On this holiday we look back at a pitcher thankful to be back in the majors for the first time in eight years, in Chin-hui Tsao.
What went right
Tsao pitched a scoreless inning on July 10, his first major league appearance in eight years. Tsao, who was suspended from the Chinese Professional Baseball League for five years for his involvement in a gambling scandal, was cleared by Major League Baseball to return, signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers. He got the win that night, his first since May 11, 2005.
"I'm very lucky to get this win," Tsao said. "This feels like a dream."
After pitching five games with Double-A Tulsa, Tsao moved up to Triple-A and put up a 3.00 ERA with seven saves in 30 games with Oklahoma City, with 42 strikeouts and 11 walks in 39 innings.
Tsao in his first four games with the Dodgers had a 2.84 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6⅓ innings.
At the plate, Tsao doubled in his only major league plate appearance, on July 21 in Atlanta against Alex Wood, who would join the Dodgers nine days later. Tsao tied a Dodgers record with a 3.000 OPS in a season, one of just five to do so and the first since Roy Gleason in 1963.
What went wrong
Tsao allowed six runs, including two home runs, against the Mets in a 15-2 blowout loss in New York on July 25. That brought his ERA to 10.29, 29th among 31 Dodgers pitchers in 2015, and his 7.99 FIP was 30th on the team.
The Dodgers designated Tsao for assignment on July 30, and he finished out the season in Triple-A.
Stats: 5 games, 10.29 ERA, 7.99 FIP, 7 K, 3 BB in 7 IP, -0.5 rWAR, -0.3 fWAR
Salary: I didn't have Tsao's exact salary, but with his 17 days of major league service time the cost wasn't too much at all.
Game of the year
Tsao's win on July 10 gets the call, since it was his first major league appearance in eight years.
As someone who accepted an outright assignment and with the requisite three years of major league service time, Tsao elected free agency in October.