Sunday Baseball Observations

There’s something wonderful about Sunday baseball. Everyone’s in action, and all but the ESPN Sunday Night game are over by 8:00. Weekend series wrap up and teams can finish up a sweep, claim two of three, or salvage a game in an otherwise lost weekend.

A few observations from today’s games:

Daniel Hudson of the Diamondbacks almost earned a win. I don’t believe pitchers should be awarded wins, but Hudson made a strong case today against the Dodgers. He pitched a complete game, giving up just one run. He homered in the sixth inning and drove in two more runs in the seventh. If not for the fact that two runners had to reach base before him for his single to mean anything, Hudson did enough to win this one all by himself. Unless you give some credit to the fielders who made 24 of the 27 outs behind him, of course.

In Houston, the Pirates won in eleven innings, facing six Astros pitchers along the way. Among them were starter Wandy Rodriguez, reliever Fernando Rodriguez, and the last guy out of the pen, Aneury Rodriguez. I suppose this is somewhat less remarkable than the box score from Houston’s last trip to Pittsburgh, when the three Rodriguezes were the only pitchers the Astros used in a July 5 loss. We’ve all heard of ARod and KRod. I wonder if LRod is taken.

Finally, Shaun Marcum and the Brewers took a 4-1 lead on the Rockies and held on to win, 4-3. Shutting the door were former closers LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, and Francisco Rodriguez (there’s KRod), and current closer John Axford.

Hawkins has 87 career saves with the Twins, Cubs, Giants, and Astros (he didn’t save any in his stints with Baltimore, Colorado, the Yankees, or his current Milwaukee tenure).

Saito saved 81 in three seasons with the Dodgers and added two in Boston and one in Atlanta. He also saved 48 games in his 14-year career in Japan (most of which he spent starting games).

Rodriguez, of course, leads the quartet, having saved 291 games for the Angels and Mets. Rodriguez made his Brewers debut Sunday night after a trade earlier in the week.

That brings us to Axford, who debuted as the Brewers’ full-time closer last season and has racked up 49 saves to-date. All this makes me wonder when was the last time a team threw out four relievers with 48 or more career saves in a single game? If it has ever happened, has the current closer ever been the guy with the fewest saves? And what are the odds that none of the 507 games the other three pitchers have saved came with the Brewers?

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