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Monday, April 22, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-22-2013

Pittsburgh Press, April 22, 1913:

Hal Chase played his last game at second base for the New Yorks on Friday. When Manager Frank Chance put Chase back on first base in Saturday’s game he had reached the conclusion that Hal could not remain at the keystone bag without further clogging the infield’s machinery. While it is true that Chase originated the idea of covering second base for Chance and that he did his level best to fill the bill, even though he is a left-handed thrower, it soon developed that he was compelled to make flashy and brilliant plays out of comparitively easy chances, which would have been readily and smoothly accepted by right handed throwers.

And thus ended the Great Left-Handed Second Baseman Experiment of 1913.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:27 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, hal chase, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:40 AM (#4421916)
Only two real outfielders on today's Birthday Team. Neal Ball is a shortstop who played six games in the outfield, but there wasn't any good alternative.

C: Bob Schmidt
1B: Mickey Vernon
2B: Mickey Morandini
3B: Lew Riggs
SS: Dee Gordon
LF/Manager: Terry Francona
CF: Taylor Douthit
RF: Neal Ball

SP: Jimmy Key
SP: Moose Haas
SP: Bob Smith
SP: Ray Benge
SP: David Clyde
RP: Dave Schmidt

Owners: Carl Lindner, Nick Mileti
   2. Dag Nabbit at Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4421936)
Up at THT: The rivalry of hammer and nail, about pitchers who just couldn't beat a particular rival club.

Also, a historical item noting that today marks the 20th anniversary of Chris Bosio's no-hitter. He walked the first two batters, and then retired the side the rest of the way.
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4421970)
Brett Myers goes on the disabled list with <quotefingers>inflammation in his right elbow</quotefingers>.

Apparently "inability to pitch" is too vague.

edit to add: His average fastball is down from ~91 last season to ~88 this season, but it's generally been 88-89 for most of the past few seasons. I think it's a case of reverting to the norm than it is an indication that something's wrong with his arm.

In fact, across the board, his PitchFX average speeds are almost exactly what they were in 2011.
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4421982)
Game of the day (Friday): Marlins 2, Reds 1. Mat Latos was perfect in the first inning with two strikeouts, and Shin-Soo Choo led off the bottom of the first with a triple against Kevin Slowey, scoring one out later on a Joey Votto sac fly. The Marlins' fan had to be thinking, "Here we go again."

Not this time. Slowey gave up a walk (Jay Bruce) and a single (Todd Frazier) to start the second, but got out of the jam on a lineout and a double play. In the third, Nick Green (yes, that Nick Green) broke up the early no-hitter with a single, Donovan Solano matched him, Slowey bunted the runners to second and third, and with two outs, Placido Polanco singled to bring Green home. Solano was thrown out at home on the play, but the game was still tied.

From there, Latos and Slowey settled in admirably. Brce singled in the fourth, and Green did the same in the fifth. Latos himself doubled in the bottom of the fifth, and Juan Pierre did the same in the top of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Rob Brantly walked, and Green singled yet again, but Latos retired Solano and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, and the game remained tied at 1.

Chad Qualls took over for Slowey in the seventh; Frazier drew a walk, but was promptly caught stealing. Jonathan Broxton worked a 1-2-3 eighth for the Reds, and Qualls and Mike Dunn combined on perfection in the bottom of the inning. Aroldis Chapman came in for the ninth; you'd have figured on the game's twelfth consecutive scoreless half inning, but Justin Ruggiano had other ideas, launching a tiebreaking homer to left center. Steve Cishek worked around a leadoff single by Zack Cozart, getting Votto-Phillips-Bruce to end the game, and the Marlins had their fourth win of the season.

Baseball is weird sometimes, right? Sometimes Kevin Slowey shuts down the Reds and Justin Ruggiano homers against Aroldis Chapman. Oh, and sometimes Nick Green apparently owns Mat Latos; maybe he can extend his career by getting traded to whatever team is playing the Reds at any given time.
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4421987)
Shin-Soo Choo has been hit by pitches nine times this year. Nine times.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4421992)

Shin-Soo Choo has been hit by pitches nine times this year. Nine times.

And hasn't broken any pitcher collarbones. Amazing!
   7. bjhanke Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4422000)
Ten years after, Chance would never have done that to Chase. The problem is the double play pivot, which is just hell for a lefty 2B. A lefty SS would be possible, if he could find a way to get rid of the ball quickly when it was hit in the hole. The hole problem is probably why there are no lefty SS, even compared to lefty 2B. In 1913 the game's development of defensive equipment (gloves) still didn't really give a righty a decent chance at a DP pivot, much less a lefty, because there weren't a lot of DPs of any kind. Ten years later, the equipment was good enough, and DPs were starting to become a dominant defensive stat. You couldn't win without them. That was, essentially, the end of experiments with lefties at 2B and SS. - Brock Hanke
   8. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4422033)
The problem is the double play pivot, which is just hell for a lefty 2B.

I can confirm this.
   9. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4422035)
Game of the day (Saturday): Reds 3, Marlins 2 (13). The Friday game was perfectly fine, but it more or less won by default. This one, not so much.

Bronson Arroyo was perfect in the top of the first. In the home half, Shin-Soo Choo led off with a single and stole second, but wasn't advanced from there, as Wade LeBlanc only allowed a two-out walk to Brandon Phillips after that. Arroyo allowed a leadoff hit to Greg Dobbs (who's apparently replaced Placido Polanco as Miami's cleanup hitter) in the second, but nothing else; the Reds, meanwhile, loaded the bases on singles by Chris Heisey and Devin Mesoraco and a Choo walk before Zack Cozart grounded out to end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 top of the third, Joey Votto led off the bottom of the inning with a home run, producing the game's first run. Giancarlo Stanton singled with one out in the fourth, then stole second and moved to third on Mesoraco's throwing error. Justin Ruggiano walked, but Nick Green flied out to leave the runners on the corners. The Reds added a second run in the fourth. Mesoraco led off with a single, Arroyo bunted him to second and Choo walked, Cozart hit into a force at second that moved Mesoraco to third, and Votto singled for his second RBI in as many innings.

Miami finally got to Arroyo in the fifth. Miguel Olivo led off with a double, and Donovan Solano singled him to third. LeBlanc was replaced by pinch hitter Joe Mahoney, who singled in the team's first run. Juan Pierre lined into a double play, but Placido Polanco doubled Solano home to tie the score.

That tie, however, came at the cost of their starting pitcher. Tom Koehler took the mound and walked Jay Bruce, but worked around that thanks to a strike out-throw out DP with Todd Frazier at the plate. Arroyo and Koehler exchanged scoreless sixths, and Arroyo was perfect in the seventh as well. Votto led off the bottom of the seventh with a single against Mike Dunn, and Bruce doubled him to third with one out. Chad Qualls took over and after intentionally walking Frazier to load the bases, retired Heisey on a popup and Mesoraco on a strikeout to strand all three runners. Arroyo was flawless once again in the eighth, while AJ Ramos worked around a Choo single to keep the game tied; Aroldis Chapman and Ramos both worked 1-2-3 ninths to extend the game past regulation.

Olivo greeted Sam LeCure with Miami's first hit since the fifth, and was replaced by pinch runner Rob Brantly. Solano bunted him to second, but the subsequent Marlins were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Ryan Webb also put the opposing catcher on base, walking Mesoraco with one out, and also left him there. LeCure and Webb traded zeros again in the eleventh, with Votto's single making him the inning's only baserunner. Ruggiano singled against JJ Hoover to start the twelfth, and Green bunted him to second; a flyout, an intentional walk, and a groundout later, he was still there and the inning was over. Cincinnati also got a runner to second on Heisey's infield hit and Mesoraco's groundout, and also left him there as Steve Cishek whiffed Jack Hannahan. Alfredo Simon worked a 1-2-3 top of the thirteenth, and Choo led off the bottom of the inning with a double; Cesar Izturis moved him to third on a flyout, and after Votto was intentionally walked, Brandon Phillips ended the game with a sac fly.

Extremely honorable mention for GotD goes to Red Sox 4, Royals 3, which scores as the best 9-inning game of the year so far; for obvious reasons, I would have no objection whatsoever to a case being made for it as the best choice here.
   10. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4422037)
While it is true that Chase originated the idea of covering second base for Chance

So you're saying Hal Chase suggested that his team play in a defensive alignment that may have left them at a disadvantage in some way? I'm sure it was an honest mistake...
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4422045)
The hole problem is probably why there are no lefty SS, even compared to lefty 2B.

It's not just the hole. An equally large problem is any ball that requires the shortstop to charge. The righthanded shortstop simply whips it across his while continuing to run forward. THe lefty would have to either spin clockwise, taking a lot of time and resulting in a throw that would be difficult to control the accuracy of or try to turn his body clockwise and deliver a throw that would be hard to get any velocity on.

   12. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4422085)
George Sisler started and played two full games at second base for the 1917 Browns, but that indeed was pretty much it for lefty second basemen outside of an occasional emergency "guy out of position" situation and/or Billy Martin silently protesting a successful protest.
   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4422104)
Game of the day (yesterday): Angels 4, Tigers 3 (13). These two teams combined on the least-dramatic game of the season so far on Saturday, when the Angels dumped 9 on the Tigers in the first inning. It became guaranteed that this game would exceed that one in the first inning, when Detroit loaded the bases on consecutive one-out singles by Torii Hunter, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera, and CJ Wilson recovered to strand all three runners.

Doug Fister set the Angels down in order in the first, and the Tigers continued to trouble Wilson in the second. Jhonny Peralta led off with a walk, and with one out, Omar Infante singled him to second. Wilson then balked the runners to second and third, and Austin Jackson brought in the game's first run on a grounder to short. Hunter and Cabrera walked to load the bases once more, but Fielder grounded back to the mound to end the inning.

Mark Trumbo drew a one-out walk from Fister in the bottom of the second, and Howie Kendrick reached on a bunt single, but Brendan Harris hit into a force at second and Hank Conger grounded out to leave the tying run at third. After Wilson worked a perfect top of the third, the Angels struck in the bottom of the inning. Luis Jimenez was hit by a pitch, Peter Bourjos bunted him to second, and Mike Trout moved him to third on an infield single. Albert Pujols then doubled in a pair of runs to give LA the lead. Fister plunked Josh Hamilton, and Trumbo then grounded to third; the Tigers got the first out at second, but Infante then threw the ball away, allowing Pujols to score the third run of the inning.

Wilson worked a 1-2-3 fourth, while Fister worked around a Harris single and a Bourjos HBP. The Tigers scored against Wilson again in the fifth, when Hunter led off with a walk and Fielder went deep with one out to tie the game. And then the zeros started.

Over the next three half innings, the two starters combined to allow only a single by Harris in the sixth, which was cancelled out when Conger hit into a double play. Having thrown 109 pitches, Wilson was then pulled for Dane De La Rosa, who retired the top of the Detroit lineup in order. The Angels threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Jimenez reached on a Peralta error and Bourjos followed with a bunt single, but Trout hit into a double play, and Hamilton flied out to center after Pujols was intentionally walked.

Sean Burnett struck out Fielder and Victor Martinez to start the eighth. Matt Tuiasosopo (who's younger than I'd've thought, but is still about to turn 27) and Peralta followed with singles, but Brayan Pena flied out to leave them on. Al Alburquerque struck out the side in the bottom of the inning. Detroit tried again in the ninth against Ernesto Frieri; Infante singled, Jackson bunted into a force but then stole second, and Cabrera and Fielder drew two-out walks to load the bases before Martinez flied out. Alburquerque made it five straight strikeouts in the ninth before Bourjos made contact; that contact was a grounder to second, sending the game to extras.

The Tigers went 1-2-3 against Scott Downs in the tenth; the Angels did not. Trout greeted Joaquin Benoit with a single and a steal of second. Pujols flied out and Hamilton struck out; Trumbo was intentionally walked and he and Trout promptly pulled a double steal. (I wonder if you'd have a better shot at catching Trout at third or Trumbo at second?) Kendrick then whiffed to leave the winning run in scoring position. Jerome Williams and Phil Coke took over mound duties in the eleventh; both retired the side in order in that inning. Williams allowed a leadoff hit to Cabrera in the twelfth and still only needed 5 pitches to end the inning. Coke got the first two Angels in the home half, then intentionally walked Pujols with the bases empty to face Hamilton, who struck out. After Williams worked around a Pena single in the top of the thirteenth, Trumbo led off the bottom of the inning with a game-ending home run.

In 13 innings, the teams combined to leave 23 runners on base. Eight of them were left on third, including four with tie scores in the 7th or later. It was a highlight of the best day of baseball so far this year, with 7 games in the 80th percentile or better and a few others that just missed.
   14. esseff Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4422117)
Fifteen players in major-league history have turned unassisted triple plays, and two of them are together on today's b-day team.
   15. esseff Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4422155)
Wouldn't it be cool if Derek Holland could end up on the same team with Brian Dozier and Greg Holland?

(Sorry, Can't Help Myself)
   16. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4422189)
Toronto, you lost the sweetest boy; Casper Wells, sold to Oakland.
   17. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4422194)
Wouldn't it be cool if Derek Holland could end up on the same team with Brian Dozier and Greg Holland?

(Sorry, Can't Help Myself)

But for now Dozier is out there on his own in Minnesota.
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4422222)
Game of the day (4/21/77): Yankees 8, Blue Jays 6. Pitching matchup of Ken Holtzman, who I did not remember was ever a Yankee, and Jesse Jefferson, who I did not remember. (If anyone is getting tired of my constant "whoa, that guy played for that team?" comments... well, they're probably going to keep happening for the rest of the year anyway.) Holtzman, of course, was a lefty who played primarily for the Cubs and A's, and was rapidly approaching the end of an excellent career; Jefferson was a right-hander who bounced around the majors for 9 years and didn't leave too deep an imprint anywhere. In '77, he was coming off of a season in which he threw 62.1 innings for the White Sox, struck out 30 batters and walked 42; the resulting 8.52 ERA somehow qualified him for the 4th spot in Toronto's rotation - where he actually went on to have two relatively decent seasons as a full-time starter.

Holtzman retired the Jays in order in the first. Jefferson gave up a one-out single to Thurman Munson and then walked Reggie Jackson, but Graig Nettles lined into a double play to end the inning. Toronto opened the scoring with three straight singles in the second - but they did so in an extremely convoluted way. Otto Velez led off with a hit, and then was thrown out at third on Doug Ault's single. Ault took second on the throw, however, which allowed him to score on Dave McKay's hit. Alan Ashby then hit into the second line drive double play in two innings.

New York once again put two runners on in the second, as Roy White and Carlos May drew one-out walks. Jefferson stranded them by striking out Chris Chambliss and getting Bucky Dent to fly to left. Gary Woods singled with two out in the top of the third, but was caught stealing second; Jefferson responded with his first perfect inning of the day.

The Jays augmented their lead in the fourth. Hector Torres singled and stole second; one out later, Velez homered, making it a 3-0 game. The Yankees began chipping away in the bottom of the inning; White drew a two-out walk, May singled him to third, and Chambliss doubled, scoring one run. Dent walked to load the bases, but Randolph hit into a force to end the inning. Toronto picked up two hits in the fifth, but Pedro Garcia was thrown out trying to stretch the first one into a double, which kept the rally from reaching critical mass. Reggie doubled in the bottom of the inning, but his teammates were unable to advance him; the Jays had the same problem with Ault's walk in the top of the sixth.

The Yankees finally struck in the bottom of the sixth. May walked with one out, and Chambliss doubled him home; Dent followed with a single to tie the game. Randolph grounded back to the mound, and Jefferson threw the ball away when going for the force at second, which put the runners at the corners, but Munson and Jackson were unable to bring in the go-ahead run. Holtzman set Toronto down 1-2-3 in the seventh, though, and Jefferson was replaced by Chuck Hartenstein in the bottom of the inning. This proved to be an ill-fated substitution. Hartenstein hit Mickey Rivers with one out, then gave up singles to White and May that brought in the go-ahead run. Chambliss followed with a three-run homer that made it a 7-3 game.

The Jays didn't go quietly from there. They chased Holtzman in the eighth with a Torres single and a Velez double that scored one run, and Ault greeted Dick Tidrow with a single that brought in a second, cutting the deficit in half. Pete Vuckovich replaced Hartenstein and gave up a solo homer to Nettles, followed by a triple to Rivers; White then grounded back to the mound, Rivers was caught in a rundown between third and home and tagged out, and White was then thrown out trying to take second on the play. Al Woods's homer and Garcia's single in the top of the ninth brought Sparky Lyle from the bullpen to replace Tidrow; he quickly retired Ron Fairly and Torres to end the game.

There were only three games on 4/21/77; that makes three days in just over two weeks of the season in which there have been three or fewer games on the schedule, and yet there's been at least one decent game on each of those days. This one serves as a decent (if unnecessary) cautionary tale about early season results. It improved the Yankees' record to 4-8, and dropped the Jays to 7-7. The Yankees ended up winning 100 games (and the World Series), and the Jays lost more than that.
   19. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4422258)
Random, meaningless fact of the day that surprised me: Kelly Johnson has more career home runs than Adam Jones, 111-110.

They've both played eight MLB seasons, though Johnson has ~400 more at-bats than Jones.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4422344)
Game of the day (4/20/77): Twins 3, Royals 2. In a pitching matchup of Paul Thormodsgard and Paul Splittorff, the real winners are those who like awesome last names.

Splittorff retired the first two Twins quickly. Rod Carew then walked, and Larry Hisle singled him to third; with Dan Ford at the plate, Splittorff threw a moderately wild pitch (it let Hisle move to second but didn't score Carew), and Ford flied out to leave both men in scoring position. The Royals got a one-out single out of Hal McRae in the first, but didn't score. In the second, both teams had identical innings in terms of run expectancy, if not actual events. Craig Kusick singled, and Lyman Bostock grounded into a double play; Bob Randall then singled and Glenn Borgmann walked to get the top of the order to the plate, but Jerry Terrell grounded out to leave both runners on. Darrell Porter started the bottom of the inning with a single of his own, and Al Cowens also hit into a double play - but of the flyball variety, with Porter apparently trying and failing to tag and take second. Tom Poquette then singled, and Freddie Patek walked; Frank White followed with an infield hit, but (if I'm reading the scoring correctly), Poquette rounded third and was caught in a rundown off the base to end the inning.

Carew drew a one-out walk and was caught stealing in the top of the third. That decision looked extra unfortunate when Hisle and Ford immediately hit back-to-back homers, putting the Twins in front 2-0. George Brett led off the third with a double, but was picked off of second; McRae then singled, took second on a groundout, and scored when Amos Otis hit into a Terrell error, cutting the Minnesota lead in half.

Randall led off the fourth with a single, but the inning ended with a runner still on first. Cowens and Poquette started the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles, prompting Gene Mauch to call on his bullpen (much earlier than you'd figure a present-day manager would). Tom Burgmeier coaxed a force at second from Patek; Patek then stole second, but White and Brett flied out to leave the go-ahead runs in scoring position. Carew started the fifth with a single and stole second, but was then caught stealing third, putting a severe damper on a nascent rally. McRae drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning, but was doubled up on a grounder by Otis. In the sixth, Bostock singled, stole second, and did not try to steal third; his teammates left him on anyway. Kansas City finally tied the game in the bottom of the inning; Porter singled, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Cowens's single, and scored on Patek's hit. With the go-ahead run on second, White hit into Kansas City's second fly ball double play of the game.

After a perfect seventh from Splittorff, the Royals had yet another chance in the bottom of the inning. Brett led off with a single, and took third on a one-out hit by John Mayberry. Burgmeier then coaxed a double play out of Otis, ending yet another inning with a go-ahead run in scoring position. Mark Littell took over for Splittorff in the eighth, and with two outs, yielded a solo homer to Kusick, putting the Twins in the lead once more.

Cowens doubled with one out in the eighth, finally prompting Burgmeier's removal from the game after 4.1 adventurous relief innings (6 hits and a walk, but only one run allowed, plus two inherited runners stranded in the fourth). Tom Johnson walked pinch hitter Cookie Rojas, and the inning's third pinch hitter, Pete LaCock, then hit into (you guessed it) another double play. Littell worked around a single from Terrell in the top of the ninth; Johnson allowed a leadoff hit to White in the home half, but retired Brett, McRae, and Mayberry on flyouts to end the game.

The Royals left 10 men on base in this one and only scored two runs - and that understates the level of offensive inefficiency they showed in this one. Badly. They had 15 hits (including two doubles), 3 walks, a stolen base, a base taken on a wild pitch, and an ROE; that's 19 baserunners in the game, and only 12 either scored or were left on. Of the other seven, one was thrown out trying to take an extra base on a hit, one was picked off, and five were erased on double plays, two of the outfield variety. That is astonishing. Oh, and just to cap all of this madness, the Royals did not strike out once in the game.

The Twins had their share of madcap baserunning adventures, but they also had three solo home runs, which was exactly helpful enough.
   21. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4422379)
Random, meaningless fact of the day that surprised me: Kelly Johnson has more career home runs than Adam Jones, 111-110.

They've both played eight MLB seasons, though Johnson has ~400 more at-bats than Jones.

I guess Adam Jones isn't 24 years old any more. Lordy, the years fly by.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4422420)
Game of the day (4/19/77): Orioles 6, Indians 5 (10). Mike Flanagan vs. Dennis Eckersley - not that Eck should really require linking, but still.

Flanagan was perfect in the first, while Eckersley put runners on the corners with a one-out walk to Billy Smith and a single by Ken Singleton before Doug DeCinces and Eddie Murray struck out and flied out to leave them there. Buddy Bell (starting in left field rather than at third for I-don't-know-what-reason; all 11 of his career LF appearances came this season) walked in the second and moved up on a groundout, but wasn't advanced further. Larry Harlow singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, and Rick Dempsey bunted him to second, which would have been a dubious enough idea even if Harlow hadn't tried to take third on the play and gotten thrown out. (Man, did people try weird things on the bases in 1977.)

Ray Fosse broke up Flanagan's no-hitter and shutout all at once with a leadoff homer in the third; Eckersley retired the first two O's in the bottom of the inning before allowing a double to Smith and a game-tying single to Singleton. Bell singled with one out in the fourth before his teammates hit into back-to-back forceouts. Baltimore took its fist lead in the bottom of the inning, as Lee May doubled, Harlow reached on an error that moved May to third, and Dempsey hit a sac fly to bring him home. But that lead proved just as transitory as Cleveland's had earlier; in the next half-inning, Fosse and Frank Duffy singled to put runners on the corners, and Duane Kuiper brought Fosse home with a squeeze bunt to retie the score.

Smith singled and stole second with one out in the fifth, and then was doubled off when Singleton lined to short. Flanagan set the Indians down 1-2-3 in the sixth, and the Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning on singles by Murray and May and a walk to Harlow. Dempsey flied out, with Murray staying at third, and Mark Belanger fouled out to leave all three men on. After another spotless frame from Flanagan, Baltimore tried again in the seventh; Smith singled and stole second again, and Singleton was intentionally walked. DeCinces flied out and Murray grounded out to abandon yet another pair of runners.

Flanagan and Eckersley traded perfect eighths, and Flanagan worked around a Bell walk in the ninth. The bottom of the inning brought Dave LaRoche out of the bullpen, and he set the O's down in order to send the game to extras at 2-2.

At this point, Flanagan was finally pulled from the game. The Indians reacted as though they'd been waiting all day for this exact moment. Charlie Spikes led off with a double against Tippy Martinez, and one out later, Duffy tripled in the go-ahead run. After Rick Manning walked, Larvell Blanks hit for Kuiper and singled Duffy in. Dyar Miller replaced Marinez on the mound, and Jim Norris hit for Paul Dade and drew a base-loading walk. Rico Carty followed with an RBI single; Miller recovered to strike out Bell and Andre Thornton, but the damage was done.

Or so it appeared. Singleton started the bottom of the tenth with a single against LaRoche, and DeCinces walked. Murray struck out, but May singled, scoring Singleton and bringing the winning run to the plate. Harlow's spot in the order was due up; Harlow had put up a nice enough line to this point (1/3 with a single and a walk), but he wasn't all that good a hitter, and he was also left-handed, which meant that LaRoche would have the platoon advantage.

So Earl Weaver turned to his bench for a right-handed bat. He had already used his best one (Rich Dauer - "best" is a relative term) the inning before. So the option he chose was a hitter who'd posted OPS+ figures of 58 and 64 the last two years; he'd been a starter in the first of those seasons, but was quickly relegated to substitution duty in the second, and was still on the roster entirely because of his glove.

All Brooks Robinson did was hit a come-from-behind, walkoff, three-run homer. It would be the last home run of his career.

Whatever else happens in Games of the Day for the rest of 1977, this one on its own makes the entire project worth it.
   23. Moeball Posted: April 22, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4422610)
Mark Trumbo drew a one-out walk from Fister in the bottom of the second

Did I read this correctly? Mark Trumbo walked? Wow, that is news.

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