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Monday, April 15, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-15-2013

El Paso Herald, April 15, 1913:

President Ban Johnson, of the American league, has hit upon a new idea for shortening the average ball games. A new ball will be put into play every time a foul is hit, even if it does not go over the fence, or into the stands. Two small boys would be retained to pursue the ball and return it immediately.

And if that doesn’t work, they can reduce the average game length by eliminating Yankees-Red Sox matchups.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 15, 2013 at 06:09 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 15, 2013 at 06:18 AM (#4414280)
A couple of talented and erratic outfielders on today's Birthday Team, not to mention guys named Cinders, King, and Hub.

C: Ed Bailey
1B: Sy Sutcliffe
2B: Hub Collins
3B: Eddie Mayo
SS: Ted Sizemore
LF: Milton Bradley
CF: Willie Davis
RF: Jeromy Burnitz

SP: John Danks
SP: Cinders O'Brien
SP: King Cole
SP: Aaron Laffey
SP: Ray Bare
RP: Billy Brewer
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:55 AM (#4414300)
FWIW, the Birthday League is still a thing, and I'm hoping to have the fourth installment running in the next day or so. It's a buttload of work to build the rosters in Strat.
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4414325)
   4. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4414336)
I noticed this in the now-dead Reyes injury thread:

22. formerly dp Posted: April 13, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4412911)
Just to follow-up-- Perez has an absolute cannon. Reyes looked stunned the throw was coming at all let alone that it was going to be a close play.


Its worth noting that Salvador Perez has caught 125 games in his young career and is already the Royals all-time franchise leader in pickoffs, with 8.
   5. DA Baracus Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4414370)
What happens when you spend your entire career in the AL?

The double switch becomes a foreign concept to you.
   6. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4414374)
What happens when you spend your entire career in the AL?

The double switch becomes a foreign concept to you.


Amusing, but with interleague, not very convincing. Through yesterday, Span has played 37 games in NL parks. The fact that he has never seen nor heard of a double switch defies belief.
   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4414375)
Game of the day (Friday): A's 4, Tigers 3 (12). Both teams threatened in the first, with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hitting back-to-back two-out singles against Oakland's Bartolo Colon, and Coco Crisp reaching on a bunt and stealing his way to third before being stranded as Detroit's Max Scherzer struck out the side. Both starters were spotless in the second, and both teams scored in the third. Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks singled with one out, and after Cabrera flied out, Fielder hammered a 3-run homer to open the scoring. The A's responded with one in the bottom of the inning. Eric Sogard led off with a double, and with one out, left early on a stolen base attempt; Scherzer threw inaccurately to third on what should have been a routine play, and the ball escaped, allowing Sogard to trot home.

The A's picked up a two-out single from John Jaso in the fourth, and the Tigers got hits from Jackson and Dirks again in the fifth before Cabrera hit into a double play to end the inning. Fielder led off the sixth with a double and made it as far as third before being stranded. Scherzer struck out three consecutive A's in the bottom of the sixth, but only after a Jed Lowrie double and a Josh Reddick single allowed Oaklnd to score its second run of the game.

Colon was perfect in the seventh, and Scherzer was replaced by Drew Smyly in the bottom of the inning. Josh Donaldson hit a one-out double, and Crisp brought him home with a two-out single, completing Oakland's incremental comeback to tie the game. Sean Doolittle worked a flawless eighth, while Smyly walked Yoenis Cespedes but then picked him off. Grant Balfour worked around a single in the ninth, largely thanks to a terrific catch at the wall from Reddick, and Smyly and Octavio Dotel didn't even allow that much, sending the game to extras.

The teams combined for only one hit in the tenth (Torii Hunter off of Ryan Cook, while Darin Downs was perfect), and a single and a walk in the eleventh (Fielder against Jerry Blevins, later removed on a double play, and Reddick against Downs, respectively). In the twelfth, Ramon Santiago tripled against Blevins with two outs, but Chris Resop came on to retire Austin Jackson and end the inning. Brayan Villarreal replaced Downs for the bottom half, and after Chris Young struck out, Donaldson ended the game with an opposite-field walkoff homer up the right field line.

Seven combined runs in 12 innings is pretty solid pitching. Even more solid were the K/BB lines for both teams: Oakland struck out 8 Tigers and issued nary a walk, while Detroit allowed three walks, but struck out 17 A's, led by Scherzer's 11/1 effort.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4414382)
Amusing, but with interleague, not very convincing. Through yesterday, Span has played 37 games in NL parks. The fact that he has never seen nor heard of a double switch defies belief.


In general I can believe it, there have been NFL players who admitted they didn't understand overtime. However, he was double switched last year. This isn't new to him.
   9. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4414431)
Game of the day (Saturday): Angels 5, Astros 4. It was a banner pitchiing matchup of Garrett Richards and Lucas Harrell... so of course the first 15 hitters made outs, 10 of them on the ground. LA's Chris Iannetta broke up the double no-hitter with a single leading off the bottom of the third, and advanced to third base on a bunt and a passed ball, but Mike Trout grounded out to leave him there. Jose Altuve became the first Astro to reach when he led off the fourth with a walk; he also became the first Astro to score when he trotted home in front of Chris Carter's two-out, two-run homer.

The next two half innings passed quietly. The angels threatened in the bottom of the fifth when Howie Kendrick led off with a single and Luis Jimenez doubled with two outs (picking up his first MLB hit), but Kendrick was held up at third, and JB Shuck left him there by striking out. Altuve drew another walk with one out in the sixth, moving around to third on a wild pitch and a groundout before Jason Castro flied out to end the inning. Trout led off the bottom of the inning with a single, but Albert Pujols hit into a double play; this looks especially unfortunate in hindsight because Josh Hamilton followed it with the first home run of his Angels career, which cut the deficit in half.

Houston went back to work on its lead in the top of the seventh. Carter led off with a single, and JD Martinez doubled with one out to put two runners in scoring position. Brett Wallace drew a walk to load the bases, prompting Sean Burnett's insertion in place of Richards. Matt Dominguez greeted the reliever with an RBI single, and Marwin Gonzalez brought in another run with a bases-loaded squeeze bunt. The Angels hit two singles and a double off of Hector Ambriz in the seventh, but Iannetta's leadoff hit was followed by a double play ball, and Jimenez wasn't allowed to score on Shuck's double because it hopped over the wall; Trout then grounded out to leave both runners in scoring position.

Michael Roth worked a 1-2-3 eighth for the Angels, and Rhiner Cruz took the mound for the Astros. Pujols led off with a single, and after Hamilton struck out, Mark Trumbo doubled, moving Pujols to third. The next two batters both hit unusual sacrifice flies. Howie Kendrick flied to right for what should have been a routine run-scoring out; the run-scoring part worked normally, but Martinez dropped the ball, allowing Kendrick to reach second safely while both baserunners advanced 90 feet. Iannetta followed with a flyout to center; Trumbo tagged from third, and Kendrick left second as well. Trumbo reached home without incident, but Kendrick was thrown out at second after changing his mind about tagging up; Trumbo ended up barely having scored in time for the run to count. The Angels had closed to within a run and blown their chance at a bigger inning all at once.

Roth was spotless again in the ninth. Jose Veras took the ball for the bottom of the inning and struck out Hank Conger to start it. Jimenez then drew a walk, Shuck flied to left, and Trout reached on an infield hit. That brought Pujols to the plate, and with a 1-0 count, Albert rifled a grounder barely fair up the third base line and into the corner; Jimenez scored from second, and Trout raced all the way around from first to end the game.

There were five doubles in this game, all of them coming with a runner on first base. Only one of those five runners scored, and it was the game-winning run. (OK, that's oversimplified; a couple of the runners from first scored later in the inning, and one of the doubles was of the automatic variety, so the runner couldn't have scored from first on that one.)

In other news, Albert Pujols has had himself a pretty nifty first couple of weeks, which (a) is good, and (b) has gone relatively unnoticed with Trout and Hamilton's slow starts sandwiched around him.
   10. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4414470)
A look at which pitcher most owned each of the various 15 AL squads.


Some guy named Ruth got busy with other things, so he didn't quite make it to 100 career wins, but he was 12-3, 2.22 v. the Yankees.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4414474)
Ugh, Cubs have reached a deal on Wrigley that includes a 6,000 square foot videoboard.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4414475)
In case you missed the news, Diamond Mind has released their 2013 Season Projection Disk. Thanks for all your hard work Dan!
   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4414500)
Game of the day (yesterday): Giants 10, Cubs 7 (10). Edwin Jackson recorded the first two outs of the game without incident. The offenses pretty much took over from there.

Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence both singled with two outs, putting runners on the corners; a steal and a walk loaded the bases, and a Dioner Navarro passed ball brought Sandoval home with the game's first run. In the bottom of the first, Tim Lincecum walked David DeJesus, and Starlin Castro put the Cubs in front with a two-run homer. After a strikeout, Alfonso Soriano singled, and Nate Schierholtz added another homer, making it 4-1.

Hector Sanchez and Angel Pagan both singled in the second, but the Giants failed to score either of them; after that, the starters settled in, allowing only a single (by Castro in the third) and a hit batter (Brandon Crawford in the top of the fourth) through four and a half. DeJesus and Castro both singled in the fifth, but Lincecum stranded them, bringing the Giants to the plate in the sixth still down by 3.

Pence walked and took second on a wild pitch (1). Brandon Belt walked as well, and Gregor Blanco doubled, driving in one and putting the tying runs in scoring position. Sanchez struck out, but Crawford walked, and since ball 4 was a wild pitch (2), Belt came home to score. Nick Noonan hit for Lincecum, and Michael Bowden replaced Jackson on the mound; you'd think that would end the wild pitch issues, right? But Bowden's third pitch went astray (3), moving Crawford to second (although Blanco stayed at third) and allowing Noonan's subsequent single to score both runners and give the Giants the lead. Bowden wasn't done yet; with Pagan at the plate, he unleashed not one but two additional wild pitches (5), moving Noonan to third. That plate appearance unsurprisingly ended in a walk, putting runners on the corners with one out; Marco Scutaro then bailed the Cubs out of a thoroughly disastrous inning by hitting into a double play.

Let's move on from that as fast as possible, shall we? Chad Gaudin retired the Cubs in order in the sixth. Hector Rondon allowed a one-out single to Pence, which was followed by the always-entertaining 9-6 forceout at second off the bat of Belt (can't find a highlight of the play - was it an extremely hard-hit ball, or did Pence have to hold up to see if it'd be caught?) Either way, Belt made up for the out in part by stealing second, and Blanco followed with an RBI double to extend the lead. Alberto Gonzalez got that run back for the Cubs with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh, but Gaudin recovered to preserve the remaining run of the lead. Carlos Marmol worked an unusually tame eighth, keeping the Cubs in range.

Anthony Rizzo led off the bottom of the eighth with a double against Jeremy Affeldt, who then walked Soriano on four pitches (which is not quite as unusual as five wild pitches in an inning). Schierholtz then bunted the runners over, Dioner Navarro was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Luis Valbuena was unintentionally walked to force in the tying run. Santiago Casilla replaced Affeldt and got Gonzalez to fly out, but the out was deep enough to bring in the go-ahead run.

Shawn Camp came on for the ninth and quickly recorded the first two outs. He got the third as well on a strikeout of Belt, but Hunter Pence hit before Belt, and tied the game with a solo homer. DeJesus worked a 10-pitch walk in the bottom of the inning, but was removed from the bases when Castro hit into a double play, and the game went past regulation at 7-7.

It didn't stay there long. Camp remained on the mound, and after Blanco lined out, he gave up back-to-back singles to Sanchez and Crawford, putting the go-ahead run at third. Buster Posey, having entered in a double switch the inning before, came up next - and Camp balked on the first pitch, bringing the tiebreaking run in. Posey singled in a second run, and Marco Scutaro later doubled in a third; Sergio Romo allowed a leadoff double to Soriano, but never so much as faced the tying run in locking down the victory.

You know how people say you shouldn't beat yourself? Do you think 5 wild pitches (in one inning!), a passed ball, a hit batter, and a tiebreaking balk would fall under that category? Because it seems like that might qualify.
   14. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4414528)
Game of the day (4/12/77): Twins 3, Mariners 2. Bob Randall led off the first with a single against Seattle's Enrique Romo, but was promptly caught stealing second. Romo later walked Rod Carew (hitting .238 in the early going - that's not a trend that lasted long), but allowed nothing else in the inning. Minnesota's Mike Pazik allowed a one-out single to Dave Collins, who promptly stole second, and walked Bill Stein with two outs, also working out of the jam. Romo allowed a single to Larry Hisle and walked Dan Ford, but was bailed out on a 5-3 double play in the second. Pazik threw a 1-2-3 second, while Romo allowed only a two-out single to Glenn Adams in the third.

The game's first run came in on a leadoff homer by ninth-hitting catcher Skip Jutze in the bottom of the third, and it was tied in the fifth by the bottom of Minnesota's order, as Mike Cubbage doubled and Jerry Terrell singled him home. The tie didn't last long, as singles by Craig Reynolds, Jose Baez, and Collins brought in Seattle's second run of the day. Romo worked around a sixth-inning double to hold the lead. In the bottom of the inning, Ron Schueler replaced Pazik, which for 1977 seems surprisingly early to pull a pitcher who wasn't doing that badly. Anyway, Stein led off with a double and was bunted to third, but Dan Meyer and Leroy Stanton failed to bring him home, keeping the score at 2-1. Butch Wynegar reached on an error in the seventh but was erased when Terrell hit into a double play; Baez doubled in the bottom of the inning, but was left at second.

In the eighth, Bill Laxton came on for Romo to face the top of the order. Randall walked, and Craig Kusick pinch hit for Adams, doubling Randall home to tie the game. Carew grounded out, moving Kusick to third, and Lyman Bostock followed with a tiebreaking double. John Montague took over for Laxton and retired the next two Twins with a minimum of fuss, but the damage was already done; Minnesota's Tom Burgmeier allowed singles in both the eighth and ninth, but the Mariners were unable to mount a substantial rally in either inning, and the game ended with the eighth-inning runs proving decisive.

One thing about writing up 1977 games? I keep having to figure out who the heck the players are, especially since the expansion Mariners keep showing up. That involves a lot of scrolling up to find first names (B-R PBP accounts only have first initial-last name). One of these days, I'll remember who B. Stein is...

This one isn't too foreign apart from the players; the pitcher usage was positively modern, at least apart from the 2-inning save. Of course, these were bottom-of-the-rotation starters.
   15. SOLockwood Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4414598)
Romo wasn't really a bottom of the rotation starter for the Mariners. He started the second game of the season -- this start was his second. He pitched well in his three starts, but evidently got hurt in start #3 and when he came back, Darrell Johnson made him the relief ace.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4414697)
Indians acquire catcher/FOX News reporter/Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace from the Astros for LHP Eric Berger

Cubs sign P Kevin Gregg and claim P Kameron Loe off waivers
   17. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4414704)
Let's move on from that as fast as possible, shall we? Chad Gaudin retired the Cubs in order in the sixth. Hector Rondon allowed a one-out single to Pence, which was followed by the always-entertaining 9-6 forceout at second off the bat of Belt (can't find a highlight of the play - was it an extremely hard-hit ball, or did Pence have to hold up to see if it'd be caught?)

The ball was a short fly that was straight dropped by Schierholtz. It would have been an obvious error but for the fact there was a runner on first making an easy putout at second. Pence didn't move because it was an easy play on a shallow fly ball.
   18. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4414710)
Indians acquire catcher/FOX News reporter/Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace from the Astros for LHP Eric Berger
One would hope this ends the Yan Gomes-Omir Santos Experience for good, though I'm not sure Wallace is much different than Gomes in the short term.
   19. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4414713)
Oh, wow. I knew Marson and Santana were hurt, but didn't realize Akron's catcher is injured too. If you own a catcher's mitt, you might want to call the Indians.

Edit to add that there's speculation Wallace is headed to Akron. It's probably a bad thing when the catcher you just acquired for your AA affiliate is pretty much indistinguishable talent-wise from, and possibly even better than, one of the guys getting major league paychecks.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4414739)
I will confess to shorting that last GotD entry a bit. This was done because I knew I was about to write up another game between the same two teams decided by the same score.

Game of the Day (4/13/77): Mariners 3, Twins 2 (13). The pitching matchup was Dave Goltz and Stan Thomas. Though I don't think I'd heard of him before now, Goltz was a very good pitcher for several years, including this one, but was more of a workhorse than a dominator; Thomas has already been discussed in the writeup of his first start a few days ago. Suffice it to say, he had 17 starts in his career, and this was the last year of that career.

So of course, this was an excellent pitcher's duel. The first 11 hitters made outs, a string that was broken by a Dan Meyer single with two outs in the second; Meyer was promptly thrown out stealing second, so it was left to Jerry Terrell's two-out hit in the top of the third to extend an inning past three batters. Goltz got into the game's first jam in the bottom of the third, as Bob Stinson and Larry Milbourne singled to put runners on the corners with two away; Dave Collins then grounded to the right side with Milbourne being hit by the ball to end the inning.

Thomas worked out of his own jam in the fourth, as Lyman Bostock walked with two outs and Larry Hisle doubled him to third, but Dan Ford grounded out, abandoning both runners in scoring position. Mike Cubbage's leadoff single in the fifth made him the only batter to reach in the next inning and a half; that string ended in the sixth when Rod Carew walked with one out. Bostock singled him to third, and Hisle grounded to third; Carew was thrown out trying to score, but I assume there was a rundown involved, as Bostock advanced to third on the play. Hisle then stole second, but Ford once again grounded out to leave Bostock at third and Hisle right behind him.

Goltz worked a third straight perfect inning in the sixth. Cubbage led off with a single again in the seventh, but Butch Wynegar lined into a double play to defuse that threat. In the bottom of the inning, Steve Braun singled with one out, ending a string of 10 straight Mariners retired (or 11, depending on how you feel about the single awarded when a runner is hit by a batted ball); Braun advanced to second when Bostock made an error after securing Bill Stein's fly ball, Meyer was intentionally walked, and Leroy Stanton lined out to leave two runners on.

Thomas walked Glenn Adams with one out in the eighth, and Carew followed that with a single, but Adams was thrown out at third (although Carew took second behind him), and Bostock grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Stinson led off with a double and was pulled for pinch runner Carlos Lopez. Reynolds bunter Lopez to third, and Milbourne brought him home with the game's first run on a groundout.

Thomas remained in the game for the ninth, and recorded two quick groundouts. Cubbage was up next and hit his third consecutive single, and Wynegar followed that with a go-ahead two-run homer. Goltz also stayed in for the ninth with a one-run lead, and quickly allowed a triple to Ruppert Jones. Braun flied out, with Jones staying in place, and Stein grounded to short to get Jones thrown out at home. Jose Baez ran for Stein at first, Meyer singled Baez to second, and Tommy Smith pinch hit for Skip Jutze, who'd just taken Stinson's spot behind the plate the previous inning, singling and driving Baez in with the tying run. Juan Bernhardt grounded out to leave the winning run on third and send the game to extras.

Having run for their starting catcher and hit for their backup, the Mariners resorted to Plan C, which in this case was Joe Lis, a 30-year-old veteran of 8 MLB seasons making his first and only appearance behind the plate. Thomas, remarkably, was still in the game until Rob Wilfong's leadoff single in the tenth brought Mike Kekich (yes, that Mike Kekich) out of the pen. Kekich started out with a wild pitch that moved Wilfong to second, then hit Carew one out later; Bostock's groundout moved the runners to second and third before Hisle's popout left them there. Tom Burgmeier, who had pitched two innings the day before, came in for the bottom of the tenth and worked around a Milbourne single.

Kekich retired Ford on a groundout to start the eleventh, but then allowed Cubbage's fourth consecutive single and Wynegar's second straight extra base hit, this one a double. An intentional walk to Terrell loaded the bases, and Tommy Moore took Kekich's place on the hill, retiring pinch hitter Bob Gorinski and Cusick to end the inning.

Gorinski had hit for Wilfong, who was playing second. Gorinski, who never played an inning in the infield, was unqualified to take over Randall's position, and apparently so was everyone remaining on the Twins' bench (since Wilfong was already Minnesota's second second baseman of the day). Carew moved from first base to second, and Kusick took over first, which would be unremarkable if he hadn't started the game at DH. This, of course, meant that the Twins lost the DH for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Burgmeier remained in and retired the Mariners 1-2-3. Moore allowed a two-out single to Hisle in the twelfth, but nothing else, and Burgmeier set Seattle down in order in the bottom of the inning. Wynegar walked with one out in the thirteenth, but Terrell hit into a double play, which both ended the inning and kept the resurgent pitcher's spot from coming up.

Starting his sixth inning in two days, Burgmeier finally cracked in the bottom of the thirteenth. Milbourne singled and took second on a balk. Collins and Jones both flied out, but Braun singled to center to score Milbourne with the game-winning run and bring the best game of early 1977 to a close.

To recap: Seven and a half scoreless innings from a solid pitcher and a pretty bad one. Three go-ahead or game-tying rallies in the last inning and a half of regulation. Five runners on for the Twins in the 10th and 11th, four of which reached scoring position. An emergency catcher for the Mariners, and a loss of the DH for the Twins (although sadly, the pitcher's spot never came up). A 3.2 inning outing from a reliever who'd pitched 2 the day before. And a decisive rally that prominently involved a balk.

That right there is an outstanding baseball game.
   21. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4414809)
   22. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4414825)
Cubs sign P Kevin Gregg

What, again? Or did I fall back through time to 2009?
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4414828)
Boston Police report 3 dead. Many reports of limbless victims. Awful.
   24. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4415070)
Game of the day (4/14/77): A's 8, Angels 7. Subheadline: Frank Tanana takes a detour on the way to his career high in WAR.

Tanana started out pretty well; so did Oakland's Doc Medich, for that matter. Medich saw Bobby Grich reach on an error and Bobby Bonds single with one out in the first, but a double play ball from Don Baylor extinguished that rally. Larry Lintz led off the bottom of the first with a double, and Dick Allen (whose 200 PA A's tenure I did not remember in any way) walked two batters later, but Rich McKinney hit into a force at third to end the inning. The Angels took an early lead in the second when Joe Rudi led off with a walk and Bruce Bochte and Dave Chalk followed with one-out singles to bring in the game's first run; Terry Humphrey then hit an infield single to shortstop that would have loaded the bases if Bochte hadn't been thrown out trying to score from second on the play. Bonds walked and stole second in the third, and McKinney doubled in the fourth, but was thrown out trying to score on Wayne Gross's single; those were the only hitters to reach in those innings.

Los Angeles of Anaheim... err, California extended its lead in the fifth when Humphrey led off with a double and Grich singled him home. Tanana allowed a single to Rob Picciolo in the bottom of the inning; still, through five, the Angels' ace had allowed four hits, a walk, and no runs, and struck out 5. Given that he'd allowed one run total in his first two starts and the Angels had two, they had to feel good about this one.

Mitchell Page singled off of Tanana with one out in the sixth. Then Allen homered. Then McKinney homered. And suddenly, Oakland led 3-2.

Handed his first lead of the game, Medich had a bit of trouble dealing with prosperity. With one out, Jerry Remy reached on Picciolo's second error of the game and stole second. Grich then hit the ball back to the mound; the exact results of the play are unclear, but it looks like Remy was staying at second, Grich beat the throw to first, and the throw went wild, allowing the runners to move to second and third. Bonds was intentionally walked, and Baylor responded by singling home two runs, putting the Angels back on top. Paul Torrealba came in for Medich and put Rudi on base on purpose; Ron Jackson then singled in another run before Torrealba and Dave Giusti recorded an out each to end the inning.

With his teammates having recovered from his first blown lead, Tanana promptly gave them the chance to do it again. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Picciolo, Lintz, and Manny Sanguillen all singled, scoring one run and putting the tying tally 90 feet away. Page did not single; he homered instead, putting Oakland ahead 7-5 and ending the day for Tanana. John Verhoeven came on to lock the barn door after the horse had escaped, retiring Allen and McKinney to end the inning.

Remy singled and stole second against Giusti in the eighth, while Verhoeven walked Gross, but neither team scored. The same could not be said of the ninth. Baylor led off with a single, took second on a passed ball by Jeff Newman (who'd just come on as a defensive replacement), and scored on a double by Rudi, prompting Doug Bair to replace Giusti on the mound. Dan Briggs walked, Bochte sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Chalk tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

Having been come back on once more, the A's responded with the same promptness that they'd used the first time. Lintz drew a walk from Verhoeven to start the bottom of the ninth. A bunt moved him to second, and Don Kirkwood then intentionally walked Page, bringing Allen to the plate. Allen flied to deep center, and Lintz tagged and tried for third; Grich took the throw from the outfield and relayed it to third, but his throw went wide, and Lintz scampered home with the winning run.

Two runs in five and a half innings; 13 runs in the remaining three and a half. In dramatic terms, this game was more offense-dominated than any other in the first 76 games on 1977 (which is how far we've gone to date) - that is, it featured the most combined WPA from the two offenses, 1.824, a total that would have ranked 7th in the entire 2012 season. That's what happens when you cram four lead changes and a tie into 9 innings, with many of the rallies being from multiple runs down.

Scheduling note: We're now 9 days into 1977. Two teams (California and Seattle) have already played 9 games - all of California's on the road, all of Seattle's at home. On the other hand, four teams (Cleveland, Philly, Montreal, and the Red Sox) have only played four. I assume there are some weather issues here, but still - kind of weird.

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