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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2020

Washington Times, July 2, 1920:

On July 1, 1920, Walter Johnson pitched his first no-hit, no-run game, defeating the Red Sox, at Boston, 1 to 0. Hooper reached first on Harris’ error in the seventh. Only five balls were hit beyong [sic] the infield.

Elsewhere on the page, a quote from Clark Griffith:

His fast ball was just like the old times and so good that the Red Sox knew it was coming, laid for it, yet could not touch it…There was too much talk about Johnson being all through. I imagine this got under Walter’s skin, even if he is the last man in the game to bother about what it said about his work in the papers or by fans speaking from the stands.

For the most part, after 1919 Walter Johnson was no longer Walter Johnson, but he was still one of the better pitchers in the league. The final out of the Big Train’s lone career no-hitter came on a ground ball ripped over first base; Joe Judge made a great play and flipped to Johnson covering the initial sack.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, no-hitters, walter johnson

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5960682)
A pretty okay Birthday Team today, though the left side of the infield is shaky.

C: Fred Carroll (21.9 WAR)
1B: Sean Casey (16.5 WAR)
2B: Grover Hartley (1.5 WAR)
3B: Greg Dobbs (-3.8 WAR)
SS: Gil English (0.1 WAR)
LF: Tony Armas (15.9 WAR)
CF: Angel Pagan (18.0 WAR)
RF: Jose Canseco (42.4 WAR)

SP: Chuck Stobbs (14.8 WAR)
SP: Joe Magrane (12.0 WAR)
SP: Steve Sparks (10.2 WAR)
SP: Brett Cecil (6.6 WAR)
SP: Jerad Eickhoff (5.8 WAR)
RP: Hal Reniff (3.6 WAR)

Broadcaster: Red Rush
More fingers and fewer goats than his brother: Ozzie Canseco (-0.6 WAR)
Researcher/Author: Dick Thompson
Tony Plush's alter ego: Nyjer Morgan (6.8 WAR)
Umpire: Mike Reilly
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 02, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5960685)
After Frank Baumann yesterday, we get another ERA leader of dubious qualifications today in Joe Magrane. Magrane led the NL in ERA in 1988 while making just 24 starts (no relief appearances), and won just five games. I'm pretty sure that's the record low; when Hoyt Wilhelm became the only pure reliever to win an ERA title, he won 15 games.
   3. puck Posted: July 02, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5960741)
I remember that Magrane season, probably due to the 5-9 record with the ERA leadership. What I didn't remember was 40 earned runs, 57 runs total. Wow.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5960745)
I hadn't noticed that. The following year, 1989, Magrane's ERA jumped from 2.18 to 2.91, and he fell from first to 11th in the league in ERA, but his RA was virtually identical. His FIP actually went down, from 2.99 to 2.95.
   5. salvomania Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5960748)
Quick Quiz:

The Nippon League single-season home-run record (60) was set by this player, who broke the previous record (55) held by Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes, and Alex Cabrera.

Hints: He last played in the MLB in 2009. He is currently active in the Japanese Central League. His birthday is today.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5960750)
Alex Ramirez? Is he still playing?
   7. salvomania Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5960751)
Alex Ramirez? Is he still playing?

Ramirez retired after 2013, and his high was 49 homers.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:38 PM (#5960752)
Wladimir Balentein, I think
   9. salvomania Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5960754)
Quick Quiz:

This guy played in the MLB primarily in 2008-09 (he had 4 PA in 2007), hitting 15 homers in 511 ab while splitting time in all three OF positions.
   10. salvomania Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5960755)
Wladimir Balentein, I think

That is correct, and I wouldn't have guessed it in 100 years unless If I hadn't just noticed it today in looking at the list of birthday players, and wondering why Balentien hadn't played in the US since 2010 at age 25.

In his 8 full season in Japan (he missed almost all of one season) he's never hit fewer than 31 homers, although his next most after the 60 is only 38.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5960757)
I just knew it. I think that was unguessable unless you read about the record when it was set. Helps that the name Wladimir is distinctive. Was #9 a clue? Even in this supremely nerdy community, it's nearly impossible to identify a random OF that hit 15 homeruns in 2008-2009.
   12. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 02, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5960763)
I remember Wladimir Balentien being an absolutely huge guy who did nothing but swing for the fences. I thought he was once signed by an NL team and used strictly as a DH in interleague games, then sent down again. But after consulting BB-ref, I must have been confusing him with Wily Mo Pena.
   13. salvomania Posted: July 02, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5960772)
Was #9 a clue? Even in this supremely nerdy community, it's nearly impossible to identify a random OF that hit 15 homeruns in 2008-2009.

Less a clue than more context about an unremarkable-seeming player who ended up setting the Japanese League home run record.
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 02, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5960783)
Alex Ramirez? Is he still playing?

As noted, he retired in 2013. He got 2,017 hits in Japan, the first foreign-born player to break the 2,000 hit barrier. He's been the manager of Yokohama BayStars since 2016, and became a naturalized Japanese citizen last year.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2020 at 05:43 PM (#5960786)
In the year 2000 Alex Cabrera slugged .986 in half a season in AA. He spent a bit of time in the majors, and slugged .500 there. That winter I bought the Bill James STATS Inc annual handbook, and noted that in the minor league equivalencies, Cabrera was listed as having a SLG that was about as high as anyone other than Sosa and McGwire. This was an even more aggressive projection than PECOTA's ridiculous Wieters numbers. I remember wondering if it were possibly true, but we didn't find out, because he spent the rest of his career in Japan. He did slug about .700 over the next five years for Seibu, so it was probably near the mark.
   16. Cblau Posted: July 02, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5960807)
Do you realize that after the 1919 season, Walter Johnson had a career ERA of 1.65 in over 4000 innings? If he'd quit then, he'd be the record holder instead of Ed Walsh. Heck, he still had the record after the 1921 season.

He pitched another no-hitter in 1924:

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