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A tough night's work for Jimmy Gobble
2007-06-20 20:51
by Bob Timmermann

In the 9th inning of tonight's game between the Royals and Cardinals in St. Louis, Kansas City manager Buddy Bell brought in lefty reliever Jimmy Gobble with runners on first and thir and one out in a tie game to face Chris Duncan. Gobble intentionally walked Duncan and then when Tony La Russa sent Ryan Ludwick in to pinch hit, Bell countered with righty Joel Peralta, who worked out of the jam to send the game to extra innings.

So how often does a pitcher come in to face one batter and just issue an intentional walk?

More often than you think. According to Baseball-Reference's Play Index, this was the 212th instance of a pitcher coming in to throw four wide ones and then leaving since 1957. (And I would be inclined to believe that it didn't happen much before that.) It was most recently done before tonight on April 20 by Trever Miller of the Astros. Chris Short and Steve Mingori both had four games where the only mark on their line was an IBB.

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