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Toronto’s bullpen melts down in epic fashion against the Twins

Apr 17, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Sergio Santos AP AP

A little while ago, the Blue Jays and Twins completed one of the craziest half-innings of baseball that you are ever going to see.

Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar entered the bottom of the eighth inning with a 5-3 lead, but he issued walks to Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann before Eduardo Nunez moved them over with a sacrifice bunt. Sergio Santos, Toronto’s fill-in closer with Casey Janssen on the disabled list, then took over. And that’s when things got really crazy.

Santos failed to retire any of three batters he faced. In addition to walking them all, he threw three wild pitches which allowed three runs to score and put the Twins in front. Per Jesse Spector of the Sporting News, he’s the first pitcher in the live ball era to throw zero innings while walking three batters and throwing three wild pitches. Seriously. He threw just four out of 16 pitches for strikes. A night to forget for Santos. Oh, but it didn’t end there for the Blue Jays.

J.A. Happ took over for Santos and issued two more walks, including one with the bases loaded. Then we finally saw our first hit of the inning, on a two-run single from Jason Kubel. Happ walked Pinto before retiring Herrmann and Nunez to finally end the nightmare frame.

All told, the Twins scored six runs on one hit, eight walks, and three wild pitches to take a 9-5 lead. Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless top of the ninth inning to finish off the wild comeback victory and sweep the day-night doubleheader.

Per Rhett Bollinger of, the last time a team drew eight walks in one inning was when the Rangers did it against the Orioles on April 19, 1996.

UPDATE: You can watch the inning unfold here. But I’ll warn you, it’s ugly.

  1. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Flabbergasted. I believe the word I would use is flabbergasted.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      It was painful.

  2. egomaniac247 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    I was at the game. When the 1st wild pitch got by and the Twins pulled to within 1 run, the crowd cheered. When the 2nd wild pitch got by and the Twins tied the game, the crowd went crazy. When the 3rd wild pitch got by and the Twins took the lead, everyone was basically in disbelief.

    Crazy 8th inning. I’ve never seen so many runs scored without an actual hit!

  3. madhatternalice - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Man, that did not disappoint.

  4. cur'68 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    To say that sucked or was painful or unbelievable is to miss the chance to coin a new term for the gut twisting awfulness that it truly was.

    The 8th inning of this game? Heli-sucki-craptasm-icepicktothegroin-awful. Its all just a game, but some of us kind of count on something going right for us in some small. This was the antithesis of that in so many ways that even the new term for it begs for expansion into the surreal.

    Delabar and Santos are pretty good pitchers. I’v never seen either do anything like that before, so I’m going to say it was the weather and whatnot. Can’t blame to ump. Can’t blame Navarro. He did all he could and was lucky to avoid several wild shots to pills that escaped 5-hole on him.

    Dang, man….

    • cur'68 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:51 AM

      Man. Lookit them typos. Hell with it….

      • Old Gator - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        Hey cur, you know that old joke about the two sailors stranded on an atoll with the two female gorillas? Well, hahaha, it looks like you got the harpy this morning.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        If you’re going to type before the first cup of coffee even has a chance to percolate its way through to your mind, these things will happen. And then there’s the brain-scrambling subject matter. Gawd.

  5. Old Gator - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Is the Gibbon on the hot branch yet? Yes, yes, I know – it wasn’t his fault. But then again, scapegoats aren’t for logic. They’re there to make you feel good.

    • Old Gator - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      Damn, hit “post” too soon – @group, we’ve already heard the expressions of angst from two of our most of our stellar boreals, both of whom, for their own separate reasons, at least have handy access to painkillers this morning. I guess if you got the night orf you might still be sleeping in, but surely you and NB want to add your own few drops of norepinephron this morning?

  6. happytwinsfan - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    did i not warn that the twins’s trickery in forcing the jays to pitch the bottom of the ninth of the series first game would bear fruit.

  7. psuorioles - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I’m surprised Santos was the first in the live ball era to do that… I remember watching Rick Ankiel completely lose it in the playoffs for the Cardinals about 15 years ago…

    • Bryz - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Ankiel actually retired a couple batters in the playoffs before losing his control. The key here is that Santos retired NO ONE.

    • Old Gator - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      I’m so old that I remember watching Steve Blass.

  8. bisonaudit - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    When’s the last time a team had a 6 run inning w/ only one hit?

  9. [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    What I imagine the Blue Jays announcers were saying last night:

    Harry Doyle: [Vaughn is coming out to pitch] So, here is Rick Vaughn, the one they call the “Wild Thing”. So, he sets and deals.
    [Vaughn throws a wild pitch]
    Harry Doyle: Just a bit outside, he tried for the corner and missed.
    [Vaughn throws another wild pitch]
    Harry Doyle: Ball 4.
    [Vaughn throws another wild pitch]
    Harry Doyle: Ball 8.
    [Vaughn throws another wild pitch]
    Harry Doyle: Low, and he walks the bases loaded on 12 straight pitches. How can these guys lay off pitches that close?

  10. bigmeechy74 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    If you are paid to throw a baseball, is it really that hard to throw strikes? It’s not like they have to throw a ball through a tiny window. A strike zone is fairly large. I never understood walking hitters. Just groove one down the middle if you have to. Make them beat you. Nothing is worse than giving up walks

    • sandwiches4ever - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Giving up hits is, generally speaking. Especially homeruns. Those’ll get you every time.

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Yeah I know but just because you groove one doesn’t mean they will hit a home run everytime. A lot of the time they will just hit it at someone. Like I said, make them earn it. Nothing worse than free pass

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    I caught some of this game in my hotel room in Hawaii and I have to say I was very impressed, the jays pen has a chance to be something really special and break some records

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