@SoxNerd Blog for May 4:
*RARITY: A sequence in Wednesday night’s game was a reminder that Wilson Alvarez may be the owner of the rarest feat in White Sox histoy.
And when I say feat, I mean something that can be found in the record book.
I am not talking about something like “the player to homer four times on the fourth day of the fourth month in a year that ends with four off a pitcher with four letters in his last name.”
In the sixth inning Wednesday, Nathan Karns recorded the season’s first four-strikeout inning in the Royals 6-1 win over the White Sox at Kaufman Stadium. After striking out Cody Asche and Tim Anderson, Karns whiffed Yolmer Sanchez but he reached first on a wild pitch. Following a walk, Karns Kd Jose Abreu to end the frame.
This was the Indians first 4-K frame since 1996.
The Sox last 4-K inning was pulled off by Wilson Alvarez on July 21, 1997.
It is the ONLY four-strikeout inning in the 117-year history of the franchise.
You could make an argument that Alvarez may own the rarest of feats in Sox history.
Consider the Sox have
… three perfect games
… three World Series titles
… five pennants
… 18 no-hitters
… five cycles
… three pitchers who have hit grand slams
… over 20 triple plays
… ONE FOUR-STRIKEOUT GAME!
An immaculate inning (striking out the side on nine pitches) would certainly qualify as only Sloppy Thurston has done that.
Beyond those two feats, any suggestions?
*SOX STUMPER: Here is the trivia question flashed for the Sox last home game on this date in 2016 vs. Boston: Name the utility player the White Sox acquired from the Red Sox for Tom Seaver on June 29, 1986.
*MORE 4-K: Alvarez’s four-strikeout inning came in Tiger Stadium in what has his his second-to-last start and last road start for the White Sox before he departed in the “white flag trade.”
In the seventh inning, Alvarez fanned Tony Clark before Phil Nevin whiffed but reached on a wild pitch. Alvarez then struck out Melvin Nieves and Orlando Miller to end the inning.
*LAST 4-K: Wednesday was the fourth time the Sox had been struck out four times in an inning.
The others: the Angels’ Ryne Duren, May 18, 1961; Toronto’s Steve Delabar, Aug. 13, 2012 and Minnesota’s Tyler Duffey, May 8, 2016.
*SOX ALMANAC: On this date in 1982, Mike Squires became the first left-hander to play catcher in a Major League game in 22 years when he went behind the plate for the ninth inning in the Sox 11-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers before 36,692 at Comiskey Park.
Squires replaced Marv Foley and caught Ed Farmer in becoming the first southpaw since the Cubs’ Dale Long to don the “tools of ignorance” in a Major League game.
*TODAY: A win today would equal the Sox 2016 victory total (5) vs. the Royals.
*ROYAL RECALL: On this date in 1977, Chet Lemon launched a 450-foot home run in the White Sox 6-3 win at Kansas City. Lemon’s blast was the first to land in the left-center field waterfall at Royals’ Stadium and broke a 2-2 tie.
*STUMPER ANSWER: Steve Lyons