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Seven walks by Edwin Jackson? Big deal, Nolan Ryan did that all time

Oct 24, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 4 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Edwin Jackson walked seven batters last night before being pulled from Game 4 in the sixth inning, marking the third time in his career the 28-year-old right-hander has issued seven or more walks in a game. And one of those three was a no-hitter.

It was the first time a pitcher had walked seven batters in a World Series game since Livan Hernandez in 1997 and also got me curious about which pitchers have the most seven-walk starts in baseball history.

In retrospect, I should have known the answer before looking it up. After all he was sitting in the stands, next to George W. Bush, watching Jackson’s walk-fest last night.

Via the magic of Baseball-Reference.com:

STARTS WITH 7+ WALKS
Nolan Ryan        71
Bob Feller        44
Tommy Byrne       37
Bob Turley        32
Bobo Newsom       32

Amazing. Nolan Ryan walked seven or more batters 71 times, which is 61 percent more than any other pitcher in the history of baseball. Also of note is that Ryan had just 27 career starts in which he walked zero batters. My favorite Ryan pitching line might be this one. Seriously, it’s insane. I estimate his pitch count in that game at 1,572.

During the past 20 seasons Randy Johnson has the most seven-plus-walk starts with 12, followed by Oliver Perez, Darryl Kile, and Wilson Alvarez with nine apiece.

  1. mdpickles - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    13 innings, 19K’s, 10BB’s and didn’t get the decision! That game must have been a beauty. A ninth inning, one out, two-run homer by Yaz off The Express to tie it and Lui Tiant giving up the game winning hit after pitching 14.1 innings. wow

    • 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Four hours! Today, this game would take roughly one week to complete.

    • Kyle - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Holy hell. That line by Ryan is simply incredible!

      • cur68 - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        How his arm is still attached to him is a mystery to me. Seriously, get that thing looked at by a crack team of scientists; he’s a mutant.

  2. 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    If the Angels had brought in a closer in the 9th inning, they probably would have won.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      A modern manager would have brought in a lefty to face Yaz, and won the game.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        Ryan wouldn’t have made it through the 4th in today’s game.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        I should mention that I’m a huge hypocrite, because I would have left Ryan in for the ninth inning, too. He had given up one run — back in the fourth. Ended the 8th inning with a strikeout of Cecil Cooper.

        The only dilemma I’d have is whether to let Ryan pitch to Yaz. At this point in his career, Yaz was still hitting righties well (something that would abandon him eventually). Given that Yaz was coming up with the game on the line, I’d consider making the move. But it’s Nolan Ryan, so I’d let him stay in. (Especially with THAT bullpen.)

        Nevertheless, this game would have turned out differently played in 2011.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        And THAT is why Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak is overrated.

  3. Jeff J. Snider - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    If every hit happened on the first pitch of the at-bat, every non-strikeout out happened on the first pitch of the at-bat, every strikeout was a three-pitch at-bat, and every walk was a four-pitch at-bat, that’s 126 pitches (57 on strikeouts, , 40 on walks, 20 on the other outs, 8 on the hits, and 1 on the reach on error). If the one-pitch at-bats actually averaged to 3.5 pitches, that adds another 73 pitches, bringing us to 199. And then if you figure about 1.5 strikes per walk and 1.5 balls per strikeout, that’s another 44 pitches, bringing us to 243. Not a bad day’s work.

  4. gogigantos - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    much thanks for the treasure of a box score
    names and a time long past that would never happen again for sure
    both Tiant and Ryan faced two games of batters that night, wow
    I know Ryan pitched until his arm exploded, believe Tiant just couldn’t do it anymore, arm still attached.
    the only team I know to actually pitch a mans arm off is the Giants and Dravecky,, man I love me some Dravecky,, and still hate me some Candy Maldonado,, apologies to all Jays fans,, dude is dirt in my world
    much much thanks for the box score of time past, yet remembered clear

  5. Detroit Michael - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Luis Tiant pitched a complete game but apparently Nolan Ryan wimped out and had to be relieved.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 24, 2011 at 7:20 PM

      Nolan Ryan was REALLY bad at pitching to the score.

  6. theonlynolan - Oct 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Nolan Ryan threw 235 pitches in the game.

  7. tacklemeelmo - Oct 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    In the 4th inning Ryan faced 7 batters and there were no balls put into play.

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