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Usually rare six-hit games are all the rage these days

July 07,2016 08:17

The game took many twists and turns to reach that result. Over 500 pitches were thrown, and both rosters were exhausted. In fact, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was forced to bat relief pitcher Chris Hatcher with the game on the line in the final frame ...



On Wednesday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers played one of the wildest games of the MLB season. The Orioles ultimately outlasted the Dodgers, winning 6-4 in 14 innings. The game took many twists and turns to reach that result. Over 500 pitches were thrown, and both rosters were exhausted. In fact, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was forced to bat relief pitcher Chris Hatcher with the game on the line in the final frame, and he predictably made an out to end the game. Perhaps lost in that chaos though was a truly rare performance by Dodgers’ second baseman Chase Utley. In a losing effort, Utley became only the 73rd player since 1900 to record a six-hit game. He finished the game 6-for-7, and was actually two batters away from having a chance to become the second player to record a seven-hit game. That distinction belongs to Rennie Stennett, who recorded seven hits for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 16, 1975. [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now] Needless to say, collecting six hits in a single game is one of baseball’s most difficult feats. For a little perspective, there have been 308 cycles, including the one recorded by Cleveland’s Rajai Davis on Saturday, and 289 no-hitters all-time. It’s a true rarity, mainly because the opportunity for six at-bats in a game rarely exists. It takes capitalizing on that rare opportunity mixed with a little luck to join that exclusive club. Yet, somehow, there have actually been three such performances in the last five days around Major League Baseball. View photo.Chase Utley collects his sixth and final hit in Wednesday’s loss to the Orioles. (AP)Utley is just the latest. On Saturday, C.J. Cron of the Los Angeles Angels picked up six hits in a blowout win in Boston. Then, on Sunday, Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets went 6-for-6 in a win against the Chicago Cubs. We were dangerously close to having a fourth player join the list. Cron’s Angels teammate Carlos Perez finished 5-for-6 in the same game Cron collected his six hits. In fact, the only time either batter was retired came in the ninth inning, when Boston outfielder Ryan LaMarre pitched and got Perez to line out. Never before have teammates recorded six-hits game in the same season, let alone the same game, so that would have been more weird history. As it was, Cron and Perez combined for a feat not seen since 1936. Why this outbreak of six-hit games is happening now really can’t be explained. Well, other than to perhaps say that the opportunity has been there and these players have simply taken advantage. On a weekend when seven position players pitched around MLB, there were obviously some lopsided scores, meaning a lot of extra at-bats. A 14- inning game also provides that opportunity, so perhaps the odds were a little more in their favor. Whatever the case, three guys hit the six-hit lottery in a short amount of time, reminding us again just how unpredictable the great game of baseball can be. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – – – – – – – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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