As the first half of the season was coming to a close, we were witness to more than our fair share of milestones.
500 home runs for Gary Sheffield...check.
300 wins for Randy Johnson...check.
Back in March, The Hall predicted David Ortiz would have sent his 300th home run deep into the Boston night sometime in "early to mid-May". No one could have predicted his problems at the plate during the first quarter of the season.
All of that was forgotten July 9 when “Big Papi” finally reached the milestone.
Ortiz would rebound and end the season with 28 bombs, elevating his total as a designated hitter to 274…the most ever at the position. All that aside, will Ortiz get to 400 or 450? What seemed like a lock to happen a couple seasons ago, appears to be an uncertainty now.
With what was probably the quickest forgotten no-hitter since a different Sanchez (Anibal) threw one, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez blanked San Diego on July 10 for 2009's first no-no.
Having never gotten past summer league baseball in high school, I realize that I am in no position to judge, but c'mon...if someone called you tonight and told you that a member of the Giants staff was on his way to throwing a no-hitter, you'd be more apt to think they were talking about Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson or Matt Cain.
Hell...catch me on an average day and I'd be more likely to come up with Atlee Hammaker or Mike Krukow's names long before I'd utter "Jonathan Sanchez".
All kidding aside, when it was all said and done, Sanchez did what only a dozen other Giants have done. And to top it off...he did it at his home park in front of his Dad.
With a big thanks to Dewayne Wise, White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game on July 23 against the Rays. And how good (read: "lucky") was Buehrle? Three times he went to a three ball count.
A sidenote about Buehrle…you might remember, the “South Side” hurler also threw a no-hitter April 18, 2007 against the Rangers. Meaning…you can now mention Buehrle in the same sentence as Hall of Famers Addie Joss, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Jim Bunning as well as all-world pitcher Randy Johnson without people laughing you out of the room.
And while Buehrle’s group contains only six members, Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham joined a pretty exclusive group of his own when he became the 13th player to have hit two grand slams in one game July 27 against the Brewers.
One of the other dozen that have accomplished the feat…friend of The Hall and former Orioles backstop Chris Hoiles. Read what Hoiles had to say about his “very special night” by clicking this THING.
Earlier in the week, April, May and June were remembered…August is next.