Thirteen walks by one pitching staff in one half-inning probably sounds like an unbelievable total, but having just endured one in the top of the sixth during Birmingham’s 14-6 loss to the Biloxi Shuckers at Regions Field on Thursday night, I can reliably inform you that it’s quite believable when you’re watching it live. Sure, there’s a brief period where it’s unfathomable, but you’ll eventually resign yourself under the weight of the sameness.
Here’s how I figure it. Alec Hansen started the inning, so you can spot the Barons three walks right there. I’d hoped that he cleared his cache during the year away, but he opened the inning by walking four of the first five batters. It very well could have been five, but Carlos Pérez wrangled him three called strikes during Cam Devanney’s at-bat. Hansen’s other pitches weren’t particularly close. He hit the backstop with a fastball, he threw a breaking ball 55 feet, and a lot of his other pitches brushed the left-handed batter’s box. Brice Turang ended Hansen’s night with a two-run single, which turned out to be the inning’s only hit. Hansen threw just 10 of 32 pitches for strikes, and Pérez seemed to buy him a few based on the glove movement from the press box.
In came Luis Ledo, and this is where it started getting absurd. He started with two strikes, the second of which turned into a sac fly, but more importantly, the second out. He then walked Lucas Erceg on five pitches, which was only annoying because Hansen had already issued four walks, but he’s allowed to err. Ledo followed by walking Payton Henry on six pitches, missing with a couple after 2-2 to reload the bases.
When Ledo got ahead 1-2 on Ryan Aguilar only to walk him, that’s when it became unbelievable, because then he got ahead of Gabriel Garcia 0-2 and walked him. Devanney returned to the plate and earned the walk he was denied on a more ordinary six pitches, and Justin Jirschele lifted Ledo. The book showed he was barely more watchable than Hansen (33 pitches, 13 strikes), but it was almost like he wasn’t allowed to get a third strike, or a third out via any other means.
By the time Anderson Severino took the mound, the previous two Barons had issued nine walks. He opened by facing Jesus Lujano and immediately fell behind 3-0, and issued his first walk two pitches later.
That’s when the Barons’ 13 walks circled all the way back around to believable, because after you’ve seen one pitching staff issue 10 walks in one inning, you start to expect nothing else. Unless that something else is an HBP, which Severino did on a 2-1 pitch to Tristen Lutz for a change of pace. After the interstitial plunking, Severino issued two four-pitch walks and one five-pitch walk before Jirschele came out again.
Jake Elliott took over, and if Payton Henry didn’t swing at his first pitch in order to end the charade, I might still be at Regions Field. Micker Adolfo caught the ball in foul territory along the short wall to put the game back on a normal track, although infielder JJ Muno ended up handling the final two innings on the mound. Fittingly, he’s the one Baron who didn’t walk a soul.
The Shuckers sent 18 players to the plate in the sixth, and the end result of the inning is unreal no matter how you diagram it.
In a pitching line, it looks like this: 1 IP, 1 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 13 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 87 pitches, 27 strikes.
In a numbered list, it looks like this:
- Sac fly
And in a scorebook, it looks like this:
The carnage. pic.twitter.com/mEH1NzZPSP— Jim Margalus (@SoxMachine) May 7, 2021
But again, after 10 walks, there’s no reason to expect a plate appearance to end any other way.
Based on the times of my tweets near the half-inning’s start and end, it appears that an inning that featured four pitches, 13 walks and 87 pitches took 45 minutes. Considering that’s about six innings of a typical start, I probably would’ve expected such a disaster to last an hour. I suppose that supports the idea of a pitch clock, but I’m guessing pace-of-play enthusiasts will decline this particular endorsement.
Gwinnett 4, Charlotte 0
- Blake Rutherford went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Gavin Sheets was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Biloxi 14, Birmingham 6
- Mickery Adolfo went 1-for-5 with a homer and three strikeouts.
- Carlos Pérez was 2-for-4.
- Kade McClure: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 k
Rome 5, Winston-Salem 2
- Duke Ellis notched his first pro hit on a 1-for-4 night, striking out once.
- Bryce Bush and Luis Mieses also were 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Lenyn Sosa was 0-for-4.
- Yolbert Sanchez went 2-for-4.
- Lazaro Leal went 0-for-2 with a walk.
- Luke Shilling: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Down East 6, Kannapolis 1
- James Beard wore a golden sombrero during an 0-for-5 night.
- José Rodriguez also went 0-for-5, but with two strikeouts.
- Bryan Ramos singled, walked and struck out twice. He also stole a base.
- Chase Krogman struck out and got plunked, after which he left the game.
- Cabera Weaver took his place and struck out both times up.
- DJ Gladney went 3-for-4 with a triple and a strikeout.
- Benyamin Bailey was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Sam Abbott walked twice and struck out twice.
Imagine being Carlos Pérez, stuck behind the plate for 87 pitches, hoping against hope that enough of those pitches actually cross the plate for the inning to end. But the end never comes, no matter how much he attempts to frame the errant throws as strikes. Are the Sox supplying him with counseling?
The medical questions don’t stop there. Should Alec Hansen make an appointment with a doctor to see if his control issues stem from a virus? He appears to be infectious.
That’s amazing. Is that a record for consecutive walks or walks in an inning? Having sat through a number of little league games, makes me appreciate the rule around here where instead of taking a walk, the coach comes out a throws a pitch so you can hit. With all the minor league rule changes, maybe we can sneak that one in.
This is insane. Wow
You should’ve walked back to the hotel in honor of this.
Jim, props for the Eephus League score book! Coincidentally, I used mine last night to score a SB Cubs game with a ton of walks as well.
Oh, and also had an old friend of the team sighting of Chris Widger, who is managing the Quad Cities River Bandits, KC’s high A team.
I didn’t realize the QC River Bandits were now high A for KC. We used to go to their games all the time when we lived in the QC area and the Bandits were Houston’s low A team. Great little ballpark.
I’ve had the idea to create a Sox Machine scorebook. Now that fans are coming back to the park, it might be the time to pick it up.
This makes my emergency 15 BB in 3 IP performance on opening day in ’01 against Potterville High School look not so bad. Sheesh.
but did Enrico Palazzo find the assassin?
Nice icon synergy
Where was the scoreboard operator to call strikes when you need them?
I kinda wonder if Leury would help stabilize the Birmingham pitching staff. This is all about my concern for Birmingham’s bullpen, of course, and has nothing to do with the fact that I just need a #*€<^% break from watching Leury come up with men on base.