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King Felix strikes out four in one inning

Jun 4, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

Felix Hernandez headshot.jpgIt’s not as exciting as a perfect game — it’s not even as exciting as a near-perfect game — but I almost like quirky stuff like this better: Felix Hernandez struck out four guys in one inning last night.  The wild pitch punchout went to Joe Mauer, but the King then bore down and got Justin Morneau looking.  Here’s the video of all four strikeouts.

Thanks to we now know that the 4K feat has happened forty-nine times.  The first one I remember from that list was Mike Scott, who did it in 1986.  Thanks to getting the USA Today and its then-astoundingly comprehensive weekly stats page at home that summer ’86 was the first season I really followed statistics closely. Because of it, I was totally fixated on Scott’s rising strikeout totals and I thought the 4K inning — mentioned in a little blurb in the next morning’s recaps — was the most awesome thing ever.

On some weird level it kind of is. At least for dorks like me.

  1. BC - Jun 4, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    There was a guy in I think the late 70’s named Mike Paxton who did the same thing for the Indians. He and Scott are the only two guys I know of that did it.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Thanks to we now know that the 4K feat has happened forty-nine times.

    This, to me, is the more shocking point and one of my favorite parts of baseball. You’d think something would be so implausible that it might never have happened, then you find out it’s happened dozens of times.
    My brother and I often wondered, has anyone ever had a 4 HR game where they hit a solo, 2 run, 3 run and GS in the same game?

  3. Klatt - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Randy Johnson did it too – I think with the Diamondbacks.

  4. Sam OCR - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    If you struck out four guys in an inning in the 1970s or 80s, it was pretty much guaranteed to be the personal fact listed on the back of your Topps baseball card.

  5. ThatGuy - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    I recall Scott Baker doing this a few years back against the Brewers. I believe 2 of the four were Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.

  6. adam - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    MLB Network (I think) did a piece on the 4k inning about a month ago. Apparently Chuck Finley did it 3 times in his career, the only person in MLB history with more than 1.

  7. greg - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    love you in your pj’s writing about all this stuff, it is beautiful this life, baseball holds it all together for me here in Taiwan, thanks for all the work,, a looong time fan
    Mike Scott haunts my dreams, a living menace back then, and a PTP statomatic monster, the ’86 Astros are a force all unto themselves, ask the 86 Mets who did not not not want a game seven against him,
    thanks for all, a fans fan, Giants fan thanks you for bringing Mike Scott’s filthy shit back to my dreams,,, J.R.Richard will follow soon I am sure,,

  8. jwb - Jun 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    You’d think would be able to spell Lee Stange’s name correctly.

  9. Seth - Jun 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    With Rob Johnson as catcher, Felix has a chance for this nearly every start.

  10. TC - Jun 4, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Without looking, I seem to remember Chuck Finley doing this about a half dozen times.

  11. Eric - Jun 4, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    According to our count at – and we used the same source – four strikeouts in one inning has been accomplished 53 times by 51 different pitchers. Chuck Finley of the Angels is the only pitcher to do it more than once, and he did it 3 times in the span of two seasons, 1999-2000. Amazing.
    Orval Overall, great name, is the only pitcher to strike out four batters in an inning of a World Series game, accomplishing the feat for the 1908 Chicago Cubs, the last World Championship the Cubs ever won. Overall won two games in that World Series including the clinching game, the same contest he struck out four batters in one inning. Overall’s overall record in six seasons with the Cubs was 82-38 in the regular season and 3-1 in the World Series.
    Check out http://www.sportsfunfacts for the latest and greatest sports fun facts and more – and that’s a fact. And please submit your favorite timely fun facts.

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