Phillies’ righthander Victor Arano has quietly (and lately, not so quietly, as anyone listening to Scott Franzke and the Kevins will attest) been the standout of the bullpen to start the season. He has appeared in seven games, with eight and a third innings pitched, ten strikeouts, and no walks or hits allowed.
To put that in other terms, he is two outs away from a perfect game’s worth of relief to start the year. That is a Major League record. Thanks as always to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index for making queries like this humanly possible.
Thanks to lorecore for pointing this out!
The previous record holder was erstwhile Phillie and contemporary Oriole Todd Frohwirth, who racked up eight perfect innings in 1991, but on June 6th of that year against the Blue Jays, he walked Pat Tabler to end his streak. Incidentally, the out that made up his eighth inning was a caught stealing of infamous villain Joe Carter.
So last night, when Arano struck out the Pirates’ Josh Bell to end the ballgame, he took sole possession of an obscure, but legitimate Major League record! Congrats, Victor!
Arano, incidentally, has a longer, if not unique, streak running. If you add his two perfect innings at the end of last season, he is sitting on 32 consecutive batters retired. Considering that he has faced only 66 batters in his Major League career, that is an impressive streak.
To take this rabbit hole a bit further, Arano’s streak of 32 puts him in a three-way tie for fifth all time, with Jeff Montgomery and Jason Motte. They are behind:
- Yusmerio Petit, with 46
- Bobby Jenks, with 42
- Koji Uehara, with 37
- Current, albeit suspended, IronPig Steve Geltz, with 33
This is an interesting list, and definitely worth keeping an eye on over the next couple weeks.