dodgers).
… The Giants have turned around their previously dismal season by posting the second-best road winning percentage of .632 (24-14) behind the Red Sox’s .727 (24-9), since April 21; as of Thursday morning the Giants had won 11 of their last 13 road games, climbed out of last place in the N.L. West and were only two and a half games out of the second wild-card spot.
… The Indians is the only team that hasn’t hit a grand slam, while the Rockies and Mets are the only teams that haven’t surrendered a bases-loaded homer this season.
… Former overall number-one draft pick Mark Appel (2013-Astros) recently hung up his spikes joining Steve Chicott (1966-Mets) and Brien Taylor (1991-Yankees) as the only overall number-one draft picks to never play in the majors before the 2014 draft.
… The A’s acquired starter Homer Bailey from the Royals to strengthen their starting pitching; the right-hander has given up 165 career home runs to 25 teams, but the Angels, the Rays, the Reds, the Royals and the White Sox have yet to go yard off Homer.
… The Rays’ Travis d’Arnaud joined Rickey Henderson (1993 – while with the A’s before being traded to Blue Jays), Bob Allison (1960 – Senators) and Max Bishop (1932 – A’s) as the only batters to hit both a leadoff home run and a walk-off home run in separate games during the same season against the Yankees.
… Recently called up right-handed pitcher Asher Wojciechowski passed retired pitcher Arnie Portocarrero for having the longest surname in Orioles’ franchise history; Wojciechowski has a 13-lettered surname to the 12-lettered Portocarrero.
… Shortstop Mauricio Dubon of the Brewers became the first major-league player to be born and raised in Honduras when he debuted on July 14; Gerald Young had been the only MLB player to be born in the Latin American country, but he grew up in the United States.
… Albert Pujols is a lock to join Frank Robinson and Mark McGwire on an elite home run list for hitting 100 or more home runs in two major-league ballparks; the Angel has connected for 205 homers at Busch Stadium III in St. Louis and has 99 at Anaheim Stadium; Robinson had 174 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati and 104 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and McGwire had 166 at the Oakland Coliseum and 119 at Busch Stadium II.
… Rhys Hoskins leads the majors in pitches seen (1,956) and average pitches per appearance (4.64); the Phillies’ left fielder is trying to join Brett Gardner (4.61 in 2010 – Yankees) and Jayson Werth (4.60 in 2016 – Nationals) as the only batters since pitch tracking began in 1988 to average at least 4.60 pitches per appearance.
… Five Canadian-born players have hit home runs in the majors this season, which is far below the 2011 record of 10 “Great White North” players; the Reds’ Joey Votto and the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lead the quintet with eight apiece, while the Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill has five and with two each are the Padres’ Josh Naylor and the Dodgers’ Russell Martin.
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