Sunday Shenanigans 4: Double Fours for Ep. 4

Sunday Shenanigans 4: Double Fours for Ep. 4

by April 25, 2021 1 comment

Early on in the 2021 season, we have seen some dominating pitchers. Jacob deGrom and Corbin Burnes are taking over the National League, and in the American League it is Tyler Glasnow. The new ace of the Tampa Bay Rays had allowed just two earned runs in his first four starts, which came out to a 0.73 ERA with 36 strikeouts. Glasnow’s fifth start, coming against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, would be his worst of the season. And there would be no shortage of shenanigans.

Starting Off Crazy

Unlike previous episodes of Sunday Shenanigans, no build-up is necessary. The highlighted events didn’t happen late in the game. Instead, they took place in the top of the first inning. The Blue Jays may have the most dangerous offense in the American League East division, especially with the Yankees slumping. They were able to show it in this game, though not with the first batter.

The top three hitters in the order were the three sons of former players. Leading off was Craig Biggio‘s son, Cavan Biggio. The younger Biggio did not look like his father in this at-bat, as he saw three fastballs, watching one go for a strike, and missing the other two. A quick strikeout for Glasnow. It would not be his last of the inning. Next up, Bo Bichette. This at-bat was tougher for Glasnow, as it went eight pitches, with three balls and three fouls. But, he still froze Bichette with a 99 mile-per-hour fastball for strike three.

Quite a Two-Out Rally

Here is where Glasnow had his worst inning of the season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. swung at the second pitch he saw and hit it nearly 100 miles an hour for a single. Then Rowdy Tellez hit a ball 105 mph and 410 feet. Unfortunately for Tellez, he hit it to the deepest part of Tropicana Field, and he had to settle for an RBI double.

That hard-hit ball rattled Glasnow, and he didn’t do a good job of hiding it. He immediately followed up the earned run with a four-pitch walk to Randal Grichuk. These two teams will face each other a bunch this year, so Glasnow will have the opportunity to get revenge on some of the Blue Jays who hit him hard. That especially includes Marcus Semien, who may have hit the ball softer and only three feet further than Tellez did, but was able to get it out of the ballpark to left-center field. A three-run bomb and Toronto had a 4-0 lead. To make matters worse, Joe Panik immediately singled.

Still Another Four on the Inning

After Panik’s single, Glasnow was able to get back into rhythm. On four pitches, he struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to strike out the side and end the inning. Hold on, not so fast. Glasnow’s 2,918 RPM curveball got past catcher Francisco Mejia. Gurriel was able to reach first base on the second third strike drop of Sunday Shenanigans, just four weeks in. Mejia was able to hold onto Glasnow’s third strike to Danny Jansen, the next batter, to conclude the inning.

That made for four strikeouts and four earned runs in the first inning for Glasnow. This was not the first four-strikeout inning in MLB history, but it was the first since April 22nd, 2019, nearly two years to the date, when Los Angeles’ Luke Bard completed the feat. This did make it the first time of the decade a pitcher struck out four in an inning. Recently, this had been pretty common. It happened four times in 2017 and 2018 each.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Glasnow’s four strikeouts and four earned runs had been done before, but not recently. Back in 1902, Philadelphia’s Don White did it against the Brooklyn Dodgers… a whopping119 years ago.

The Aftermath

The four-run first inning provided to be too much for Tampa Bay’s offense, as they scored just three against Toronto starter Steven Matz, all coming on a 445-foot moonshot by Randy Arozarena. Glasnow would allow one more run while striking out six more batters, for 10 on the game. In his first five starts, the hurler now has a 2.05 ERA with 46 strikeouts (including two-double digit K games) in 30.2 innings. The final score would be 5-3 Blue Jays as both bullpens were flawless, concluding the fourth week of Sunday Shenanigans.


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