Thanksgiving was celebrated in the United States on Thursday, which means it is time to remember all of that for which we are grateful. Every baseball fan is familiar with certain moments, endings and games attributable to luck, things for which we feel we really need to give thanks. Sometimes, it’s a hit that looked like a simple fly ball and ended up homered. Others, he’s a pitcher taking the win without having his best day.
Whether it’s thanks to great offensive backup, a line that went out in front of one of your fellow defenders, or a lucky bounce off the ball, sometimes you end up with a win regardless of how well you’ve thrown. To be clear: A victory is a victory, and this is all just a way to have fun. But sometimes, there are performances that really stand out in boxscore.
With all those concepts in mind, here are nine cases where the pitcher had every reason to be thankful.
Merrill Kelly, ARI: April 15 at the Nationals
Pitching line: 6 IP, 9 H, 6 C, 1 BB
Final result: ARI 11, WSH 6
Kelly’s six runs allowed that day were tied as the most for a pitcher who ended up winning the game in 2021. He took the ball in the bottom of the first inning with Arizona up 3-0 and immediately allowed four runs, but the D-backs scored seven in the top of the second. Kelly conceded two more lines before leaving, but Arizona never lost the lead for the rest of the game and ended up taking the victory.
JT Brubaker, PIT: April 16 at the Brewers’
Pitching line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 C, 0 BB
Final result: PIT 6, MIL 1
Brubaker’s performance might look odd on this list, but he’s hit three batters, tied for the most hits by a pitcher in a game he won this season. He and the Pirates were leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third, when Brubaker hit Jackie Bradley Jr. and Keston Hiura, one behind the other, with two outs after a double leading the inning. But he got out of the jam with a punch. He allowed his only run in the fifth inning on a double from Tyrone Taylor. Two batters later, he hit Hiura again. But the Pirates won 6-1.
Dallas Keuchel, CHW: May 12 vs. Twins
Pitching line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 C, 1 BB
Final result: CHW 13, MIN 8
Keuchel gave up six runs, tied for the most by a pitcher in a win in 2021. The White Sox led 12-3 when the first half of the sixth inning began and followed by, Keuchel allowed three runs but still left the game up. 12-7. Chicago ended up winning 13-8.
Patrick Corbin, WSH: May 23 vs. Orioles
Pitching line: 5.2 IP, 11 H, 4 C, 2 BB
Final result: WSH 6, BAL 5
Corbin gave up 11 hits, tied for the most in a win this year. After Corbin had four straight singles starting the game and three total runs with five hits in the first, the Nationals responded in the bottom half of the act with four runs to regain a lead they would never lose again. Corbin faced more than three batters in all of his innings, with the exception of the second.
Nick Pivetta, BOS: July 19 vs. Tiles
Pitching line: 6.2 IP, 11 H, 4 C, 2 BB
Final result: BOS 13, TOR 4
Pivetta’s departure comes on this list for two reasons: The 11 hits he allowed were tied for the top in a win in 2021, plus the 14 runners he allowed were the highest number. But despite all that, he conceded only four runs. More than enough when your offense does 13.
Framber Valdez, HOU: July 24 vs. Rangers
Pitching line: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 C, 6 BB
Final result: HOU 4, TEX 1
While a no-run start wouldn’t seem like a reason to be thankful for the win, what Valdez did, he earned his spot here on walks: Six, to be exact. It was the most tickets (tied) for a pitcher in a game in which he won this year. Only Valdez did it without receiving a single hit that day.
José Berríos, TOR: August 1 vs. Royals
Pitching line: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 C, 1 BB
Final result: TOR 5, KC 1
Puerto Rican Berríos did not allow scratches, it is true, but he did hit three balls, even as the top in a game for a pitcher who ended up winning this year.
Alek Manoah, TOR: Sept. 21 at Rays’
Pitching line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 C, 6 BB
Final result: TOR 4, TB 2
Manoah only had two touchdowns, but he’s here because he walked six, the top (tied) for a pitcher in a win this year. Manoah walked at least one walk in four of his six innings, including three in the second, when he managed to limit the damage to a single run despite those running backs and two other singles.
Aaron Nola, FIL: September 23 vs. Pirates
Pitching line: 6 IP, 6 H, 6 C, 1 BB
Final result: FIL 12, PIT 6
Nola allowed six runs, five of them in the second inning. The Pirates extended their lead to 6-0 in the top of the third, but the Phillies began to rally and Nola was able to complete six innings. Philadelphia took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a home run by Ronald Torreyes, who came in to bat for Nola himself.
We would like to say thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content
The “worst” victories of the P in 2021