Sunday, November 20, 2005

November 20th, 1995

Rockies Accquire Mike DeJean

I've actually written about DeJean before, and his mixed quality 2004 season. Today however, he earns his second blog for an accomplishment of a much longer time frame. DeJean was exchanged for Joe Girardi--a deal that worked out for the Yankees in 1996, of course--but didn't see any time in Colorado that year. In 1997 however, he made his debut. DeJean pitched well, posting a 3.99 ERA, mediocre at face value but actually thirty percent better than the league average at Coors Field. More relevantly, however, DeJean went 5-0 in fifty-five appearances. In 1998, DeJean would continue to pitch effectively for the Rockies, finishing the season with an excellent--again taking Coors Field into account--3.03 ERA.

The real news of DeJean's season however, came on July 3rd, at
San Diego. Coming on for starter Jamey Wright in a 2-2 game, DeJean allowed Chris Gomez to reach base, and after a sacrifice took him to second, DeJean retired Quivlio Veras and intentionally walked Tony Gwynn. Ken Caminiti then hit a RBI double, putting the Padres up 3-2. They would tack on another run in the seventh and the Rockies failed to rally, hanging DeJean with the loss. This was news because it was the first time DeJean had lost in his Major League career, which spanned, to that point, eighty-eight appearances. As it turned out, that was a Major League record for most appearances without a loss, breaking the one previously held by Phil Paine.

I'm the first to admit that this is a relatively obscure record, and not even one that
necessarily demonstrates great capabilities as a pitcher (it's basically custom made for middle relievers) but someone has to hold the record, and the overall excellence of DeJean's performances those years in Colorado, he's as deserving as the next guy, probably even more so.

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