The Neat-O Thing You Should Know

In today’s Linkin’ Ballpark, I wrote about last night’s marathon of a game in Philadelphia that was finally put to bed in the bottom of the 19th inning when Raul Ibanez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Jimmy Rollins, as the Phillies beat the Reds 5-4.

While there are a number of atypical statistics coming out of the six hour and eleven minute long game, including a combined fourteen pitching changes, eight pinch hitters being used and 598 pitches thrown, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game belongs to utility infielder Wilson Valdez who ended up getting the win after pitching the top half of the final inning.

Valdez faced four batters throwing ten pitches, ranging from 86-89 mph in velocity. Nine of the pitches were very similar, but it appears as though he attempted to throw one curveball. Unfortunately, it was the first pitch to Scott Rolen and it hit him.

However, even more interesting than Rolen’s hit by pitch, is that Valdez became the first player since Babe Ruth on October 1, 1921 to start a game in field and end up getting the win as a pitcher.

In the second game of a double header, Ruth came to the mound from first base in the seventh inning, proceeded to blow his team’s six run lead with an awful eighth inning, but stuck around to get the win when the New York Yankees scored on the Philadelphia Athletics in the bottom of the eleventh.

Hat tip to Bob Nightengale.