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Friday, June 28, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-28-2013

Toledo News-Bee, June 28, 1913:

Terre Haute protested Thursday’s game, lost at Ft. Wayne, 7 to 6, because fans sicked a dog on Manager Goat Anderson, when he was chasing a fly, and he had to chase himself to safety.

That seems like a pretty reasonable protest.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 28, 2013 at 06:11 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 28, 2013 at 06:14 AM (#4479975)
A sneaky-good Birthday Team today. No Hall of Famers, but seven good position players. The pitching staff has a nice "Ball Four" flavor, too.

C: Orlando McFarlane
1B: Mark Grace
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Corey Koskie
SS: Chris Speier
LF: The Good Ken Williams
CF: Richard Hidalgo
RF/Manager: Don Baylor

SP: Al Downing
SP: Fred Talbot
SP: Mike Lynch
SP: Joe Cascarella
SP: Greg Keagle
RP: Joe Sambito
RP: Fred Gladding

Umpire: Ron Luciano
Extra OF/RP: Ron Mahay
   2. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 28, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4480543)
Game of the day (yesterday): Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 2 (11). It was a marquee matchup, featuring the most dramatic team of the year and the least. Oh, also, it was Patrick Corbin vs. Stephen Strasburg, two of the best young starters in the game.

Washington picked up a couple of early hits off of Corbin, a Ryan Zimmerman double in the first and an Adam LaRoche single in the second. Arizona didn’t get a hit until the start of their second time through the order, when Gerardo Parra singled with two out in the third. They also got a single and steal of second from Paul Goldschmidt (!) in the fourth, but the scoring didn’t start until the bottom of that inning when LaRoche walked and Ian Desmond cranked a 2-run homer to left.

Both teams managed leadoff hits in the fifth (from Jason Kubel and Jhonatan Solano, respectively), but neither scored. The same was not true in the fifth, as Corbin himself led off with a hit, and came the rest of the way around two batters later when Aaron Hill homered to tie the game. Strasburg then allowed an infield hit to Goldschmidt and walked Miguel Montero, but settled down to induce a pair of flyouts. Corbin worked around a walk in the sixth and a single in the seventh, and both starters exited the game (Strasburg in favor of a pinch hitter, who hit the aforementioned single) at that point.

The bullpens maintained their predecessors’ level of effectiveness. Drew Storen struck out the side in the eighth, while Brad Ziegler allowed only a two-out Jayson Werth single. Ian Krol allowed hits to Cody Ross and Didi Gregorious in the ninth before retiring Chad Pennington to leave them on, and David Hernandez whiffed all three Nats he faced to force extras. Rafael Soriano walked Eric Hinske to open the additional frames, but stranded the runner at second after a sacrifice; Josh Collmenter worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the inning.

Craig Stammen came on for the top of the eleventh and immediately allowed an automatic double to Montero. AJ Pollock came on as a pinch runner and took third on Ross’s bunt. Stammen walked Kubel, bringing Gregorious to the plate; the young shortstop laid down an excellent bunt up the first base line, scoring Pollock with the go-ahead run and reaching safely on the play. Stammen struck out the next two hitters to end the inning, but Heath Bell worked around LaRoche’s one-out single (which made him 2/3 with 2 walks on the day, by the way) to end the game.

Corbin is having some year, isn’t he? 9-0, 2.22, and only one unearned run allowed. He’s pitched slightly more innings than he did last year (109.2 to 107), and allowed exactly half as many runs and earned runs (56/54 to 28/27). He’s also allowed exactly half as many homers, which I don’t figure is a coincidence (although it’s hardly the only factor; his H/9 is about 2/3 of what it was last year).

Oh, the other guy who pitched yesterday is still doing well too, even if he has allowed 8 more unearned runs so far than Corbin. Any time you can see two guys like this pitch, it’s going to be interesting by default; the fact that the game itself turned out well is gravy.
   3. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 28, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4480630)
Game of the day (1977): Astros 7, Padres 6. The mediocre and surprisingly long-tenured Tom Griffin against the at-the-time mediocre, although eventually both good and long-tenured Floyd Bannister.

Bannister was perfect in the first, and his teammates seized the lead in the bottom of the inning as Enos Cabell and Cesar Cedeno doubled. Cedeno was then caught stealing third, however, and the Padres countered quickly with an all-Dave rally in the second: Dave Winfield singled, Dave Kingman (making the second of four stops on his one-year tour of every division in baseball) doubled, and Dave Roberts grounded out to score Winfield with the tying run.

Griffin worked a scoreless second despite making an error, then gave himself the lead by leading off the third with a home run. The tie came right back in the bottom of the inning, however, as Julio Gonzalez reached on an error by left fielder Gene Richards and scored on a Cabell single. (The PBP lists Gonzalez as scoring from first on the single; that wouldn't be unprecedented, but I'd guess the length of the ROE was likely misreported, or unreported in the game account used.) Cabell was then caught stealing, which looked doubly unfortunate when Cedeno doubled immediately afterward. (I made that pun by accident, and am leaving it in as punishment for myself not noticing.)

Kingman led off the fourth with a walk and was then promptly picked off. After a perfect fourth from Griffin, Mike Champion led off the fifth with a triple... and was promptly picked off. (It's scored C-P, which doesn't seem like it makes any sense; this may be one of 1977's spottier game accounts.)

The bottom of the fifth ended the brief scoreless streak. Bannister led off with a single, and Gonzalez matched him. Cabell popped up to third, but Cedeno reached on an error by Champion to load the bases. Bob Watson flied out for what should have been the third out of the inning; instead, Jose Cruz walked to force in the go-ahead run, and Jim Fuller then reached on a fielder's (bad) choice, with everyone else safe as well, including Gonzalez at home. (The FC is not scored beyond that - maybe they went for a force at second or third and didn't get it?)

Bannister was pulled for Gene Pentz to start the sixth. George Hendrick singled with one out, and Winfield followed with a homer to tie the game. Kingman followed with a single, and Gene Tenace followed with a go-ahead RBI triple to make it 5-4 Padres.

It should be noted that not only did Tenace have a triple (one of 20 in his career), but he also started the game at third base (one of 17 career appearances there). Assuming he didn't have any multi-triple games, I get the odds of his appearing at third in both of those ways in the same game as approximately 1 in 7100.

Having been given his first lead in a while, Griffin threw a perfect sixth. Bo McLaughlin worked around a Bill Almon single to keep San Diego from scoring in the seventh. Rollie Fingers replaced Griffin in the bottom of the inning, giving him the "when men were men" save opportunity - 3 innings, one-run lead; he allowed two hits in the first of those innings, but Cabell was caught stealing before Watson's hit, so no harm was done. McLaughlin and Fingers traded spotless eighths, keeping it at 5-4 Padres going into the ninth.

Roberts walked and Champion singled to open the final inning, and McLaughlin was immediately pulled in favor of Joe Niekro. Niekro retired the next three hitters, but not before throwing a wild pitch that scored Roberts and doubled the size of the San Diego lead. (Insult to injury: the wild pitch came with Fingers at the plate; you wouldn't think it would take that much risk to get the other team's closer out. I am highly startled to learn that Fingers actually had 201 career plate appearances, and 31 hits; his .172 average is not utterly appalling by pitcher standards.)

Fingers allowed a leadoff hit to Ken Boswell in the bottom of the ninth, but then retired Gonzalez. Cabell doubled, however, scoring Boswell and putting the tying run in scoring position. With Cedeno at the plate, Fingers tried to pick Cabell off of second; he threw the ball into center, allowing the runner to take third, and Hendrick then threw wildly to third, allowing the tying run to come home. Houston didn't end the onslaught there, as Cedeno doubled and Watson singled to end the game.

I'm not sure any team has blown a game quite as thoroughly as the Padres did this one. In raw numbers, they had 5 errors and 2 runners picked off. But that doesn't tell the entire story. They had a passed ball during Houston's first-inning rally (although it came between two doubles, so it probably wasn't responsible for the run). The runner who scored in the third reached on an error. They had two runners reach leading off innings in the fourth and fifth, and both were picked off, the second after a triple (in a tie game). Another error in the Houston fifth prolonged that inning and let two more runs score.

Despite that, they still went into the bottom of the ninth with a 6-4 lead and a Hall of Fame closer on the mound - and then they made two errors on one pickoff play to bring in the tying run.

Had they finished the year a game out, this would have been the stuff of months of recrimination. Since they finished 29 games out... probably not quite so much.

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