There’s a well-known moment of baseball history from the 1934 MLB All-Star Game in which National League starting pitcher Carl Hubbell struck out five of the game’s best hitters in a row, including Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Fox. On Wednesday night, Drew Smyly pulled off his own version.
In his first appearance representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic, the Mariners’ new lefty struck out Venezuela’s Miguel Cabrera (11-time All-Star, two-time AL MVP), Victor Martinez (five-time All-Star) and Rougned Odor (33 home runs last year) in order in the fourth inning. Not only that, Smyly allowed just one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings and racked up eight strikeouts, which kept the US in the game as it came back from a two-run deficit to win 4-2.
By the way, Smyly’s opposing starter, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, wasn’t too bad himself. In fact, he was even better. The King threw five scoreless innings, striking out three while allowing just three hits and issuing no free passes. Oh, he also fielded his position pretty well, taking care of a pair of comebackers in the first inning.