September is the final full month of the regular season, and, for The Quirkjians, the best was saved for last. We had the first Holland-India at-bat ever, we welcomed Seth Beer, Janson Junk and Kutter Crawford to the big leagues, we had another no-hitter, an inside-the-park home run, a cycle, several notable grand slams, some memorable errors, an amazing stretch by the Blue Jays and, like every month, lots and lots of strikeouts.
So, with assistance from the Elias Sports Bureau, here are The Quirkjians for September.
The starting pitching matchup in the Braves-Dodgers game featured Max Fried against Max Scherzer. On the same night, Max Kranick started for the Pirates. The last time there were three starting pitchers with the first name Max was 1943 (Lanier, Macon and Butcher). But this was the first time that they all started on the same day.
The Marlins and Mets combined to make seven errors, but there were no unearned runs in the game. The last time there were seven errors made in a game, yet there were no unearned runs, was Sept. 18, 1999, between the Rockies and Dodgers, who combined for seven errors in a 5-4 victory by the Dodgers.
Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals started their 300th game together as a pitcher/catcher. The record for a battery starting the most games for one team is 324 by the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan. The other batteries with more than 300 are Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, and Red Faber and Ray Schalk.
Red Sox second baseman Jonathan Arauz had two sacrifice bunts in one game. The only other position players with two sacrifice bunts in a game this season are catchers: Drew Butera, Garrett Stubbs and Rene Rivera.
In honor of the major league debut of Angels pitcher Janson Junk and Red Sox pitcher Kutter Crawford, we present the All Pitching-Related-Name Pitching Staff:
There were six grand slams hit, the second time in history that six have been hit in a day (the record, done once in 2017, is seven). The Pirates and Cubs combined for three grand slams, the fifth time in history that three were hit in one game. The Yankees’ Gary Sanchez hit a grand slam out of the No. 9 hole. It’s the 12th grand slam hit by a starting player out of the No. 9 hole. It’s the 18th (including non-starters) this year. That’s the most ever out of the No. 9 hole in a season. The previous record was 15 in 2018.
The Rays’ Austin Meadows extended his streak to seven straight games with an RBI by hitting a score-tying, inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning, the first player to do that since Mark Teahen in 2008.
The Rays scored four runs on one play without the benefit of a hit. With the bases loaded in the third inning, Nelson Cruz‘s deep fly ball to right center was dropped by Red Sox center fielder Alex Verdugo, allowing all three runs to score. And a throwing error by second baseman Taylor Motter allowed Cruz to score. It was the first time in the expansion era (since 1961) that four runs scored on a play without the benefit of a hit.
The Rays were leading their league in runs scored, but were hitting .242. They were on pace to have the second-lowest batting average ever by a league leader in runs: the 1968 Tigers led the league in runs scored, and hit .235. The Rays were also leading their league in strikeouts. Only five teams have led their league in runs scored and strikeouts in the same season, the last being the 2005 Reds.
Hunter Renfroe became the first Red Sox outfielder since Mike Greenwell in 1991 to have a home run and two outfield assists in the same game — his second assist provided the final out of the game. Renfroe has 28 homers and 16 outfield assists this year. Chuck Klein had 44 outfield assists and 40 homers in 1930, the only such 40-40 player in major league history.
The Blue Jays swept the Yankees in a four-game series, the Yankees never led at any point in any of the games, the first time they’ve done that in a four-game series since 1924 against the Washington Senators. And in that four-game series against the Nats, Walter Johnson, the greatest pitcher of all time, didn’t pitch.
The Reds’ Joey Votto homered on his 38th birthday. The record for most home runs hit on a player’s birthday is six by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Reynolds, who once told me, “I own a lot of weird records.”
The Diamondbacks’ Seth Beer hit a home run in his first plate appearance in the major leagues. In his honor, we present the All-Beverage Team:
The Indians became the first team in history to be no-hit three times in one season. The Yankees have been no-hit one time in the past 60 years. The Indians’ Zach Plesac was the opposing starting pitcher in all three no-hitters. The only other pitcher who has done that in a career is Jim Perry, and it took him 17 years to do it.
The Blue Jays played a doubleheader (two seven-inning games, of course) against the Orioles, and they won both games, scoring four runs to erase a deficit in the seventh inning of the first game. In the second game, they were no-hit for six innings, then scored 11 runs in the seventh inning to win 11-2 — the first team since the 1997 Marlins to win a game by nine runs after being no-hit for six innings. The Blue Jays became the first team since the 1934 New York Giants to, in a doubleheader, score 15 runs in their last at-bat in one day.
The Blue Jays scored 27 runs in a four-inning span (the seventh inning Saturday, and innings one through three on Sunday), most by any team in any four-inning span since 1920. The previous record was 25 by the Rangers, also against the Orioles, in 2007. The Blue Jays had 24 hits, by 11 different players, in those four innings. They hit eight home runs, by six different players. Meanwhile, the Reds had scored 24 runs in their last eight games.
Padres reliever Austin Adams hit three more batters, running his MLB-leading total to 23 in 48⅔ innings, the most hit by any pitcher since Howard Ehmke hit 23 in 1923. The fewest innings ever pitched (in a full season) by a hit-batsman leader is 58 by Hal Kelleher in 1937, but he hit only seven batters.
For those who actually know how to use voice commands for your phone, in the Astros-Rangers game, Rangers pitcher A.J. Alexy faced Houston outfielder Jose Siri: Alexy vs. Siri. Siri hit a home run. Siri, who is the only Astros rookie to have a four-hit game that included two homers? Answer: Jose Siri.
The Dodgers’ batting average against stood at .207. The only team since 1900 to have a lower mark during a full season was the Indians with a .206 in 1968, the year of the pitcher.
A day after the starting pitching matchup in the Tigers-Brewers game featured Wily Peralta vs. Freddy Peralta, the starting pitching matchup in the Marlins-Nationals game featured Trevor Rogers vs. Josh Rogers.
The Phillies beat the Cubs on a passed ball in the ninth inning by catcher Robinson Chirinos, the first major league game to end on a walk-off passed ball since 2016. The same day, the Red Sox scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on a passed ball by the Mariners’ Tom Murphy. We went back 21 years and couldn’t find two games in the same day in which there was a walk-off passed ball, and another that scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning or later. In 1975, Johnny Bench caught 1,002⅔ innings without a passed ball.
The Yankees won their 82nd game. That’s 29 consecutive winning seasons, the second-longest streak of winning seasons to the 39 in a row by the Yankees of 1926-64. The third longest by any team is 18 by the Orioles (1969-85).
Royals reliever Jake Brentz did not record an out: He gave up a hit, a walk, hit a batter and threw three wild pitches. He’s the only pitcher in history to do all that without getting an out in a game.
Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in a 6-5 victory over the Braves. Braves pitcher Max Fried had a walk-off RBI this year, also. The last season in which two primary pitchers had a walk-off RBI was 1994 with Mike Stanton and Darren Dreifort.
The Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom struck out four times in a game for the fifth time this season. The record is seven 4K games in 1968 by Richie Allen. It gave Wisdom 140 strikeouts in 316 at-bats. No player has ever finished a season with 140 strikeouts in fewer than 350 at-bats. Robinson Chirinos had 140 in 360 in 2018. Melvin Nieves had 157 in 359 at-bats in 1997.
The Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski had the second sacrifice bunt of his career. His grandfather, Carl Yastrzemski, had 13. Frank Thomas holds the major league record for most plate appearances (10,075) without a sacrifice bunt. Hall of Famer Eddie Collins had the most sacrifice bunts with 511. No one else had 400.
The Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom struck out four times in a game for the sixth time this season.
Outfielder Eddie Rosario, in his 19th game as a Brave, hit for the cycle. Hank Aaron played 3,076 games for the Braves, and never hit for the cycle. Rosario’s line in the box score was 4-1-4-1. You would think by hitting for the cycle that you might have more than four at-bats, or might score more than one run or drive in more than one run. It is the first 4-1-4-1 cycle in major league history.
Blue Jays pitcher Robbie Ray, a leader for the Cy Young Award in the American League, gave up a home run with a runner on base for only the second time this season. The Nationals’ Patrick Corbin had allowed 16 homers this year with a runner on base.
The Indians’ Anthony Gose, a former outfielder, threw eight pitches at 100 mph in his major league debut as a pitcher. Since 2015, he hit seven home runs of at least 100 mph.
The Rays drew 11 walks and scored only two runs in a 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. The last team to draw 11 and score only two runs in a game was June 1, 2016, when the Mets walked 13, but the White Sox scored only one run.
The Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch twice, giving him 21 this season. This is the fifth season in his career that he has been hit at least 20 times. The record is six such seasons by Ron Hunt, Craig Biggio, Hughie Jennings and Tommy Tucker.
And for the fourth time in this career, Cubs pitcher Rex Brothers faced the Twins.
The Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom, for the third time in four starts, struck out four times in a game, giving him seven 4K games this season, tying Richie Allen’s record set in 1968.
Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland had a multi-RBI game the day after Rockies pitcher German Marquez had a multi-RBI game. It was the first time that a team had a multi-RBI game from a pitcher in back-to-back games since … the Rockies did so in 2019 with Antonio Senzatela and Chi Chi Gonzalez,
The Braves and Padres resumed a suspended game from July 21. Adam Duvall, who got a hit that day for the Marlins, hit a home run for the Braves. And Padres pitcher Reiss Knehr, who started that game July 21, got the loss in the regularly scheduled game on Sept. 24.
Cardinals closer Alex Reyes got the victory in a win over the Cubs. It gave him 10 wins, eight losses and 29 saves. The last pitcher to have at least 29 saves, at least 10 victories and at least eight losses was Doug Jones in 1992.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hit two homers, giving him 21 in his last 48 games. It raised his season total to 29, which he got to with 59 RBIs. The only players in history to finish a season with at least 30 homers and fewer than 60 RBIs are Curtis Granderson (2016), Jed Gyorko (2017) and Kyle Schwarber (2017), who also hit 30 homers and drove in 59 runs.
The Cardinals turned a 3-2-5-4-2-8-6 double play against the Cubs. The last time that six-plus defenders were a part of a double play was May 12, 2006, when the Marlins eventually got two outs on a play that began with a two-run single by the Pirates’ Jeromy Burnitz.
Shohei Ohtani hit two triples in a game having already hit 45 homers this season. Over the past 40 years, the only players to finish a season with at least 40 homers, and have a game that season with two triples, were David Ortiz in 2004 and Brady Anderson in 1996.
Braves closer Will Smith, in a save situation in the ninth inning, faced six batters, walked three and struck out three. Since the save rule was instituted in 1969, only four times has a pitcher faced six batters, walked three and struck out three in the ninth inning of a save situation: Sergio Santos in 2011, Edwin Diaz in 2016, Will Smith on April 16, 2021 and Will Smith again.
Cleveland’s Bradley Zimmer hit a home run off his brother, Kansas City’s Kyle Zimmer. It was the first time that a brother hit a home run off a brother since 1976 when pitcher Joe Niekro homered off his brother, Phil. Joe had 1,165 plate appearances in his career. The homer off his brother was the only homer of his career.
The Orioles finished the day 36 games behind the next closest team in their division. The only other team since 1900 to be 35-plus games behind every team in its division (or league, prior to 1969) at any point in a season was the 1916 A’s, who finished 40 games behind the next-worst team, the Senators.
Toronto’s Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette became the first primary second base/shortstop combination to drive in 100 runs in a season since Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens of the 1950 Red Sox, and Semien and Bichette reached the mark in the same game. Semien got to 100 with his 44th home run, breaking Davey Johnson’s record for the most home runs in a season by a primary second baseman. And the Blue Jays became the first team since RBIs were made official in 1920 to have four 100-RBI players (Semien, Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and Vlad Guerrero Jr.), all of whom were recording the first 100-RBI season of their career.