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Archive for April, 2006

Another No Hit Loss, 39 Years Ago on This Very Day …

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

For those of you who thought that Harvey Haddix’s 13 inning perfect game which fell apart in the 14th on an error, a walk and a freakish homer which became a double, was an unusual phenomonon, check this one out.

                                        Harvey Haddix

39 years ago today, Steve Barber of Baltimore and Earl Wilson of Detroit tied up in an unusual pitching duel. 

                         Steve Barber             Earl Wilson     

Unusual because for 7 innings both pitchers threw goose-eggs, although
Steve Barber was prolific with walks throughout the game while not giving up a hit and Detroit’s Earl Wilson pitched 8 innings giving up but 1 run on 2 hits, the only 2 hits in the entire game by both teams.

So Batimore headed into the 9th inning with a 1-0 lead.  However, it was not to stand.  Barber struck out 3, but walked 10 men in his 8 2/3 inning pitched.  The two 9th inning runs come in on his wild pitch and an error.  Stu Miller came in to get the final out in the Detroit 9th.

                           Stu Miller             Fred Gladding    

Then Fred Gladding came in for Detroit and retired the Orioles without a hit, recording a save while Earl Wilson got the win.  Poor Steve Barber earned the distinction of being the losing pitcher in a game in which he pitched a no hitter.  Barber went on to split the season between Baltimore and the New Yankees posting total for 1967 of 10 wins 19 losses.

Soon to be posted; Matt Young’s 1992 8 inning no-hit loss for the Boston Red Sox 2-1 to the Cleveland Indians.

Red Hot Cincinnati Atop NL Central, Detroit Wins 8 of 10 Stays 1 Behind ChiSox, Yanks Stay 1 Behind Boston, Split with Toronto …

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

The Cincinnati Reds who have won 6 straight, 9 of their last 10 games, lead a very strong NL Central field, holding a 1 Game lead over St. Louis with  Houston and Chicago close behind.  The Reds took the first 2 games of the 3 game series with the Houston Astros on on Friday and Saturday by 5-4 and 6-3 scores.

On Friday night, the Reds, in their 20th try, finally beat Roy Oswalt (4-1).  Newcomer 2b Brandon Phillips went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs as the Reds jumped off to a 3-1 lead over Oswalt and Houston after 6 innings.  They built up a 5-2 lead before Houston came back to score 2 in the 9th.  Reds starter Brandon Claussen (2-2) got the win, David Weathers (S7) got credit for the save, while Oswalt took the loss.

On Saturday, the Reds jumped on Houston starter Andy Petitte (1-4) for 6 runs and 11 hits thru 6 innings as Reds starter Aaron Harang (4-1) got the win and David Weathers (S8) picked up another save.  Rich Aurilia got his 3rd homer of the season in the 5th for Cincinnati, a solo job, while Jason Lane hit a 2 run homer for Houston in the 2nd inning.

                               David Weathers

Also in the NL Central, 4th place Chicago and 5th place Milwaukee split games on Friday and Saturday; the Cubs winning 6-2 on Friday behind Greg Maddux (5-0) who pitched 6 innings giving up 2 runs, 8 hits enroute to his MLB leading wins.  For the Cubs, Ronny Cedeno hit a 2 run homer in the 6th while going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs.  Jacque Jones (4 HR) also hit a solo blast for the Cubs while going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs.   David Bush (2-2) took the loss.

                     Greg Maddux

On Saturday, the Brewers evened up their series with the Cubs drubbing them with a 16-2 offensive outburst.  It was their biggest offensive outburst in six years.  Brewers starter Doug Davis (1-2) got the win going 6 1/3 innings and allowing 1 run and 5 hits, while Cubs starter Glendon Rusch (1-4) took the loss.

The Phillies are in the throes of a 3 game losing streak. They lost to  Colorado 6-3 on Thursday to split their 4 game series 2 games apiece.  Brewers starter Aaron Cook (2-3) pitched 6 innings and got the win while Brian Fuentes (S4) recorded the save.  Phils Reliever Ryan Franklin (1-2) got tagged with the loss in relief of starter Jon Lieber (0-4).   Brad Hawpe solo homered in the Colorado 2nd, his 7th of the season while Garret Atkins got his 2 HR, a 2 run homer of Ryan Franklin in the 8th.

On Friday, the Phillies lost the first of a 3 game series with the NL Central cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh PiratesPittsburgh’s Ian Snell (1-2) dueled with Phils’ Brett Myers (2-1) for 7 innings with Pittsburgh picking up the 2 lead runs in their 7th as Snell got the win and Myers, the loss.   Mike Gonzalez was credited with a save.

On Saturday, the Phillies nearly duplicated their 3-1 loss of Friday, this time losing to the Piates 3-2 as Pirates’ Paul Maholm (1-3) outdueled Cory Lidle (2-3) in a 6 inning battle of the starters.    Jeromy Burnitz hit his 5th homer, a 2 run shot off of Lidle in the 4th inning for a 3-1 lead and Aaron Rowand hit his 3rd homer of the season, a solo shot for the Phils in the 8th to close the gap.  The relievers shutdown the offenses over the last 3 innings, except for Rowand’s homer, with Pirates’ Roberto Hernandez (S2) getting the save.

The New York Mets sit astride the NL East with a 7 game lead over Atlanta (and the Phils) and in the midst of a 4 game winning streak as they defeated the Atlanta Braves 5-2 and 1-0 on Friday and Saturday in the first 2 of a crucial early season confrontation between NL East contenders.

                        Pedro Martinez

ON Friday, Mets starter Pedro Martinez, who is now tied with the Cub’s Greg Maddux for the most wins (both with 5-0 records), outdueled
John Smoltz (1-2) over 7 innings as Mets held a 3-2 lead to which they added 2 more in the 9th on David Wright’s 5th Homer of the season, a 2 run blast off of Atlanta reliever Chris Reitsma (0-1).  Mets closer Billy Wagner (S6) got credit for his 6th save.  David Wright drove in a total of 3 runs on his 4th and 5th homers of the season in the 1st and 9th innings.  Chpper Jones hit his 2nd homer of the year in the 6th inning driving in 2.

The New York Yankees have managed to stay one game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  On Thursday night the Yanks won the get-away game with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-1 taking the 3 game series 2 games to 1.  Yanks starter Shawn Chacon (3-1) outpitched Tampa Bay starter Mark Hendrickson (1-1) into the 7th inning, Chacon; the win, Hendrickson; the loss.  Yanks closer Mariano Rivera (S3) was credited with the save.

On Friday, the Yanks lost the opening game of a 3 game series with the  Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 as Toronto starter Roy Halladay (3-1) was the winning pitcher and Jaret Wright (0-2) the loser, both going 5 1/3 and 5 innings respectively.  Fran Catalanotto hit his 2nd homer of the season with one on in the 1st inning and Shea Hillenbrand hit a pair of solo blasts in the 6th and 9th innings for his 2nd and 3rd homers of the season.  Bernie Williams homered for the Yankees in the 6th with 1 on for his 2nd homer of the season.  B.J. Ryan (S4) notched the save for the Blue Jays.

On Saturday, the Yanks scored in each of the 9 innings in routing Toronto 17-6 including 4 homers; J Giambi’s 8th in the 1st,  J Damon’s 2nd (a solo blast) in the 2nd inning and 3rd of the season in the 4th inning with one on and J Posada’s 3rd in the 6th inning.  Yanks starter Randy Johnson (4-2) got the win although he gave up all 6 Toronto runs in his 5 innings of pitching.  Toronto starter Josh Towers took the loss giving up 7 runs to the Yanks in 2 1/3 innings.

                                    Randy Johnson

The Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays split the first 2 games of their 3 game series, Tampa Bay won on Friday 5-2 as Toronto starter Casey Fossum (1-1) pitched 6 innings of shutout ball in getting the win, while Matt Clement took the loss allowing 5 Tampa Bay runs in his 6 innings of work.

On Saturday, the Red Sox bounced back to defeat the Devil Rays as reliever Keith Foulk (2-1) got the win in relief of starter Lenny DiNardo (0-1) with Jon Papelbon (S-10) notching the save by striking out the side in the 9th.  Tampa Bay reliever Tyler Walker (0-1) got hung with the loss plus being charged with a blown save.  Manny Ramirez notched his 4th homer of the season in the 6th for the Red Sox while Greg Norton, Jonny Gomes (4 for 4 and homer with 1 on) and Toby Hall homered for Tampa Bay.

                                  Manny Ramirez             Jonny Gomes

The hot Detroit Tigers routed the Minnesota Twins by the lopsided scores of 9-0 and 18-1 in the first 2 games of their 3 game series   behind solid pitching by winning starters Nate Robertson (3-2) and Justin Verlander (3-2) and an awesome offense accounting for 27 runs, 38 hits and 5 home runs in two games.   Twins starters Brad Radke (3-2) and Carlos Silva took the losses.

For More scores from Friday and Saturday games,  click here and here as well as for previews and scores of today’s games, click here.

Game Results; Tuesday and Wednesday, April 25th, 26th.

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

The hottest teams in Baseball are in NL Central; Houston  15-6 leads by 1/2 game with Cincinnati 15-7 in 2nd and St Louis  14-7 in 3rd, down by a full game.  Each of the teams has won 8 of their last 10 games.

In the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox are the easily the hottest
club in the in the AL at 14-7, winning 8 of last 10.   And
Boston still sits atop the AL East at 13-8, winning 6 of their last 10.

The NY Mets in NL East have cooled off just a tad at 14-7, winning 5 and losing 5 of last 10 games.

Meanwhile, the Phils 9-11 win one, then lose one and vise versa and sit in 2nd place behind the Mets by 4 1/2 games.

In the NL East, the New York Mets won their games on Tuesday and Wednesday over the San Francisco Giants 4-1 and 9-7 (in 11 innings) despite Barry Bond’s homers; a solo blast in the 2nd inning on Tuesday and a 2 run homer driving in Moises Alou and knotting the score at 7 and driving the game into extra innings.  Bonds is now at 711 homers for his career, 3 behind Babe Ruth at 714.

                          Barry Bonds

On Tuesday, Mets starter Steve Trachshel (2-1) pitched 6 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits with Billy Wagner (S5) notching the save and Giant starter Jamey Wright (2-1) getting the loss after pitching 8 innings and giving up 4 runs on 10 hits. 

                         Billy Wagner

On Wednesday, neither starter was involved in the decision, Billy Wagner blew his 2nd save opportunity and reliever Darren Oliver (1-0) got the win for the Mets going the last 1 1/3 innings as the Mets won the game with 2 runs in the top of the 11th.  Giant reliever Scott Munter (0-1) got tagged with the loss.  The Mets have an open day tonight and begin a 3 game series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday.

The Phillies were a wash over Tuesday and Wednesday losing to Colorado by a 7-6 score on Tuesday with Rockies reliever Ramon Ramirez (1-0) notching the win in relief of starter Miguel Asencio who gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 3 2/3 innings while Brian Fuentes (S3) got credit for the save.  Phils starter Gavin Floyd (1-2) was tagged with the loss 7 runs on 6 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

On Wednesday, the Phils returned the favor, knocking off the Rockies 9-5 for starter Ryan Madison (2-1) who gave up 4 runs on 10 hits in his 5 innings of work.  Rockies starter Jason Jennings (1-1) was the losing pitcher giving up 7 runs on 9 hits in his 5 innings of work.  David Bell (3 HR) hit a 3 run homer in the 3rd to stake the Phils to a 7-1 lead.   Tom Gordon was again strong in finishing out the game pitching a perfect 9th inning with 2 strikeouts.  The Phils have taken 2 0f 3 from the Rockies with the get-away game this afternoon.

                       Tom Gordon

The Houston Astros defeated the L.A. Dodgers on Tuesday by a 4-3 score in 14 innings and on Wednesday by an 8-5 score.  On Tuesday, neither of the starters was in on the decision as Astro Reliever Ezquiel Astacio (2-0) got the win pitching a scoreless 14th inning although giving up 3 walks.  Dodger reliever Hong-Chih Kuo (0-3) took the loss giving up the winning run in the bottom of the 14th.

                       Wandy Rodriguez

On Wednesday, Wandy Rodriguez (4-0) pitched 7 innings of 2 run, 5 hit ball in getting the win for Houston while Dodgers starter Odalis Perez
(3-1) gave up 7 runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings in taking the loss.  Lance Berkman (8 HR) laced a 2 run homer in the 3rd inning for Houston and Jason Repco 3 HR) also hit a 2 run homer in the 5th for the Dodgers.  Houston took 2 o 3 from Los Angeles, has an open day today and start a 3 game series with Cincinnati on Friday.

The Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Tuesday and 5-0 on Wednesday sweeppng its 3 game series with the Nationals and winning their 4th consecutive game.

On Tuesday, Cincinnati starter Dave Williams (1-2) won, pitching 5 innings of 4 run, 9 hit ball, David Weathers (S6) chalking up the save and Washington Starter Billy Traber (1-2) couldn’t get through the 2nd inning, pitching 1 1/3 innings and posting the loss.

On Wednesday, Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo (4-0)pitched 8 innings of runless ball and combined with relievers Kent Mercker and David Weathers to shutout the Nationals.  Washington starter Ramon Ortiz (0-3) took the loss pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up all 5 runs on 7 hits.  Cincinnati has an open date today.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday by 6-3 and 4-3 scores to sweep the 3 games series.  St. Louis has the open date today and opens a 3 game series with Washington on Friday.

For more scores from Tuesday, Wednesday or tonight, click here, here and here.


Harvey Haddix: Pittsburgh, Milwaukee; “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched?”

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

On May 12, 1959, Pirate starter Harvey Haddix tied up with Lew Burdette of the then Milwaukee Braves in a monumental pitching duel in what baseball historians argumentatively proclaim was “the greatest game ever pitched in major league history,” perhaps THE greatest game ever played.

Haddix saw previous pitching experience in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Cincinnati before coming to Pittsburgh in 1959.  His best years were 1953 and 1954 with the St. Louis Cardinals where he finished 20-9 and 18-13.  Over his 14 year career, he was 136-113 and a 3.63 ERA.

                         Harvey Haddix            Lew Burdette

Burdette pitched a total of 18 seasons, 12 1/2 with the Braves (from 1951 to mid-1963) after breaking in with the Yankees.  In 1963, Burdette was traded to St. Louis where he played for part of 2 seasons, then to the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies before closing out his career with the L.A. Angels in 1966 and ’67.  Burdette finished his career with a lifetime record of 203-144 and a 3.65 ERA.

                             Harvey Haddix

Through the innings of the game, the goose-eggs on scoreboard mounted up.  After the regulation 9 innings, the score was 0-0.  Burdette was pitching well, it was just that Haddix was pitching better.  Through 9, Haddix was 27 up, 27 down.  Through the 10th, the 11th and the 12th, the goose-eggs continued, for Haddix it was 36 up, 36 down.  Burdette also carried a shutout through 13 innings but had given up 12 scattered hits to the Pirates, and was the beneficiary of 3 double-plays to preserve the Pirate goose-eggs.

In the Milwaukee 13th, Felix Mantilla opened by reaching first base on a Pitsburgh error by normally sure-handed 3rd baseman Don Hoak.  Then after Haddix issued an intentional walk to Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock followed with a home run to right-center field for an apparent 3-0 win. 

                       Hank Aaron           Joe Adcock

But wait, as described by Baseball Library, Aaron does a “Merkle,” (for Frank Merkle of the NY Giants famous for his bonehead play on September 23, 1908) leaving the field as Adcock passed him on the basepaths.  As a result, Mantilla scored, both Aaron and Adcock were ruled out, Adcock was awarded a double instead of a home run and the game ended in a Braves 1-0 victory on one hit.  Lew Burdette, of course, was the winning pitcher giving up 12 Pirate hits while Harvey Haddix took the loss going the route and giving up but 1 hit, the homer turned double to Joe Adcock.

Baseball Almanac’s “Fast Facts” recalls, “After the game, Lew Burdette told the media, “I called Harvey that night in the visiting clubhouse. I told him ‘I realize I got what I wanted, a win, but I’d really give it up because you pitched the greatest game that’s ever been pitched in the history of baseball. It was a damned shame you had to lose.’ ”

Haddix went on to finish the 1959 season with a 12-12 mark with an ERA of 3.13 while Burdette finished the season with a 21-15 mark and an ERA of 4.07.

Later, in trying to talk Braves management into a raise, Baseball Library recounts how “the puckish Burdette asked for a $10,000 raise, explaining: ‘I’m the greatest pitcher that ever lived. The greatest game that was ever pitched in baseball wasn’t good enough to beat me, so I’ve got to be the greatest!'”

Phils Win a Couple, Mets Lose a Couple; White Sox, Astros, Reds and Cardinals Continue Hot Steaks …

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

The New York Mets are slowly coming back to earth after shooting out of the starting block.  After an 11-4 start, they’ve now lost 3 of their last 4 games but still lead the NL East by 3 games over Atlanta and 3 1/2 over the Phils. 

On Sunday, they lost 7-4 to San Diego.  NY starter and loser Victor Zambrano (1-2) gave up 5 runs on 7 hits including a Barfield solo homer in the 1st inning and a Brian Giles grand slam homer in the 4th inning  as well as 3 walks in 4 innings.  The Mets came back from a 5-0 deficit to score 4 in the 6th, but then San Diego scored single runs in the 6th and the 7th innings to nail down the game.  Clay Hensley (1-1) got the win and Trevor Hoffman was credited with the save.

On Monday, they lost 6-2 to San Francisco.   The Giants got two 3 spots; in the 1st, on Moises Alou’s 3 run shot, and the 7th innings while the Mets scored 2 in the 6th.  Matt Cain (1-2) got the win giving up 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings of work.  Tom Glavine (2-2) who gave up 6 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks in 6 1/3 innings took the loss.

        Brett Myers  Tom Gordon   Ryan Howard

The Phillies showed definite signs of rebounding in winning Sunday’s and Monday’s games.  Actually, after getting of to a 2-6 start, the Phils have won 6 of their last 10 games.

On Sunday, the Phils won the get-away game against the Florida Marlins featuring Ryan Howard (5 HR) accounting for 3 of the 4 Phillies runs with a 2 homer game, the first being a titanic solo blast in the 1st inning and the other being a 2-run shot in the Phils 3 run 3rd inning.  Florida catcher Miguel Olivo (3 HR) hit a solo homer in the 5th for Florida.  Brett Myers (2-0) picked up the win pitching 6 innings of 2 run, 6 hit ball and Tom Gordon (S5), who was machine-like in striking out the side in the 9th, got credited with the save.

On Monday, The Phils defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-5 behind Cory Lidle’s (2-2) 10 strikeout, 4 run 6 hit performance over 6 2/3 innings and 10 hits by the top 5 batting slots of the order.  Rollins, Burrell and Howard each had 2 hits, Chase Utley had 3.  Bobby Abreu drove in 3 runs in the game.  Tom Gordon (S6) was again workman-like in getting credited with the save.

The Chicago White Sox continued atop the AL winning on Sunday 7-3 over the Minnesota Twins and losing on Monday 4-3 to the Seattle Mariners in 11 innings.

The ChiSox have a 13-6 and have won 8 of their last 10 games.  They lead the Detroit Tigers by 1.5 games.  Jim Thome is tied with 2 others for the AL home run lead with 9 and is tied with 3 others for the AL RBI lead with 20.

On Sunday, Jose Contreras (3-0) went 8 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits to get the victory.  Carlos Silva (1-3), who was clubbed for 7 runs on 13 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, took the loss.

On Monday, the Mariners bested the ChiSox in 11 innings as Seattle reliever Julio Mateo (2-0) got the win while Sox reliever Brandon McCarthy (1-1) was tagged with the loss.

Houston leads the National League Central with a 13-6 mark, followed closely by Cincinnati (13-7) 1/2 game behind, St. Louis (12-7) at 1 game back and the Chicago Cubs (11-7) at 1.5 games back.   Houston and St. Louis have each won 7 of their last 10 games, while Cincinnati and the Cubs have won 6 of their last 10.

For more scores and current standings, click here,  here, here and here.

Great All-Time Pitching Feats: Carl Hubbell, Elroy Face …

Monday, April 24th, 2006

                               Carl Hubbell                  Elroy Face   

In 1936, Left-hander Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants finished the winningest season of his career, with a 26-6 mark.   But in an all-time feat,  Hubbell won 24 consecutive games between the 1936 and 1937 seasons (16 in ’36, 8 in ’37).  For some 32 years, this feat stood up in the record books unthreatened.

But in 1958 and 1959, a diminutive right-handed forkball throwing reliever named Elroy Face  of the Pittsburgh Pirates approached and threatened Hubbell’s consecutive win string. 

In 1958, reliever Face lost his first 2 decisions of the season but then went on to win his next 5 decisons, having pitched in 57 games  finishing 40 of them including a then unheard of 20 saves.  In 1959, he won his first 17 decisions (22 consecutive wins in all) before finally losing 5-4 to the LA Dodgers on September 11 and then winning 1 more in September to finish with a seasonal mark of 18-1 (the most relief wins ever in a season) having again appeared in 57 games, finishing 47 with 10 saves.

In 1960, Face was to play a crucial role as a reliever and finisher in the Bucs pennant drive as well as saving 3 of Pittburgh’s 4 World Series wins.

Face pitched 17 seasons, 16 of them with the Pirates and finishing his career with the Montreal Expos.  He recorded 96 career relief wins (fifth all-time), as well as 193 saves (sixth). He owns the NL career records for most games finished (574) and most games pitched for one club (802, for Pittsburgh).