by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Comeback.
October 1, 2023
It is that time of the week when Draft 412 summarizes the past seven days of worthy news nuggets that you may have missed. Let us catch you up here:
Mitch Keller Breaks Right Handed Strikeouts Mark
In last week's article, Draft 412 talked about how Mitch Keller was the first Pirates pitcher to hit 200 strikeouts in a season since 2015. This past week, Keller set the all-time record for strikeouts in a season by a right hander with 210 strikeouts, breaking the record held by A.J. Burnett. He finished his all-star season 13-9 with a 4.21 ERA with 210 strikeouts in 194.1 innings.
This past Thursday, the two spring leagues, the XFL and USFL, announced that they are merging and will begin play next season. In a joint statement, the XFL and USFL said the merger will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.
The XFL is owned by megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, and the USFL is owned by the Fox Corp. Each league consists of 8 teams from all over the United States, but no plans have been announced on how many teams they will combine to the one league. Here is a list of teams from each league.
Birmingham Stallions Arlington Defenders
Houston Gamblers D.C. Defenders
Memphis Showboats Houston Roughnecks
Michigan Panthers Orlando Guardians
New Jersey Generals San Antonio Brahmas
New Orleans Breakers Seattle Sea Dragons
Philadelphia Stars St. Louis Battlehawks
Pittsburgh Maulers Vegas Vipers
Historic Pirates Comeback
The Pirates gave up 9 runs to the Cincinnati Reds in 3 innings, and then went on to score the next 13 unanswered runs on their way to a historic 13-12 win. In their 142 year history, the Pirates were 0-819 when trailing by 9 runs or more, prompting Derek Shelton to say, “It feels good tonight. I’m just really proud of our group, I would say it’s right at the top…Walk-offs at home are really special, but with this group, this late in the year, to do that, yeah, this ranks right at the top.”
T.J. Watt on a Record Pace
T.J. Watt is the first player since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 to have at least 6 sacks and a defensive touchdown in his team’s first three games. Watt is healthy and playing the best football of his career and has his sights set on breaking the sack record of 22.5 shared by Michael Strahan in 2001 and Watt in 2021.
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