It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to take stock of what we’re thankful for. Every baseball fan is familiar with certain moments, scores, and games that are attributed to luck—things to be more grateful for. Sometimes, a ball that looks like a certain fly off the bat carries a homer. Other times, he’s a winning pitcher on a day when he wasn’t at his best.
Whether it’s a solid running backing, a well-placed drive or a lucky rebound, sometimes you end up in the winning column no matter how good you pitch. To be clear: winning is winning, and it’s all in fun. But sometimes the box score line really stands out, and having a look at them has become an annual tradition. We did this in 2021And the 2020 And the 2019.
With those concepts in mind, here are seven times this season a pitcher had reason to thank.
Matt Brash, SEA: April 17 against the Astros
Stats: 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 6 BB
Final score: SEA 7, HOU 2
Brush’s six walks are tied for the most walks by a pitcher with a win this season (Glen Otto, Aug. 15, and Shuhei Ohtani, Sept. 23), and he was the first to do so. Brush started the game by issuing a five-pitch run to Jose Altuve, but got a big hit, threw it again in the first inning and didn’t let him run into the frame. In each of the first four innings, Brush walked at least once—two in the second—and got a form of double play. His sixth and final walk came to what would be his last batter, Alex Bregman, with one out, after Michael Brantley hit a two-run home run. Paul Sewald took over and got two quick hits, meaning none of the six batters who walked Brush in the game hit a home run. That’s one way to issue a walk-six and still get the win, along with Seattle leading 6-2 when Brush left the game.
José Urquidy, HOU: May 17th at the Red Sox
Stats: 5 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 0 BB
Final score: HOU 13, FOREST 4
Orkady’s 12 strikeouts allowed was not only the most by a winning pitcher in 2022, but the most by a winning pitcher since 2018, when it happened twice in a four-day period in September. baseball. Urquidy has allowed multiple hits per pitching inning. But the strikes didn’t matter much because of what his team did on the plate. The Astros hit five homers off Nathan Ivaldi in the second inning, hitting an MLB record for home runs in a first inning. By the end of that frame, the score was 9-1, Houston. This will put any player in a good position to win.
Alex Cobb, SF: May 17th at the Rockies
Stats: 5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 1 BB
Final score: SF 10, COL 7
That’s right – two of these games took place in same dayBecause baseball. In a game perfectly suited to its home venue, Coors Field, Cobb became the first winning pitcher allowing at least seven runs since the start of the ’20 season. Cobb entered the bottom of the sixth after allowing two runs. But then he gave up four consecutive singles to start the inning, the last two scoring a run each. After striking out with runners on first and third, Cobb allowed a three-run homer to Randall Grechuk to hit five runs, bringing the pitcher’s total allowed to seven and ending his pitch. Of course, he left with a lead, thanks to the Giants scoring 10 runs across the top of the sixth, and took the win.
U. Darvish, SD: June 7 vs. Mets
Stats: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB
Final score: SD 7, NYM 0
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much to be thankful for here, other than perhaps an offense that resulted in seven runs. But upon closer inspection, Darvish had knocked out three of the pitching batters. This is the most by a pitcher to hit a game in 2022. Otherwise, he was practically clean, with only two hits and no walks allowed. Winning while striking out three batters is unheard of—two pitchers did it in ’21, too—but doing so while also allowing fewer hits than a batter’s hit is rare. Darvish was the sixteenth pitcher since at least 1901 to have a win with at least three batters and fewer hits allowed than HBPs. That list includes three hitters hitting Chris Heston on June 9, 2015, in a no-hitter, also against the Mets.
Kyle Wright, ATL: June 23 vs. the Giants
Stats: 5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 1 BB
Final score: ATL 7, SF 6
Wright led MLB with 21 wins, so his appearance here shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In this particular win, he allowed 13 starters, the most by a winning pitcher this season. The 13 strikeouts consisted of 10 strikeouts, two by pitches and a walk. In the first inning, he allowed three consecutive singles with one out before a double play at the end of the frame. In fact, Wright caused double plays in each of the first four innings, which is a large part of how he made 13 basemen not negatively impact the game. The Braves have been one of two teams since the start of 2018 to induce four double ground plays in the first four innings of a game, along with the Cardinals earlier in June. He left the game leading, 7-4, and despite the Giants two more runs later in the game, Atlanta didn’t relinquish the lead, and Wright sealed the win.
JT Brubaker, hole: June 30 vs. Brewers
Stats: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB
Final score: Hole 8, MIL 7
Brubaker allowed not only seven hits, but six extra base hits, tied for the most by a pitcher with a win this season (Chad Kuhl, May 28). None of the six were a home run, which contributed to the overall positive score. Five doubles and three triples were allowed. It was mostly dealt out, apart from two runs that included several extra-base hits. When Brubaker left the game, the score was 7-4 Pirates. The Bulls allowed three more runs, all in the ninth, but the Pirates got into the eighth first, so Brubaker held on for the win.
Paul Blackburn, OK: August 4th at The Angels
Stats: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB
Final score: OAK 8, LAA 7
Those four runs on the Blackburn line? They came as a result of his four solo home runs, making him the first pitcher since Matthew Boyd in August 2019 to win a game while allowing at least four long balls. Blackburn allowed a solo homer in each of the first four innings: Shuhei Ohtani in the first, Kurt Suzuki in the second, Taylor Ward in the third and Joe Adell in the fourth. But he only allowed two more hits, and left 8-4 thanks to a third with six runs. The bullpen allowed three solo eyebrows, but didn’t give up the lead, so Blackburn won. It was the most runs, all in a single home run, in a game ever, and the seniors became only the sixth team to win the game allowing seven home runs.