Strange But True feats of 2013

• Who hit the tiebreaking home run that turned into the game-winning run in John Danks' 5-2 win over Texas on Aug. 25? That would be his brother, Jordan. The Elias Bureau tells us it was the first time one brother had hit a home run that turned the other brother into a winning pitcher since Billy Shantz did that for Bobby Shantz on June 3, 1955.

• But for sheer Strange But Trueness, can any set of brothers top the Uptons? In an April 6 game against the Cubs, B.J. Upton led off the ninth with a game-tying homer. Then his little bro, Justin, whomped a game winner two batters later. The only other brother acts who have ever homered in the same inning? That would be the Aarons, Ripkens and Waners. You were expecting maybe the Ringling Brothers?

Strangest But Truest Marathon Men of the Year


In a season in which 12 games went 16 innings or longer, you'd have to look long and hard to find a nuttier baseball game than the 7-hour, 6-minute, 18-inning epic staged by the Diamondbacks and Phillies on Aug. 24 (the fourth-longest game, in time, in major league history). Among the Strangest But Truest developments:

• Phillies outfielder-turned-mystery-reliever Casper Wells had a day us Strange But True historians will never forget. He went 0-for-7 at the plate. And up gave five runs on the mound, in two-thirds of an inning. And even wound up as the losing "pitcher." That's what you call a rough night!

• Wells' three Strangest But Truest claims to fame? First, that he saw 42 pitches as a hitter -- and threw 40 pitches as a pitcher. Second, as SI.com's Joe Sheehan observed, he drove in one run all season -- but gave up five in 10 minutes. And finally, as legendary ESPN Kernel collector Doug Kern reported, Wells became the first man to go 0-for-7 as a hitter and give up five runs as a pitcher in the same game since Chalmer (Lum) Harris did it on Sept. 14, 1942. Except Harris needed to twirl a 16-inning complete game to pull it off.

• Because Wells couldn't even throw a complete inning, let alone a complete game, he also contributed to yet another historic event. The Phillies had to haul in infielder John McDonald to relieve him in the top of the 18th. So it made them the first team to pitch two position players in the same inning since Dave Martinez and Junior Noboa did it for the Expos on July 20, 1990.

• But that little plot twist didn't work out so well for Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch -- who was creative enough to make outs against both Wells and McDonald in the same inning. The last known human to do that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: Brian Milner, on June 26, 1978.

• Finally, here's your Strange But True Fun With Numbers note of the day: The game started at 7:06 – and lasted for 7:06.

Strangest But Truest Pitching Feats of the Year


• Has there ever been a Strange But True no-hitter quite like the one Miami's Henderson Alvarez spun on the last day of the season? It was just your basic walk-off no-hitter, in which the winning run scored in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch -- with Alvarez finishing his no-hitter on the field, but in the ON-DECK CIRCLE, not on the mound. In case you're wondering, it was the first no-hitter in modern history to end on a wild pitch.

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