The announcer also set a record for most times saying “stays alive”
Before Sunday, Jordan Hicks hadn’t faced a major league hitter in a game since June 22, 2019. He had Tommy John surgery a few days after that and then opted out of the 2020 season. So the Cardinals planned to ease him back into action with one inning of work in Sunday’s game against the Mets. He came on in relief in the fifth inning and got one inning’s worth of work against a single batter.
Hicks got ahead of Luis Guillorme 0–2 and then the Mets utilityman refused to be put away. He ended up working a walk after facing 22 pitches, a display that had the Mets' bench cheering like it was a playoff game.
All told, Guillorme fouled off 16 pitches, including nine in a row after working the count full. Six of the pitches Hicks threw were over 100 mph.
Guillorme’s epic battle is the longest recorded plate appearance in MLB history. Pitch-by-pitch data only goes back to 1988 and spring training is obviously meaningless, but still, there isn’t a plate appearance on the books as long as Guillorme’s. The previous record was held by Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, whose 21-pitch at-bat in 2018 against the Angels’ Jaime Barria ended in a fly-out.
The whole thing took 12 minutes, long enough for some Mets players to lose track of the count. Manager Luis Rojas said after the game that some guys thought the count was full when it was actually 2–2, so they thought it was over when Hicks threw what was actually the third ball. The plate appearance mercifully ended when Hicks missed low with a slider for ball four.
Guillorme has only played 109 games over three seasons as a light-hitting utility infielder, but this isn’t the first time he’s had a viral spring training moment. Back in 2017, he made headlines when he snagged a bat that came flying into the dugout.
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A good song
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