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  1. How the heck did Francisco of all people have the longest AB…baseball is a funny game.

    Comment by AJ — November 16, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  2. Was Jayson Werth’s walk-off playoff home run on pitch #13 or 14?

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — November 16, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  3. i remember rafael palmeiro fouling off 17 pitches in a row with 2 strikes. dont know what the total pitch count for the at bat was, but it had to be over 20.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — November 16, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  4. I’m guessing that the last 5 or 6 of those “runner going” were more like “runner takes a few half-hearted steps towards second, sees the ball go foul and rolls his eyes while mouthing ‘not this sh!t again!’”

    Comment by MikeS — November 16, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  5. Was at the game. I did wonder if it was that at-bat when I saw the title of the piece. By about the 10-11 pitch the crowd really woke-up and started getting into the at-bat, hoping for it to continue. I will remember it for a long time, especially as the player in question was the Juan Francisco and the complete improbability of him of all people having a long at-bat.

    Comment by Yaz — November 16, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  6. I remember watching that at bat live on TV. The exasperated & almost hopeless look on Garza’s face was priceless. Len & Bob announcing it were all in. I think it was like a 41 pitch inning. Crazy.

    Comment by Jarvis — November 16, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  7. 44 pitches if you read the article.

    Comment by David G — November 16, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  8. Ahh, I don’t know how to read David G. Forgot how.

    Comment by Jarvis — November 16, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  9. A 33-pitch, run-on sentence punctuated by a first-pitch, 443-foot exclamation point. How awesome is that. I hereby declare July 5 “Juan Francisco Day.” On the morning of July 5th, as the damp sulfuric aroma badgers ill feelings concocted of booze, sun, smoke, chlorine, and legion of grilled meats, we shall be cleansed by memories of Juan Francisco. Plus a shower, two Gatorades, breakfast and coffee.

    Comment by Choo — November 16, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

  10. i believe you meant: thank you david G for politely pointing out the correct info that was right in front of me that i didnt notice.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — November 16, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  11. #13

    Comment by Jeff Sullivan — November 16, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  12. The great thing about Mr. Sullivan’s posts are that there are usaully pictures and moving pictures so I don’t have to read. In my day we didn’t need to read to know baseball.

    Comment by Ron — November 16, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  13. Even though there’s something inherently entertaining about long plate appearances, I can’t help but feel for the pitcher. I feel like I’m watching the screws come out of his arm.

    Comment by Bip — November 16, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  14. The Alex Cora clip is on mlb.com.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21317087&source=MLB&topic_id=10025018&gid=2004_05_12_chnmlb_lanmlb_1

    Comment by d240z71 — November 16, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  15. I was at the game in Atlanta on July 5th 2012, and it was one of the most miserably hot and humid days I have seen in a long time, even by Braves home game standards.

    Everyone in the crowd was soaked with persperation just from standing for the national anthem. Not an exaggeration, as the humidity was higher than the 96 degree heat.

    The crowd was aware of the long at bat, the extended full count and repeated foul balls with the runner going. When the out was finally made the fans gave hearty applause for the long face off.

    It was big moment in a good game, and definitely didn’t go unnoticed by the fans.

    Comment by Dr.Miraculous — November 16, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  16. yesssssss

    Comment by Jeff Sullivan — November 16, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  17. I’ve always wondered about the viability of the strategy of wearing down a pitcher by having a lineup of grinders: guys who foul off a ton of balls. On very tough pitchers, so long as you can take pitches, then make contact and keep the ball off the field, you can theoretically knock out an elite pitcher earlier and get into a softer bullpen. I saw the Red Sox manage that against Roy Halladay a few years ago (2007?) when he was on the Jays and always wondered if that strategy was intentional or if it just happened by coincidence.

    Comment by B N — November 17, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  18. i also still think about that cora/clement AB. it’s not just you

    Comment by wily mo — November 17, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  19. I’ve long been curious about this as well — I’ve never seen a study of whether there is any correlation between pitches per plate appearance and scoring runs / winning. The Giants did a good job of running up pitch counts during the 2012 playoffs, and certainly, various Yankees and Red Sox teams of recent vintage have had reputations for this (and have also been successful).

    Anybody know of any data or surveys on this?

    Comment by Graham — November 17, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  20. Not to knock Alex Cora and his 14 year MLB career, but that has to be one of his career best highlights… that was an amazing AB. Thanks for the link!

    Comment by big red machine — November 17, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

  21. Everything about this clip is terrific including, and perhaps especially, Vin Scully’s commentary. NB his comment at 5:07–>”That’s one of the finest at bats I’ve ever seen.” How long has he been ‘around’ MLB baseball…?

    Comment by chief00 — November 18, 2012 @ 12:43 am

  22. i liked the part at the beginning where he talked about how cora is 0 for 2 with 2 fly balls which is a waste of time because he has no power. foreshadowing!

    Comment by wily mo — November 18, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  23. Interestingly, following that start, Garza pitched only 10 more innings before being shut down for the rest of the season. Can’t help but wonder if the injury was connected to the stressful pitch counts that game.

    Comment by James K — November 18, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  24. I think most good hitters do this to a degree, so you generally see this from teams with good offenses. Of course, I think what you are suggesting is to somehow accumulate a group of bargain pieces who are unusually good at this considering their overall talents. The old-school moneyball players might be the closest thing to this. Bobby Abreu probably couldn’t slug .350 in 2013, but he could probably manage to see 5 pitches per PA.

    Comment by TKDC — November 19, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  25. The trouble is, a lot of bullpens aren’t “softer” — they’re actually tougher than the starters. They just don’t go for many innings. So it might work out for you in later games, if the bullpen gets burned out, but not necessarily help in the game you’re actually in.

    The other thing is, if there was a guy who was consistently really good at this, he’d just start getting IBBs unless the guys behind him were threats… which they wouldn’t be if they were just “grinders” also. And nobody is consistently good enough at this to make this a strategy — more often than not, he’ll chase strike 3 in the dirt (especially now that lots of pitchers have a split-finger or similar pitch in their back pocket).

    Comment by joser — November 19, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  26. After reading this I came to the conclusion that you are a real life Sheldon Cooper ????.

    Comment by Ziggythebeagle — November 19, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

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