Around the majors

A few notes from around Major League Baseball:

* – The Yankees’ Mariano Rivera gave up two hits and a walk without recording an out in the 18th inning on Thursday in a non-save situation. We’ve all heard the stories about how terrible closers are in non-save situations, so I took a look at Rivera’s history in such appearances. Over his last 53 appearances in non-save situations (including Thursday), he’s pitched 50.2 innings, allowed one homer and FIVE earned runs. That works out to an ERA of 0.88.

To provide some context, I also looked at the last 53 non-save outings by Jonathan Papelbon (55 IP / 16 ER / 8 HR / 2.62 ERA) and Andrew Bailey (50.2 IP / 17 ER / 3 HR / 3.02 ERA).

Frankly, I was quite surprised that the numbers weren’t far worse, given the legend.

One more thing: Thursday was just the second time in Rivera’s career that he has faced two or more batters and not recorded at least one out and both of them have come this season. The other was May 28 against the Mets.

* – Since the beginning of the 2012 season, every team has hit at least one extra-inning home run except the Red Sox and Astros. The A’s (11) have hit the most in that span, followed by the Orioles (10).

Boston hitters have now had 179 extra-inning plate appearances since Jacoby Ellsbury homered off Scott Proctor in the 14th inning on September 25, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the second game of a doubleheader. They are still a long way from their longest such drought in club history (since 1945):

268 – From 4/11/92 (Naehring) through 9/22/93 (Deer)
199 – From 7/6/78 (Lynn) through 6/23/79 (Watson)
181 – From 8/24/82 (Nichols) through 4/26/84 (Armas)
180 – From 6/10/62 (Tillman) through 6/11/63 (Malzone)
179 – From 9/25/11 (Ellsbury) through current

* – Who is the best offensive player with a June 15 birthday? Two Hall of Famers, Billy Williams and Wade Boggs, turn 75 and 55, respectively, on Saturday. Two other players with 1,000+ RBI also have birthdays on Saturday: Dusty Baker (turns 64) and Lance Parrish (57) as well as Brett Butler (56), who collected 2,375 hits in his career.

All told, there have been 39 all-star selections among players with a June 15 birthday. Compare that to just eight for June 16 and four for June 14.

Thanks, Baseball Reference!

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