The Blue Jays bullpen had one of the wildest innings in baseball history on Thursday night, walking eight batters and throwing three wild pitches in a six-run eighth inning for the Twins in the second game of a doubleheader sweep by Minnesota at Target Field.
The Blue Jays dropped the early game in Minnesota 7-0, and then they brought a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning in the second game. The good news for Toronto is that their three relievers used in the inning -- Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos and J.A. Happ -- allowed just one hit. The bad news is ... let's just go to the game log:
- Josmil Pinto walks
- Chris Hermann walks
- Eduardo Nunez sacrifices the runners to second and third base; one out
With the tying runs in scoring position, manager John Gibbons brought in Santos his closer.
- Trevor Plouffe walks, replaced by pinch runner Pedro Florimon
- Wild pitch, Pinto scores, all runners advance. 5-4 Jays
- Kurt Suzuki walks, wild pitch scores Hermann, Florimon to third. Tied 5-5
- Pinch runner Darin Mastroianni (for Suzuki) steals second base
- Brian Dozier walks, wild pitch scores Florimon, Mastroianni to third. 6-5 Twins
After three wild pitches, three walks and no outs from Santos, Gibbons brought in Happ. The carnage continued:
- Joe Mauer walks, loading the bases
- Chris Colabello walks, Mastroianni scores. 7-5 Twins
- Jason Kubel singles, Dozier and Mauer score. 9-5 Twins
- Pinto walks
- Hermann strikes out; two outs.
- Nunez grounds out; three outs
Delabar, Santos and Happ combined to throw 57 pitches in the eighth inning, which includes only 23 strikes. Their eight walks set a team record:
#BlueJays set franchise record for most walks in an inning (8). Previous high was 7 set on June 21, 1994.— Sportsnet Ticker (@SportsnetTicker) April 18, 2014
The last time Toronto had eight or more walks and three or more wild pitches in a game was 1996, one of eight previous times in franchise history. On Thursday, the Jays did all that in one inning.
Santos was the worst of all three of the inning's pitchers. He faced three batters, walked them all, and threw three wild pitches. Of his 16 total pitches, four were strikes. Four.
Since 1914, there were 35 pitchers who threw two wild pitches without recording an out. None had thrown three, until Santos on Thursday.
The Twins in Thursday's game 2 walked seven of the Jays' batters. The Jays as a team walked 12.
The first game began at 31 degrees, making it the coldest outdoor MLB game ever played in Minnesota. But Jays manager John Gibbons was having none of it:
Gibbons "It's cold,ok,but you know what,it's cold for both sides. If you're ever going to get to Oct. in the playoffs it's going to be cold"— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) April 18, 2014
Toronto fell to 8-8 after the two losses on Thursday.