On Thursday afternoon the Cardinals were part of a wild game against the Dodgers. With only two extra base hits, the Birdos managed to score eleven runs. A lot of that was due to free passes. The Cardinals were issued four walks on the day and the Dodgers committed two errors. The Cardinals also reach twice via hit by pitch. That is where it gets interesting.
Most baseball fans are aware that a hit batsman results in a free base for that batsman. When the bases are loaded this, of course, forces a run home. It does not happen super often, though; according to Baseball Reference’s Play Index around 2255 times since 1925 (the records get less detailed the further back one looks) to be exact. For it to happen twice in a game is even rarer- 49 times since 1925 per Play Index. Yet, what happened in Thursday’s game is even more infrequent than that. Not only was a Cardinal hit by a pitch to score a run, not only did it happen twice.
It happened twice to the same player.
Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, Harrison Bader is the first Cardinal to ever record two RBIs on HBPs in the same game. pic.twitter.com/Wn59NolnNm— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 11, 2019
According to Jen Langosch, Harrison Bader is the first Cardinal to accomplish the feat of being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded twice in the same game, with the last player to do this being Reed Johnson on April 16, 2005. Of course, this wasn’t enough for me. I had to know more.
Since 1925 a player being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded twice in the same game has happened four times, per Play Index. Once by Bader, once by Reed Johnson, and then two times before. Terry Kennedy of the San Diego Padres accomplished the feat on April 28, 1982. He is the only player to be hit by the same pitcher - Randy Jones of the Mets - and each time his RBI gave his team the lead. According to Play Index the first player to have two RBI HBP in a game was Steve Boros of Detroit on April 20, 1961. His team was cruising against Cleveland and he was drilled in the later innings.
Of all these players, Bader’s hit by pitches were the highest leverage events and resulted in the biggest win probability swing. Here are the details on all four:
On Thursday Bader took not one, but two for the team and it turned out to be a big reason why the Cardinals won. All in a day’s work for the young centerfielder.
Harrison Bader makes Cardinals history with HBPs | St. Louis Cardinals
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