Sixth time’s not the charm

Anyone who’s ever played organized baseball knows that some days, for whatever reason, the ball simply looks about the size of a pea while standing in the batter’s box. No one is immune to this phenomena — whether playing little league ball or in the major leagues. Heck, Ted Williams even struck out three times in a game once (May 16, 1957 against the Tigers).
AlexgonzalezBut that’s nothing compared to what former Blue Jay shortstop Alex Gonzalez had to endure on September 9, 1998. The Jays and Indians played a 13-inning contest at SkyDome that evening — one in which Gonzalez would surely like to forget. That’s because the fifth-year shortstop struck out in each of his six at-bats during the game, a feat never accomplished before in major-league history. Though five other players have struck out six times in a game, none have done so in just six AB’s.
Dwight Gooden got things started, fanning Gonzalez in the second, fourth and seventh innings before giving way to the bullpen. Paul Shuey did the honours in the ninth, while Doug Jones notched No. 5 in the 11th.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact surrounding Gonzalez’s ‘titanium sombrero’ was that Toronto manager Tim Johnson opted not to pinch-hit for the struggling shortstop. In fact, the Blue Jays went with just nine players the entire 13 innings. One can only imagine how badly Gonzalez wanted out of that game after his fifth strikeout. But, it wasn’t to be.
With the Indians ahead 6-3 in the bottom of the 13th, Michael Jackson fanned Gonzalez for the sixth time on the night, as Cleveland went on to the victory. For Gonzalez, it was four hours and 12 minutes he’ll never get back.
*** A big thank you goes out to My Brewers (a fellow MLBlogger), who has helped ‘The 500 Level’ incorporate video clips into posts … Stay tuned for some good Blue Jays clips (both past and present) in the days to come …

The Blue Jays hit a season low point on Thursday night, losing their third straight to the Indians — once again, courtesy of the bullpen. Jason Frasor takes the loss, elevating his ERA to 6.39 on the season … The Jays’ 8-9-1-2 hitters combine to go 0-for-18 on the night … Troy Glaus, though, continues to swing a hot stick, belting his fifth homer of the year while raising his average to a team-high .378 … Jays try to regroup tomorrow in Texas …

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