This easily could be the most amazin' at-bat of the entire season.
Yep, in a spring training game.
With his New York Mets teammates cheering, dancing and going crazy in the dugout, Luis Guillorme stood at the plate for more than 10 minutes against rocket-armed St. Louis reliever Jordan Hicks, eventually drawing a 22-pitch walk Sunday.
“It’s pretty cool,” Guillorme said.
Guillorme took a called strike on the first pitch, then swung and missed at the second. Quickly down 0-2, the backup infielder wound up hitting 16 foul balls -- nine in a row with a full count.
Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and the rest of the Mets got more and more animated with every curve, changeup and fastball, including a half-dozen at 100 mph. Finally, Guillorme took a slider down and in for ball four and trotted to first base as the shouts and hollers erupted.
“It was definitely a good battle,” Hicks said.
Since Major League Baseball officially began keeping track in 1988, the longest at-bat in a regular-season game was a 21-pitch duel between San Francisco’s Brandon Belt and Angels rookie Jaime Barria that finished with a flyout.
What timing, too.
Hicks had just entered in the bottom of the fifth inning and Guillorme was the very first major league batter the right-hander had faced since June 2019. Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after that and opted out of the 2020 season because of coronavirus concerns, having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in high school.
“It was probably the last thing I thought was going to happen, to be honest, because it’s never happened before,” Hicks told St. Louis media. “I don’t even think I’ve had a 13 pitch at-bat in my career.”
Hicks was scheduled to pitch one inning. But after the long matchup, he was pulled. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt thanked the umpiring crew for not enforcing the rule that relievers must face at least three batters unless they’re injured.
“Common sense prevailed,” Shildt said.
Hicks said he felt fine, other than being a little tired in his legs, after the remarkable return to the mound.
Guillorme also felt good, especially after he wound up scoring the tiebreaking run on a bases-loaded walk to Francisco Lindor in the Mets’ 7-5 win at Port St. Lucie, Florida.
“I’m just happy I ended up with the walk because if I would’ve gotten out that would’ve been not fun for me. All that work for nothing,” he told New York media.
STRAS NOT STRESSED
Washington star Stephen Strasburg left his second spring training start in the third inning because of a problem with his left calf that he called “nothing major.”
The 2019 World Series MVP, whose 2020 season was cut to just five innings because he needed carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist, said his calf “grabbed” as he stood on that leg at the end of his pitching motion.
“Just kind of more of a precautionary thing and just kind of take it day-to-day and see how it feels tomorrow,” said Strasburg, who allowed one hit, struck out four and walked one in 2 1/3 scoreless innings against Houston.
“Luckily, I feel like I’m a fast healer,” he said, “so I don’t think it would be something that could be a prolonged absence.”
Opening day is April 1.
METS 7, CARDINALS 5
David Peterson worked four innings in the start for New York, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Corey Oswalt retired all six batters he faced in relief, five on strikeouts. Alonso hit a two-run single and Lindor drove in a run with a hit.
Carlos Martínez worked four innings in the start for St. Louis, allowing two runs and five hits. Matt Carpenter and Tyler O’Neill doubled for the Cardinals.
RED SOX 5, TWINS 5 (8)
Minnesota starter Kenta Maeda struck out five in four hitless innings. Byron Buxton homered, Miguel Sano hit a two-run double and Andrelton Simmons had an RBI single.
Nathan Eovaldi gave up four runs on seven in four innings for Boston. Rafael Devers and Christian Arroyo greeted reliever Hansel Robles with back-to-back home runs to start the fifth.
PHILLIES 6, PIRATES 5
Odúbel Herrera hit his second home run for Philadelphia. Alec Bohm had an RBI double and Matt Joyce had a pair of RBI singles. Phillies starter Matt Moore allowed one hit, a homer to Jacob Stallings in the first, in four innings.
Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in three innings. Rodolfo Castro hit a grand slam for the Pirates.
PADRES 10, REDS 4
San Diego starter Yu Darvish pitched three perfect innings, striking out three.
Nick Castellanos tripled and doubled for Cincinnati. Reds reliever Cam Bedrosian gave up two home runs.
RANGERS 3, ROCKIES 1
Kohei Arihara allowed just two hits and struck out three over four innings for Texas. Bubba Thompson homered for the Rangers.
Jon Gray got the first eight outs for Colorado, giving up a run on three hits. C.J. Cron homered.
WHITE SOX 1, ATHLETICS 0
Chicago starter Lance Lynn pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up one hit and walking three while striking out four. Evan Marshall struck out four of five batters he retired and Codi Heuer struck out the side. Five White Sox pitchers combined to record 15 strikeouts. Matt Reynolds broke a scoreless tie with a home run in the eighth off Cole Irvin.
Frankie Montas gave up two hits over three innings in the start for Oakland. Jake Diekman worked a perfect fifth inning and Lou Trivino struck out two of the three batters he faced in the sixth.
GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 3
Mike Yastrzemski hit a two-run homer and Evan Longoria singled to drive in a run for San Francisco. Conner Menez started and recorded eight outs for the Giants, blanking Arizona on a hit and a walk.
Caleb Smith went 2 1/3 innings for Arizona, walking four and striking out five. Alex Young was tagged for four runs on six hits in an inning of relief. Josh VanMeter hit a three-run homer.
MARINERS 5, BREWERS 4 (8)
Yusei Kikuchi struck out five consecutive Milwaukee batters and six overall in 3 1/3 innings. Jack Reinheimer homered and Kyle Lewis hit a two-run double.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser got two outs in the third inning and left with an injured thumb. He walked two and didn't allow a hit. Brad Boxberger gave up five runs in the fifth inning on five hits before leaving with two outs.
BRAVES 8, RAYS 7
Ehire Adrianza hit a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth for Atlanta. Shea Langeliers and Sean Kazmar Jr. hit back-to-back homers in the eighth. Will Smith struck out three of the four batters he faced.
Rays reliever Yacksel Ríos gave up home runs to Jason Kipnis and Ronald Acuña Jr. Dalton Kelly, Miles Mastrobuoni and Moises Gomez each homered for the Rays.
ASTROS 5, NATIONALS 0
Houston starter Lance McCullers. Jr. struck out six in four innings, scattering three hits. Steve Cishek struck out the side in an inning of relief and Hector Velázquez fanned two in the ninth. Carlos Correa homered off reliever Brad Hand and Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run drive,
Juan Soto had two hits for Washington.
YANKEES 5, BLUE JAYS 1
New York starter Deivi García gave up one hit and an unearned run in three innings. Max McDowell hit a three-run double.
Toronto starter Alek Manoah pitched three perfect innings, striking out seven. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had an RBI double.
TIGERS 5, ORIOLES 1
Spencer Turnbull allowed a run on three hits and a pair of walks over four innings, striking out four for Detroit. Daniel Norris pitched one-hit relief for three innings. Zack Short and Akil Baddoo homered.
Dean Kremer allowed a run on three hits, walked two and struck out four in the start for Baltimore. Ramon Urias hit an RBI double.
ANGELS 1, CUBS 1
Trevor Williams scattered three hits over 3 2/3 innings for Chicago. Rex Brothers and Brandon Workman both had solid innings of relief. Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single in the seventh to break a scoreless tie.
Los Angeles starter Dylan Bundy pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. Brennon Lund tied the game with a triple in the ninth.
ROYALS 8, DODGERS 4
Kansas City pounced on left-hander Julio Urías, with Bubba Starling hitting a grand slam during a five-run first inning extended by an error by Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager. Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. added his third homer in a breakout spring training, and Brady Singer struck out six while pitching one-run ball over four innings. Seager also hit his fourth homer.
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