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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-1-2013

El Paso Herald, May 1, 1913:

With a man on third and a man on first, it was the custom to start a double lead off the bases. The pitcher, as a rule, would peg to Jake [Beckley] and the runner on third would instantly break for home.
This was [Beckley’s] idea: The first time the enemy tried that double steal, he, Jake, instead of lingering round first, would be far up towards second; he would take the ball, let the runner on third do as he liked, send the ball to [Roy] Brashear, who was playing second, and get the victim before the one coming home could score.
Like a flash the pitcher threw, the man on third broke for home, and the man on first, supposing that Jake would peg at the plate, scampered for second. Beckley hooted hoarsely, wheeled, and drove the ball redhot to second base, hitting Brashear full upon the jaw and knocking him insensible!

When Jake planned out the glorious scheme, he had overlooked the formality of telling Brashear anything about it.

Terrific story, but probably not true. Beckley joined the Cardinals in 1904, two years after Brashear left St. Louis.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:10 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, jake beckley, roy brashear

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:14 AM (#4430346)
The second consecutive putrid Birthday Team.

C: Charlie O'Brien
1B: Felix Torres
2B: Jose Lind
3B: 1880s non-Whoop-La Bill White
SS: Johnny Berardino
CF: Von Joshua
RF: Al Zarilla

SP: George McQuillan
SP/LF: Frank Foreman
SP: Armando Reynoso
SP: Heinie Meine
SP: Bob Harris
RP: Roy Lee Jackson

Greatest Ever Russian-Born Ballplayer: Victor Starffin
Designated Canadian: Rich Butler
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:15 AM (#4430347)
93 years ago today, Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore each threw a 26-inning complete game...and neither one got the victory.
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4430382)
I haven't noticed a birthday league update in a while. Are you still doing those? (And I'm just missing them)
   4. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4430385)
I'm trying, Chris, but I've fallen behind. Tentatively, I plan to finish off the late March-late April league this evening.

The really time-consuming part is building the rosters in the game. The interface is pretty poor...I actually have to find each individual player on a list of every single player in MLB history, then drag and drop them onto the proper roster.

I'm still pressing on, though.
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4430392)
93 years ago today, Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore each threw a 26-inning complete game...and neither one got the victory.

The best part of that link? Time of Game: 3:50 The A's and Angels 8.5 inning game last night was nearly as long. The A's last 27.5 innings have taken over 10 hours.
   6. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:00 AM (#4430398)
Baseball history thing at THT notes tht today marks 40 years since an incredible 9th inning Giants comeback. 7 runs all w/ two outs.
   7. BDC Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4430399)
I was looking at the Rangers box score on Yahoo this morning, and some guy named Batter had four home runs and ten RBI.
   8. Steve N Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4430519)
How can you call an offense that includes Charlie O'Brien putrid?
   9. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4430533)
I was looking at the Rangers box score on Yahoo this morning, and some guy named Batter had four home runs and ten RBI.

This guy?
   10. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4430536)
Frank Foreman was born 150 years ago, while the Battle of Chancellorsville was going on 100 miles away. I like to imagine birthday teammates like Foreman telling stories about growing up during the Grant administration to youngsters like Jose Lind and Charlie O'Brien.
   11. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4430545)
randy wells retired.
   12. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4430684)
RIP Jake Eliopoulos, 21. 2nd round pick four years ago never signed with a pro team...
   13. Walt Davis Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4431049)
Designated Canadian

Will this solve our contentious debate? The AL plays with a DH and the NL plays with a DC?

randy wells retired.

Wow. That must be one non-working arm at this point.
   14. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4431054)
Game of the day (yesterday): Brewers 12, Pirates 8.

As was helpfully noted in yesterday's Omnichatter, the Pirates entered this game at 7-45 (if memory serves) in their last 52 appearances at Miller Park. This game is not going to disabuse anyone of the notion that Pittsburgh's outings in Milwaukee are cursed, today's win notwithstanding.

The game got off to a promising start for the Pirates, as Starling Marte led off the first with a double and came around to score on singles by Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen. Marco Estrada then got Garret Jones to ground out, moving the runners to second and third; Gaby Sanchez walked to load the bases, but Pedro Alvarez popped out and Brandon Inge struck out to leave all three runners on. James McDonald was effective in the bottom of the inning, allowing only a walk, but Estrada settled down to throw a perfect top of the second.

McDonald started the bottom of the second with walks to Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez. After Yuniesky Betancourt popped out, Martin Maldonado doubled to score both runners and give the Brewers their first lead, and Estrada himself singled, with Maldonado coming home on Jones's error in right. McDonald rallied to prevent any further damage, which allowed the Pirates to tie the game in the third when Sanchez homered with McCutchen on base, but Milwaukee promptly recaptured the lead in the bottom of the third when Weeks and Gomez hit back-to-back doubles. Estrada retired the side in order in the fourth, and the Brewers kept pouring it on in the bottom of the inning; Jean Segura was plunked with one out, Ryan Braun singled him to third, Jonathan Lucroy doubled in one run, and Weeks added a two-run single to make it 7-3. Weeks defused the rally by getting caught stealing second, which provides a textbook example of the term "cold comfort."

The Pirates weren't done yet, however. Martin and McCutchen cut their deficit in half with back-to-back homers in the top of the fifth, and McDonald set the Brewers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Kintzler took the mound for the Brewers in the sixth and gave up one-out singles to Inge and Clint Barmes; a Jose Tabata forceout put runners at the corners with two outs and brought Burke Badenhop in to face Marte. The new reliever's first pitch was launched over the center field wall for a go-ahead three run homer.

Having recaptured the lead, Pittsburgh entrusted it to Vin Mazzaro. This proved a less than ideal choice, as Segura homered off of his first pitch to retie the game, and Braun and Lucroy followed that with singles. Bryan Morris was rushed to the mound and salvaged the tie, getting Weeks to hit into a double play and Gomez to line out. But after McCutchen and Jones started the seventh with singles, Tom Gorzelanny whiffed Sanchez and coaxed a DP from Pedro Alvarez. And with the score still tied, Betancourt led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer to give Milwaukee the lead.

Facing John Axford, the Pirates tried again in the eighth, with singles by Barmes (with one out) and Marte (with two). Martin grounded out to leave both runners on, and the Brewers drove the final nail in the coffin in the bottom of the inning against Tony Watson when Braun singled, Lucroy walked, and Weeks hit a three-run homer. There was a bit of entertainment still remaining, as Gomez was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, and was thrown out at home on a grounder, but Jim Henderson's 1-2-3 ninth confirmed that the competitive portion of the game had ended.

Presumably, the Pirates' celebration after their win today was dual in nature. First, they won the game; second, they don't have to play here again for another 3 weeks.

Oh, also, the game was quite good, with three lead changes plus a rally to tie, and a healthy number of scoring chances while it was close.
   15. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4431062)
Wells was 0-4 6.08 in 5 AAA starts. Jon Daniels said Wells "just didn't have the same level of desire" he once did.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4431118)
Game of the day (1977): Indians 1, Brewers 0 (12).

So Dennis Eckersley got the win in a 12-inning game. That's not so unusual, right?

Oh, right, he was a starter in '77. As was losing pitcher Jim Slaton. And because it's 1977, I don't even need to tell you that neither of them were making emergency relief appearances after their teams depleted their 7-man bullpens.

There's not an overpowering amount to say about regulation other than "Eckersley and Slaton were outstanding." The first two innings included no baserunners. Larvell Blanks was the first man to reach, walking with one out in the third; he was also the first man into scoring position when Rick Manning singled behind him, but he ended up stranded at third (obviously). Blanks was also the second man into scoring position, singling and stealing second in the fifth. Sixto Lezcano also singled and stole in the bottom of the fifth, and Jim Wohlford walked behind him before Charlie Moore flied out to leave them on. In the sixth, Jim Norris singled and Johnny Grubb walked; with Rico Carty at the plate, Cleveland tried a double steal, but Norris was thrown out at third, and Carty grounded out to end the inning. In the seventh, Blanks made it to third yet again, singling and taking the extra base on Fred Kendall's subsequent hit. Duane Kuiper led off the eighth with a single and was bunted to second before being stranded (OK, technically he was forced at third to end the inning). And that is all of the rallies of any seriousness in the first nine innings of baseball. (You'll notice that nearly all of them were by the Indians; they had 6 distinct runners in scoring position, including Blanks 3 times, while Milwaukee only had one runner reach second and was retired in order 7 times.)

After a perfect tenth from Slaton, the Brewers mounted their second legitimate rally in the bottom of the inning, as Don Money was hit by a pitch and Sal Bando bunted him to second. But a groundout, an intentional walk, and a force later, the game progressed to the eleventh. Grubb led off that inning with a single, only to be erased when Carty hit into a double play; Milwaukee then tried again, with a two-out single and steal from Robin Yount, but after a Cecil Cooper IBB, Money flied out to leave the winning runs on.

John Lowenstein led off the top of the twelfth by singling against Slaton, bringing Blanks (2/3 with a walk) to the plate. Blanks bunted, but Larry Haney (having just come in behind the plate) made an error (presumably of the throwing variety) that allowed the runners to reach second and third safely. Kendall followed with a sac fly that brought in the first run of the game and finally sent the Brewers to their bullpen for Bob McClure; Manning greeted him with a fly ball to left, on which pinch runner Frank Duffy tried to score and was thrown out. (Given the day he'd had to this point, Blanks probably would have made it home safely.)

For the bottom of the twelfth, Eckersley was replaced by Jim Kern. Bando immediately led off with a triple. To make matters worse (at least according to WPA), Lezcano then walked, and after Kern was pulled for Dave LaRoche, Jack Heidemann came on to pinch hit and walked as well, loading the bases with nobody out.

At this point, the Indians had a win expectancy of 26% - and they were ahead. This is the sort of moment that my system absolutely loves, because anything that happens is going to spike the game's probabilities in one direction or another.

In this case, it was another: Steve Brye hit into a 1-2-3 double play, dropping Milwaukee's chances from 74% to 24% in one swing, and Haney then struck out to end the game.

For those of you counting at home, that's 11 innings of brilliant pitching, and one inning of MADNESS. Which is a very nice combination indeed.
   17. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4431146)
OK, since April is now in the books (in both seasons), it's time for a data dump of sorts.

Your most exciting team of 2013 so far is the Diamondbacks, who have played in 2 of the 4 best games of the year and 4 of the top 14 (highlighted by their 10-9, 16-inning win over the Cardinals). They beat out the Angels, who were already in the top 5 before Monday's epic. (The Angels, at 8-17, establish the point that "exciting" is not necessarily a compliment.)

The least-dramatic team of the year to date, and by a healthy margin, are the Astros ("boring" isn't necessarily good either). They have played no extra innings to date, and over half of their games (14 out of 27) have been decided by 5 runs or more. (Compare that to Arizona, which has had only 3 of 27 games decided by 5+ and played extra baseball 6 times already.)

The most exciting team of '77 has been the Royals, which is a bit surprising as they've scored 16 runs twice in 19 games. But 10 of the other 17 have been decided by 2 runs or fewer; compare that to the cross-state Cardinals, who've had only 6 2- or 1-run games out of 19 and have another 6 decided by at least half a dozen runs (to 3 for the Royals), and have yet to play a tenth inning. St. Louis comes out as the least-dramatic team of '77 so far, narrowly edging the Cubs.

Standings-wise at this point in the year, the AL East had the Brewers a game and a half ahead of the Yankees, with everyone but Detroit and Cleveland within 3 of first (and yes, that includes the expansion Blue Jays). The West had Minnesota in first, but with four other teams within a game, leaving out only the Angels (4 games back) and expansion Mariners (6 out); this, despite the fact that Seattle and California had already played each other 8 times.

The NL East was the most compressed division, with only 3.5 games separating first (the Cardinals) and last (the Phillies and Cubs). The NL West, meanwhile, was about as uncompressed as you can imagine, with the Dodgers at 17-3 and nobody else over .500; LA's 7.5-game lead on the second-place Reds was more than the distance between any other first place team and their division's bottom feeder, and more than twice the distance between first and last in the NL East.

One last bit of data: Comparing '77 and '13, the average game of 1977 has been more exciting so far, to an extent that is almost-but-not-quite-yet statistically significant. The difference has come not so much in the high-end games (2013's top 3 are all better than anything in '77 so far), but the low-end ones. Through the end of April, 1977 had three games that score less than one point (games with this score are almost always decided by the end of the second inning, usually the first); 2013 had 15 of these games. (There are differences throughout the scale, but they start at the bottom.)
   18. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4431152)
Birthday League IV (March 26-April 22) Final Results:
March 29            92  62  .597 ----   
April 2             92  62  .597 ----   
April 19            92  62  .597 ----   
April 7             89  65  .578  3.0        
April 6             87  67  .565  5.0
* Bob Watson (April 10) was the league batting champion at .363. Pete Rose (April 14) hit .362.
* Rose led the league with 226 hits.
* George Van Haltren (March 30) hit .334, led the league with 129 runs scored, racked up 200 hits, 12 triples, and stole 72 bases. GVH had a league-long 34 game hitting streak.
* Nate Colbert (April 9) led the league with 33 home runs. Jeff Heath (April 1) had 32 and Ripper Collins (March 30) hit 30 dingers.
* Reggie Smith (April 2) drove in 135 runs to lead the league. He hit .337-26-135.
* John McGraw (April 7) led the league with 118 walks, 84 stolen bases, and a .460 OBP.
* Watson led the league with 9.7 RC/27. Collins (8.8 RC/27) and Heath (8.7) were second and third.
* Scott Perry (April 17) started 54 games and threw a league-leading 335 innings. That's not as positive a development as you might think; he was 11-28, 4.41.
* Greg Maddux (April 14) led the league with 22 wins. Don Sutton (April 2) and Bucky Walters (April 19) had 21 each.
* Hippo Vaughn (April 9) posted a league-leading 2.21 ERA.
* Sutton threw seven shutouts. A third of his wins were of the complete game shutout variety.
* Strikeout leaders: Sutton 209, Bert Blyleven (April 6) 207.
* Dennys Reyes (April 19) threw 23 wild pitches, which is approximately the number of Ring Dings he can eat at one time.
* Denny McLain (March 29) led the league with 58 stolen bases allowed, but that's probably because he threw a bunch of innings and his catcher, Squanto Wilson, is awful.

Stats, standings, box scores, leaderboards, and rosters here.
   19. Chris Fluit Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4431727)
That was fast. Thanks, Dan. And congratulations to the Fightin' Colas (March 29),the Beethovens (April 2) and the Revolution (April 19) on their outstanding seasons.

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