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Monday, June 01, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-1-2020

Pittsburgh Press, June 1, 1920:

Babe Ruth is nine home runs ahead of his 1919 mark up until May 31.

When the “Big Bambino” crashed out his twelfth homer off Walter Johnson Monday he quadrupled his 1919 output for up to June 7 of last year he had registered but three circuit smashes.

The people of 1920 hadn’t seen anything yet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:24 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5954682)
You're not going to find many Birthday Teams with a better pitching staff than June 1. All five of today's starting pitchers threw at least one no-hitter. Breitenstein did it twice.

C: Randy Hundley (11.6 WAR)
1B: Hank Severeid (18.6 WAR)
2B: Bill Eagan (1.8 WAR)
3B: Ken McMullen (34.0 WAR)
SS: Andy Leonard (6.6 WAR)
LF/Manager: Jo-Jo White (3.5 WAR)
CF: Johnny Mostil (23.8 WAR)
RF: Brad Wilkerson (11.0 WAR)

SP: Ted Breitenstein (50.5 WAR)
SP: Carlos Zambrano (43.9 WAR)
SP: Derek Lowe (34.3 WAR)
SP: Dean Chance (29.9 WAR)
SP: Jack Kralick (18.0 WAR)
RP: Guy Morton (16.0 WAR)

Not that one: Jim Duggan
Owner: Ted Bonda
Umpire/Not that one: Jeff Nelson
What change did my old high school recently make to its foreign language offerings?: Les German
   2. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5954684)
All right, it's time for the long-awaited (citation needed) check-in/trivia question on the starting pitcher rankings for the 1960s. After the highly-tumultuous '50s, in which 22 different pitchers reached #1, the '60s were... different. By days at #1:

787.
340.
291.
180.
125.
116.
23.
4.
2.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5954686)
Sandy Koufax! Bob Gibson!
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5954688)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291.
180.
125.
116.
23.
4.
2.

Not the most surprising outcomes. Koufax's score at the end of 1965, an excellent season capped off by back-to-back shutouts in the World Series, is the highest score I have recorded so far. He's also just the second pitcher to have more than three year-end #1 finishes, taking the end-of-season top spot every year from '63 to '66.

Gibson, amusingly enough, actually spent slightly more time at #3 in the '60s (351 days) than he did at #1; his 340 days in the top spot were all in one stint, running from early '68 to the end of the decade.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5954691)
Marichal, possibly, except his best years overlapped Koufax & Gibson
   6. Itchy Row Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5954692)
Marichal? Drysdale?

Did Seaver sneak in at the end of the decade? Or Robin Roberts at the start?
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5954693)
early in the decade it could be Ford or Bunning
   8. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5954695)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291.
180. Don Drysdale
125.
116. Juan Marichal
23.
4.
2.

Seaver will have to wait until the '70s; Gibson was too dominant in '68 and '69.

Marichal is the current leader in days spent at #1 without earning a year-end #1 spot. He also narrowly kept Koufax from going wire-to-wire in '66, taking the top spot for 2 days courtesy of an unbelievable opening stretch to the season (9-0, 0.59 in 10 starts). Koufax did go end-to-end in '64, and Gibson did it in '69; Koufax was the first pitcher to pull that off since Hal Newhouser in '46 and '47.
   9. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:48 AM (#5954696)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291. Jim Bunning
180. Don Drysdale
125.
116. Juan Marichal
23. Whitey Ford
4.
2.

Bunning was early in the decade, but not just early; he was year end #1 in both '61 and '67, giving him the longest gap between year-end #1 finishes to date. (This is true of both gap in which the pitcher did not finish #1, and gap between first and last year-end #1 finish, at least so far.)
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5954698)
Dean Chance with his fluke 1964 could have snuck in for a few days
   11. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5954699)
Denny McLain? Sam McDowell?
   12. Sweatpants Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5954700)
Camilo Pascual?
   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:00 AM (#5954702)
No to Chance, McLain, and McDowell (at least so far; McDowell might make a run in the early '70s). Koufax and Drysdale both held Chance off in '64; he actually peaked at #2 in '67. (Chance's '64 season is great, but its sequencing is really weird; he had only 6 starts by the end of May, and in half of those, he pitched three innings or less. He was then amazing for four months, of course.)

McLain also peaked at #2 in '69, as did McDowell (same year). Seaver, who was mentioned earlier, topped out at #3 (and ended the decade there).

The '60s as a whole had more pitchers peak at #2 than reach #1; I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure that's unusual.
   14. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5954703)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291. Jim Bunning
180. Don Drysdale
125. Camilo Pascual
116. Juan Marichal
23. Whitey Ford
4.
2.

Pascual seems pretty underrated to me, but he's also someone whose career is tailor-made to be liked by the SP rankings; his best years came in something of a down period for great starting pitching, and were also very consecutive, which the rankings like.

Two pitchers to go; both were very early in the decade (one was VERY early), and would both be thought of as '50s guys for the most part.
   15. Mike Webber Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5954704)
Spahn?
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5954705)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291. Jim Bunning
180. Don Drysdale
125. Camilo Pascual
116. Juan Marichal
23. Whitey Ford
4. Warren Spahn
2.

Spahn first reached #1 in 1949, and last got there in 1961. That is the largest first time-last time gap so far (although I'm pretty sure Walter Johnson will beat it once I have his entire career).
   17. Mike Webber Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5954708)
(one was VERY early)


Early Wynn? He was very Early...
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5954709)
Early Wynn? He was very Early...

Not what I was going for with that hint. (Wynn got as high as #5 in '61; he did spend time at #1 in the '50s.) The two days the remaining pitcher spent at #1 came within the first week of the 1960 season, and were therefore mostly built on his performance in the late '50s.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5954710)
Larry Jackson?
   20. Mike Webber Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5954711)
Early Wynn won the Cy Young award in 1959, so I thought maybe....
   21. Itchy Row Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5954712)
the “Big Bambino” crashed out his twelfth homer off Walter Johnson
Johnson had given up a HR to Steve O'Neill in a relief appearance five days earlier, and that was the first HR he'd given up since June 30, 1918. He allowed two in his 326 IP 1918 (both to Ruth) and none in his 290.2 IP in 1919.

Johnson's 369.2 IP with no HR allowed in 1916 is the post-1900 record. He did hit one more HR than he allowed in both 1916 and 1919. Ruth pitched 323.2 innings without giving up a homer in 1916 (4th most since 1900) and hit three of them. He had the advantage of not having to pitch to Babe Ruth, though.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5954713)
Robin Roberts?
   23. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5954715)
Jackson did about as well as you can do without getting to #1; he spent time at #2 in three different years ('60, '61, '63), and time in the top 20 every year of the decade (including 1969, despite being retired). Roberts by the '60s was firmly ensconced in the solid #2 starter phase of his career; his highest ranking of the decade was #10.
   24. Ron J Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5954720)
Frank Lary?

Vern Law?
   25. AndrewJ Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5954721)
Sam Jones? Curt Simmons?
   26. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5954723)
787. Sandy Koufax
340. Bob Gibson
291. Jim Bunning
180. Don Drysdale
125. Camilo Pascual
116. Juan Marichal
23. Whitey Ford
4. Warren Spahn
2. Toothpick Sam Jones

Law and Lary joined the crowd that peaked at #2; Simmons topped out at #8 in the '60s (he reached #3 in the '50s).

I definitely mentioned this in the '50s entry, but I appreciate when notable pitchers with the same name have interesting nicknames I can use (Sad Sam and Toothpick Sam Jones, or Big Bill and Spaceman Bill Lee), so I don't just have to resort to middle initials to distinguish between them.
   27. Itchy Row Posted: June 01, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5954730)
It looks like Larry Jackson was the top pitcher by 1960s WAR who never made it to #1, and Jim Maloney was the top by WAA. Jackson last pitched in 1968 and Maloney only had 47 bad innings left after 1969, so they missed their window. They chose the wrong decade to be really good.
   28. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5954736)
Top 5 non-number 1 pitchers in the '60s based on the metric I use to evaluate pitchers based solely on ordinal position in the rankings:

Larry Jackson
Dean Chance
Jim Maloney
Bob Friend
Jim Kaat

Jackson has the highest score for anyone who didn't reach #1 in their particular calendar decade, narrowly edging out Eppa Rixey in the '20s. (He's helped out by the way I adjust for expansion; I expect some higher scores to come, since the league is always 24 teams or larger starting in the '70s.)

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