That may have been the most incredible game ever
Did you see what happened Sunday at Fenway Park? If you did, you won't soon forget it. Chris Davis sure won't. He was the Orioles designated hitter, and became the first player ever to strike out in his first five at-bats and follow it up by grounding into a double play in the sixth. Oh, and he was also the winning pitcher.
If you started watching, you didn't turn it off.
It drew you in. It wouldn't let you go.
The Orioles and Red Sox didn't play the best game in baseball history Sunday at Fenway Park. I'm not even sure it was the wildest game ever.
But it might have been the most incredible.
If not for you, then for Chris Davis.
He was the Orioles' designated hitter, but he didn't hit. He's not a pitcher, but he did pitch. He had the worst day ever -- and also the best.
He became the first player ever to strike out in each of his first five trips to the plate, and then hit into a double play. And then he became the first guy to start a game as a DH and end it as the winning pitcher. And the first guy to go 0-for-8 in a game he pitched in since 1920. And the first guy to go 0-for-8 in a game where he was the winning pitcher since Rube Waddell in 1905.
Oh, and he threw 90 mph, according to one radar gun. And he struck out two guys. And he got Darnell McDonald to hit into a game-ending double play.
Oh, and McDonald, a Red Sox outfielder, was the losing pitcher.
We've gone this far without telling you the final score, which somehow seemed irrelevant to anyone but the Orioles and Red Sox. For the record, it was 9-6 Orioles, on Adam Jones' 17th-inning home run off McDonald.
The two teams combined to use 18 pitchers, the most ever in a game at Fenway. They combined to throw 569 pitches.
McDonald pitched in a game where he had already argued with the home-plate umpire -- as a hitter.
Davis pitched two scoreless innings, meaning the Orioles now have four relievers (using that terms loosely) who have not allowed an earned run this season.
It was so crazy that you almost forgot that the Orioles completed a three-game Fenway sweep, or that they now have a five-game winning streak, all on the road against the Yankees and Red Sox.
Or that they now have the best record in the American League.
Position players do pitch on occasion. Infielder Wilson Valdez, then of the Phillies, got a win last year in a 19-inning game against the Reds. Valdez was the first player since Babe Ruth to win a game that he had begun in the field.
But he didn't go 0-for-8. He didn't make history (negative history, but still history) at the plate.
And the losing pitcher in that game was actually a pitcher, not another position player.
In fact, I went back 50 years, and couldn't find another game where position players were both the winning and losing pitchers.
I was at the Valdez game, and I'll never forget it. I saw a lot of this one on television.
I'll never forget it.
Not the best game ever -- especially for the Red Sox.
But it may have been the most incredible.