Um, you ‘member when the Red Sox offense was among the worst in baseball, Carl Crawford didn’t know a breaking ball from his asshole, and all hope seemed lost? Ya, me neither. 28 runs in two days tends to have the effect of the MIB standard issue neuralyzer. It also serves as an awesome event for me to use my new favorite toy, Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index. So here we go with my new gimmick, “Um, you ‘member when?” in honor of the late great Chris Farley…
Um, you ‘member when the 1993 Detroit Tigers scored over 14 runs in 3 consecutive games (15, 15, 17)? This Tigers team was still being led by should be Hall of Famers Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker, each in their 17th seasons and still producing like young men with an On Base Plus Slugging (OPS) over 30% better than league average. On August 2nd against the Baltimore Orioles, one day after mustering just 1 run in a loss, they erupted for a 15-1 win over former number one overall pick, Ben McDonald. The next night, the Tigers scored 5 runs off uber annoying broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe in just two thirds of an inning en route to a 15-5 win. Finally, in the conclusion to the series (yes, these all came against one team) Detroit sent Fernando “Fernandomania” Valenzuela packing after allowing 7 runs in just two thirds of an inning on the way to a 17-11 win. The Orioles actually battled back in that game and Fernando did not take the loss. If you are scoring at home, the Tigers did this against the former number one overall pick and 2 former Cy Young Award winners. But as is usually the case, the Tigers were not the first team to accomplish the feat of scoring 14+ runs in three straight games. The 1928 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1930 Chicago Cubs were the trailblazers for this record.
Um, you ‘member when scoring 14+ runs in consecutive games was a regular occurrence? Besides the aforementioned three game streaks, scoring 14+ runs in consecutive games has happened 82 times since 1919 (as far back as the records go) which averages out to less than once a year. However, from 1994-2008 (basically the “Steroid” era), this happened 27 times, almost twice per year! In those 15 years, the Phillies pulled this off an amazing 5 times including twice in 1999. In 2000, five teams did the double 14.
Um, you ‘member when scoring 14+ runs in consecutive games never happened? It has been three years since the last team did this (the Rangers in 2008), but this isn’t even close to the longest drought. On July 1 and 2, 1964, the Minnesota Twins scored 14 and 15 runs, respectively, and then no team did the double 14 until May of 1976 when the Cincinatti Reds scored 14 on back to back days. Unsurprisingly, this dearth covered a dominant era for pitchers including the true year of the pitcher, 1968.
Um, you ‘member when Carl Crawford couldn’t hit? Off to the worst start of his career, Crawford looked to be the latest in a recent string of failed big free agent signings by the Red Sox (Matt Clement, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo). A trio of game winning hits and his second home run of the season were the first promising signs that he was starting to remember who he is. Then, over the last two days, Crawford went 8 for 9 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, a home run and 5 RBI. He raised his batting average 32 points and his OPS 103 points. Some fun facts about Crazy Carl: in 2 games, Crawford had half as many extra base hits (5) as he had in the previous 48 games (10)… Crawford has had 31 four hit games in his career, but this was his first time back to back… In 2010, Crawford had 8 four hit games to lead baseball, but in 2008 he had none…Crawford has never hit for the cycle, but if you traded one of his triples on Thursday for one of his doubles on Wednesday he would have had 1 cycle and 1 near cycle… As it is, Crawford has been a double short of a cycle once, a triple short five times, and a homer short four times… During Crawford’s career, there have been 39 cycles…Thursday, Crawford had 2 triples in a game for the 8th time in his career. During this span, no other player has had more than 6 (Jose Reyes)...The career record for multi-triple games is 10 by Hall of Famers Arky Vaughan and Willie Mays...John Kruk has more multi-triple games (2) than Ichiro Suzuki (1).
Um, you ‘member when the Red Sox were doomed? Two weeks ago today, their record sat at 17-20, 5 games out of first, and they were about to head into a 3 game series against the second place Yankees in New York. They had been outscored on the season by 15 runs. They had the 9th most runs scored in the AL and allowed the 11th most runs to score. Since that time, they have gone 11-2 and have outscored their opponents by 46 runs. They have now scored the 2nd most runs in the AL and have allowed the 8th fewest to score. They have scored 14 runs or more as many times (3) as they have scored 3 runs or less over that time. Best of all, they are tied for first place in the AL East, right where they belong. That was awesome.