October 1, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
*Please note that a prize will be awarded to this week’s trivia question winner.*
Some Canadian baseball news and notes from the past week:
-On Friday, Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) belted his 11th home run of the season – a two-run shot in the second inning – to help lead the Cleveland Guardians to a 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers. With that, he broke Montreal native Russell Martin’s record for most home runs by a Canadian catcher in their rookie big league campaign. Martin had 10 home runs for the Dodgers in 2006. Naylor, an Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team alum, has been swinging a hot bat for the past month. In 18 games in September, he is batting .327 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.
-Meanwhile his older brother and Guardians teammate, Josh, had RBIs on Tuesday and Wednesday to boost his season total to 97. The Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team grad, who missed more than a month this season with injuries, will need three RBIs in Cleveland’s final game today against the Tigers to reach 100 RBIs in a season for the first time in his major league career.
-Right-hander Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) finished his season on a high note on Friday, picking up his fourth win when he allowed four runs in five innings in the Guardians’ 7-5 victory over the Tigers. Since being activated by the Guardians on September 1, the Ontario Terriers and Junior National Team alum has gone 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in six starts, spanning 32 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-3 right-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list by the Guardians for the second time this season on July 6. He had just returned from nearly a month on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. The 28-year-old Canuck completed the season with a 4-7 record and a 5.24 ERA in 19 major league starts.
-And the Cooperstowners in Canada jinx continues. Last Sunday I mentioned that Seattle Mariners right-hander Matt Brash (Kingston, Ont.) had not allowed a run in 10 appearances in September. So, of course, he allowed one to the Houston Astros in the Mariners’ 8-3 loss on Wednesday and another to the Rangers in the Mariners’ 6-1 loss last night. Brash will finish as the American League leader in pitching appearances with 78. This will make him the first Canadian pitcher to lead the American League in appearances since Paul Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) did so with 86 for the New York Yankees in 2004. A Kingston Thunder alum, Brash owns a 9-4 record and a 3.06 ERA and has struck out 107 batters in 70 2/3 innings this season.
-Boston Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (Victoria, B.C.) finished his season on a high note on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, to earn the win in the Red Sox 3-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. That win was the 50th of Pivetta’s big league career, which makes him the 15th Canadian pitcher to reach that milestone, according to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Pivetta also threw seven scoreless innings in his previous start against the Chicago White Sox on September 23. In his final four starts this season, Pivetta posted a 1.75 ERA and had 33 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.
-On this date 30 years ago, Carlos Delgado made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays. He entered the game as a defensive replacement for catcher Randy Knorr in the sixth inning. He walked in his first at bat in the Blue Jays’ 7-2 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. It was one of just two catching appearances Delgado would make during his major league career.
-It was 53 years ago today that John Hiller (Toronto, Ont.) threw a two-hit shutout for the Tigers in their 1-0 win over Cleveland at Tiger Stadium. Hiller struck out 11 in the game, including seven in a row from the third inning to the first batter in the fifth. The Canadian left-hander was primarily known as a reliever for the Tigers from 1965 to 1980, but he did make 43 starts during his career and tossed six shutouts.
-Happy 25th Birthday to Otto Lopez! The Toronto Blue Jays prospect spent part of his youth in Montreal and played for the Junior National Team, as well as for Canada this spring at the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately, an oblique strain limited Lopez to 84 games with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons this season. He batted .258 with two home runs and 13 stolen bases. Born in Santo Domingo, D.R, Lopez was signed as an international free agent by the Blue Jays prior to the 2017 season. In 2022, Lopez got into eight games with the Blue Jays and went 6-for-9 (.667 batting average).
-On this date 54 years ago, right-hander Reggie Cleveland (Swift Current, Sask.) made his MLB debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. He started and allowed four runs in four innings to the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium. The Cards eventually won 6-5. It was Cleveland’s only appearance with the Cardinals that season after going a combined 18-9 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 starts between double-A and triple-A.
-It was 41 years ago today that Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Doug Frobel (Ottawa, Ont.) belted his first major league home run. It was a two-run shot off Montreal Expos right-hander Charlie Lea in the fourth inning at Three Rivers Stadium in the Pirates’ 8-5 loss to the Expos. Frobel then went deep again the following day against the Expos, belting a solo shot off Bill Gullickson in the fifth inning.
-This week’s trivia question: John Hiller’s shutout against Cleveland on this date in 1970 made him the second Canadian left-hander to throw a shutout for the Detroit Tigers in a regular season game. Who was the first? Please provide your answer in the “Comments” section below. The first one to answer correctly will win a copy of the official 2022 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction program.
-The answer to last week’s trivia question (Who holds the Toronto Blue Jays record for most pinch-hits in a season? ) was Tony Fernandez with 16 in 2001.
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