The Belmont Stakes runs today, and while there has not been a Triple Crown winner in horse racing since 1978, nor a triple crown winner in Major League Baseball's hitting categories (batting average, runs batted in, home runs) since 1967, we have seen six triple crowns over the past decade. They've just been in a lesser known field.
Pitching. The triple crown of pitching is to lead your league in victories, strikeouts, and earned run average. Since 1997, this has been accomplished six times, most recently in 2007 by Jake Peavy, then of San Diego. In the 56-year history of the Cy Young Award, the honor has always gone to a pitcher who managed to pull off a triple crown performance.
This week's submission comes from Solosith, whose pitcher in MLB 11 The Show's "Road to the Show" career mode came up to the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals as a closer, and was pressed into service when a season-ending injury took out one of the regular starters. With a hard fastball, vanishing changeup and nasty forkball, Solosith found himself atop the league in strikeouts and ERA, but because of his short service and poor bullpen support behind him, third place in wins.
The hapless Dodgers visited K.C. during the second round of interleague play and Solosith unloaded a perfect game on them, which would have made the season for any pitcher. Solosith still had goals. Going into the final series of the year at Detroit, he had tied the Tigers' Justin Verlander for the American League lead at 16 wins. And that is who he would duel in his final start.
In this continuity, David Ortiz had been traded to Detroit, forming a formidable middle-of-the-order comprised of Brandon Inge, Miguel Cabrera, and him. Solosith dueled Verlander out-for-out as the game was 0-0 into the bottom of the eighth. The Royals scratched a run, then, surprisingly, sent Solosith out to finish off the gem, against Detroit's big sluggers.
Inge greeted Solosith with a line drive single to right. Cabrera went down on strikes, bringing up Ortiz. Big Papi missed badly on a high fastball, but the hit-and-run was on. Catcher Matt Treanor gunned down Inge, and the season ended on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play, giving Solosith the victory and the pitching triple crown. Here's the box score:
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Now the Kotaku Sports open thread commences with the sports TV highlights for today and tomorrow. All times are U.S. Eastern.
If fhe Miami Heat are facing elimination, at least they'll face it at home. Dallas leads the final round 3-2 and heads to South Beach looking to put it away tomorrow, 8 p.m. on ABC.
The Belmont Stakes, the longest and last leg of racing's Triple Crown, runs today at 5 p.m. on NBC. If you want to catch the undercard races, they're on Versus at 3 p.m.
On Fox this afternoon, the options are the Cubs at Phillies, Reds at Giants, or Rangers at Twins, check local listings. WGN has Oakland at the Chicago White Sox at 7. Tomorrow, the TBS game is the Indians at the Yankees; WGN has the Cubs-Phils at 1:30, and ESPN's nightcap is Reds vs. Giants, 8 p.m.
If you like to hear your baseball bats go ping, the NCAA baseball playoffs are on all day today, beginning now on ESPN, with games also at 3, 7 and 9 p.m. on ESPN and 7 p.m. on ESPN2. If games are necessary in these series tomorrow, they'll be shown on ESPN. In motorsports, Fox departs from NASCAR coverage to show the F1 Canadian Grand Prix at 1 p.m. tomorrow; TNT has NASCAR's Pocono 500 at 1 p.m.
Remember, you may send your sports Game of the Week nominations to owenATkotakuDOTcom, and flag it "Box Scores" in the subject header. Please include your commenter handle for proper credit.