December 4, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
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Friday, June 08, 2012
Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Norichika Aoki hit two homers including the walkoff. Overall, he's kicking some major butt.
Mets 3, Nationals 1: As I said yesterday: Dickey beats Wang. I'm still giggling, by the way.
Pirates 5, Reds 4: Aroldis Chapman finally allowed a run. You see? You see? He's not a machine, he's a man, he's a man! Someone alert the authorities. Wait, don't do that. Chapman doesn't need anymore interaction with the authorities. It was a an RBI double by Michael McKenry in the 10th which proved to be the game winner.
Giants 8, Padres 3: The Giants stay hot, winning their ninth in 11 tries. Matt Cain struck out nine and withstood some awful San Francisco defense to win his sixth straight start.
Dodgers 8, Phillies 3: The sweep. Aaron Harang won his 100th. And Charlie Manuel is losin' it:
Asked about his frustration level, manager Charlie Manuel said: "I never put it up to a level. I just feel how hot my face gets." And it is, he said, "pretty damn hot."
Nightmare season for Philly thus far.
Red Sox 7, Orioles 0: The Sox finally beat the O's at home. And do it in impressive fashion. Clay Buchholz with the four-hit shutout.
Athletics 7, Rangers 1: Yu Darvish gets shelled by one of the worst offenses in baseball and walks six on top of that. Brandon McCarthy, meanwhile, allows one run in seven innings. Coco Crisp had a triple and homer and drove in four. The A's took three of four from Texas, which according to the Rangers fans I follow on Twitter has caused some Texas fans to freak out and think about trading everyone.
Tigers 7, Indians 5: Casey Crosby won his first ever game. Not that it came easy. Detroit was up 7-1 and the Indians started to rally to close it to 7-5 and had the bases loaded in the eighth but couldn't get one more hit that they needed. It was the first win by the Tigers over the Indians in six tries.
Braves 8, Marlins 2: Jason Heyward had two homers in a game for the first time since 2010 and Mike Minor finally had an effective outing, allowing one run in five innings. The Braves scored all of their runs from the sixth inning on. It was a 4-1 road trip for the Braves and now they get nine straight at home.
Rays 7, Yankees 3: David Price only went five innings but he survived them well, striking out eight and getting out of a one-out bases loaded jam in the fifth by retiring Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. CC Sabathia struck out 12 over seven innings in a losing effort.
White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Orlando Hudson singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Rios drove in three.
Cardinals 14 vs. Astros 2: Two homers and six RBI for David Freese as Lance Lynn joins R.A. Dickey with nine wins. Just as everyone predicted would be the case before the season began.
20,000 days ago, one of the rarest of all home runs occurred—a walk-off home run by a pitcher.
On Sept. 5, 1957, the Yankees hosted the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees were in the midst of yet another pennant-winning season; it would be their eighth in the last nine years. But today, things weren’t going their way early.
Boston took an early 2-0 lead and that lead looked like it would hold up behind the pitching of Willard Nixon. Through four innings, only one Yankee had reached second base against him, and none had made it further than that.
The bottom of the eighth got off to a tricky start as he walked the first batter, but then he got the next pair of batters out, and the runner was still stuck at first. However, with the pitcher’s slot due up next, Yankee skipper called for a pinch-hitter: Mickey Mantle, who was enjoying a night off.
Mantle drew another walk, and then so did Tony Kubek to load the bases. It was the first Yankees rally of the day. They capitalized on it, as Gil McDougald singled in a pair of runs to tie it, 2-2. And that was the score heading into the ninth.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, things got off to a good start for the Yankees as Yogi Berra led off with a single. However, rather bizarrely, Berra then tried to steal second and was thrown out easily. Then Harry Simpson flew out, and the game looked headed for extra innings.
Instead, Jerry Lumpe singled to keep the inning alive. Future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter followed that up by working the count for another walk against Nixon.
That brought to the plate Yankees relief pitcher Bob Grim, who had entered the game as a reliever after Mantle pitch hit last inning. It’s a sign of how the game has changed that even though the Yankees were down to their last out, Stengel let Grim bat. Given the choice, Stengel would rather tolerate one out from Grim than lose a pitcher who he felt was on. Even if the Yankees didn’t do it this inning, as long as Grim shut the Red Sox down, the Bronx Bombers would get on the board at some point.
After all, it’s not like Stengel expected anything from Grim at the plate. Grim was a lifetime .127 hitter and in fact didn’t yet have a hit in 1957. (Okay, he ended the year with just nine at-bats. Still, it’s September and he had no hits.)
Grim took a swing at a Nixon offering and to the stunned surprise of everyone, drove it over the fence for a three-run homer run.
In all baseball history, there have been only 33 walk-off home runs by a pitcher. This was one of them, and it happened 20,000 days ago.
Oh – and those 33 walk-off homers by a pitcher? Not only did one happen 20,000 days ago but another happened the very next day on Sept. 6, 1957—19,999 days ago. On that day, White Sox pitcher Dixie Howell belted a solo shot against Wally Burnette of the Kansas City A’s for a 4-3 win. As you can probably guess, it’s the only time baseball had back-to-back days with walk-off homers by pitchers.
Aside from that, many other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that happened X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better items in bold if you’d prefer to just skim.
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