In a Covid shortened 2020, MLB lost the opportunity to host Father’s Day Sunday baseball action. One of the most popular events to attend during the holiday was taken from the fans when the season was shortened to just 60 games. This year, we, baseball fans, have it back! Happy Father’s Day, and enjoy my list of some of the best games by one player on the special Sunday, in the last half-decade:
Trevor Bauer threw his first career shutout on 117 pitches no less. In an 8-0 game to complete a road sweep over the Detroit Tigers, Bauer, 28 at the time, was lockdown. In just his third ever complete game, he struck out eight without a walk, allowing just four hits.
In an 11-3 win for the Cincinnati, (the now resurgent) Jesse Winker put himself in the eye of the storm that rained upon The Texas Rangers on Father’s Day. He went four for five, a new career-high in hits. He ended with five runs knocked in, scoring once as well on his own two-run home run.
It may seem like a long time since Matt Adams was a consistently good ballplayer, and that’s true. But, on Father’s Day 2019, things were grand for the power hitter. He hit two home runs, one of which was a grand slam, bringing home seven runs in his five at-bats. Though he didn’t have another hit all day, he did not strike out either and accounted for just under half of his Nationals team’s output in a 15-5 blowout over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Julio Teheran missed the previous nine games with a right thumb injury. When he came back? All business. The thumb absolutely felt well enough as he tossed six innings of hitless baseball, allowing just three walks to the San Diego Padres. He wound up with the win in a 4-1 game. His 11 strikeouts in the game were also a season-high at that point.
In an 8-6 win, Randal Grichuk did not record an out. He was three for three with two home runs and four RBIs. He also walked and stole a base as the all-around guy for the Toronto Blue Jays win over the Washington Nationals.
Jose Trevino may not be someone you’ve ever even heard of, and that’s absolutely okay. The Texas Rangers backup Jose Trevino had just become a father one week before the day honoring dads. When he came up as a pinch hitter in the ninth, it was 12-11 when he pushed a bases-loaded single to left. One scored, and the other raced home.
The Colorado Rockies were toppled by The Rangers as Trevino shed tears in the post-game interview. The magical moment is forever cemented in Father’s Day history as, in his post-game interview, he couldn’t hold back his heartbreak of his own father being gone for four and a half years at that point. The hit was just a tenth of how impactful that hit was.
I couldn’t keep this to just three games; I just couldn’t. I could even have included five if you want to mention Brandon Phillip’s walk-off single. But, that pales in comparison to these other four performances.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before; Jacob DeGrom dominated on both sides of the ball. Throwing eight innings of one-run (unearned) ball. He walked two and allowed three hits. He got the win (actual run support?!), while also helping his own cause having a hit in one of his two at bats, driving in a run, and scoring as well. He struck out six as the Mets beat the Nationals 5-1.
Jimmy Nelson must’ve felt the need to one-up DeGrom. In a 2-1 Brewers over Padres win, Nelson threw a complete game, one-run outing. He got the win allowing six hits and two walks, while Jacob having just an unearned run. He struck out ten as his team’s two runs 6th inning was the deciding factor.
Edwin Encarnación may not be in the MLB at this point after an absolute down year with the White Sox, but on Father’s Day, he was all the Cleveland Indians needed to defeat the Minnesota Twins. His two homers account for all five runs driven in. He went three for four with a strikeout scoring on both of his dingers. They wound up winning 5-2 on the back of Edwin’s massive day.
Saving the best for last, Nolan Arenado, the superstar third basemen, had one of the best games in recent history. Not just Father’s Day, not just 2017, I am talking EVER. In the first-ever four-game sweep for The Rockies over The San Francisco Giants, one of the craziest sequences ever happened. In the first inning with two outs, Nolan hit a triple. He knocked a single in the fourth inning. Both times around, the Rockies were able to push him across the plate and capitalize on his contact. Arenado decided instead to bring in his own runner, in the sixth.
After a DJ LeMahieu walk, he drove him in crossing first and stopping at second base. This was also surprisingly their first run of the day, and just a 2-1 game at that point. This put Nolan a home run away from completing the cycle.
When he came up in the seventh though, he swung missed and struck out. At the start of the 9th, the Rockies led 3-2 but served up that lead, and more finding themselves suddenly down 5-3, going into the bottom half of their last chance. After an out, back to back to back singles left two on and one scoring.
With the game now 5-4, Nolan Arenado approached the late again. What would happen soon after would be chaos, and it’s not hard to guess at this point what did. He crushed the three-run walk-off cycle, completing a home run over the left-field wall about three rows deep. I don’t think you could write one better than that.
On just 95 pitches, long-time Angels pitcher Jared Weaver completed his shutout going all nine innings, dealing just three hits. Oddly enough, he only managed to strike out one batter. He only walked one also as they defeated the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on the road.
This is the only player to factor in for the losing team on this list. Michael Taylor and The Nationals (running theme on this list huh?) lost 3-6 due to no fault of his own. In his first two at-bats on the day, he lifted two home runs. He didn’t record a single out, going four for four with a stolen base and a double as one of his other hits.
The final player on this list has an extensive and stellar history of pitching on Father’s Day. Julio Teheran managed his own complete game two years before his no-hit short start. He got the win as The Atlanta Braves won 6-0 over the New York Mets. He allowed just a single hit without any walked batters while striking out seven.