On Friday night, Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals gave up a home run to a left handed batter for the first time since 2011. Now granted, he did miss some time due to Tommy John surgery, but he went 407 at bats without surrendering a home run to a lefty batter—the last one was Jim Thome. We thought it would be fun to see which lefty pitchers have current homer-less streaks against lefty batters.
When we set out to compile the list, we figured there would be a larger selection of players, but the active list consists of a whopping three pitchers. It would have been four if Duffy hadn’t been victimized by Rougned Odor on this first pitch slider in the fourth inning of Kansas City’s 3-1 win over Texas on Friday night.
The other lefty pitchers who (up until Saturday July 23, 2016) have a streak of at least 150 batters faced without giving up a home run to a lefty batter are Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, and Rich Hill.
Hold your applause, for now.
First up is Chapman, who has faced 353 batters since July, 1, 2011. The last (and so far only) time he gave up a home run to a lefty batter was to Luke Scott of the Baltimore Orioles way back on June 26, 2011. It was a 97.8 mph fastball.
Next up is Britton, who hasn't surrendered a home run to a lefty batter since April 29, 2013. On that day, he gave up a home run to Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners on the second pitch of a 6-2 Seattle victory. Britton pitched six innings and gave up six runs on six hits and picked up his first loss of the 2013 season.
And finally we have Rich Hill. The last time he gave up a home run to a lefty was on May 17, 2013 to Raul Ibanez when he was pitching for the Indians. It was on the second pitch of Ibanez's sixth-inning at bat. The Indians beat the Mariners that day, 6-3.
So Chapman has given up only one home run to a lefty batter in his entire career up to this point, Britton has given up nine, and Hill has also given up nine to lefty batters.
Earlier this month, Chris Sale gave up home runs to both Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis, two lefties, on July 8—along with Tyler Flowers—and it was the first time since September 2, 2012 that Sale had given up a home run to a lefty batter.
Robert Au (@justarobert) helped gather the data for this piece via Retrosheet and the Lahman Baseball Database.
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Stacey Gotsulias is a contributing writer of Beyond the Box Score. You can follow her on Twitter at @StaceGots.