Friday, August 16, 2013

8/16 - Hans, Curt Roberts, Frank Thomas, Roberto and STFD...

Good & Bad Pitching, Hans, Curt Roberts, Homers Galore, Frank Thomas, Roberto and STFD...

  • 1890 - RHP Bill Phillips of the Alleghenys became the first pro pitcher in history to allow two grand slams in the same inning when the Chicago Colts Tom Burns and Malachi Kittridge took him long in the fifth frame. The Colts won 18-5 at Recreation Park. Phillips ended 1-9 with a 7.57 ERA in his rookie season, but went on to have a seven year career with a 70-76/4.09 line. 
  • 1909 - OF Red Murray of the NY Giants saved Christy Mathewson’s bacon when, as the Pittsburg Press described “...the ball was seen rising, rising far out over the the heads of the waiting fielders. But Red Murray had his eye on the ball...the most wonderful catch ever seen at Forbes Field was pulled off, Murray getting the sphere with his bare hand after a long hard run. The inning was over and the Pirates were robbed of victory...” as the game was called because of rain with the score deadlocked at 2-2. Two runners had already crossed home when Murray snagged Dots Miller’s two-out drive “ the wind whistled, the lightning flashed, the thunder crashed and the rain descended.” 1B Ham Hyatt chipped in with his third pinch-hit triple of the year‚ a record that wouldn't be matched again until 1970 by Vic Davalillo of St. Louis. 
  • 1911 - Elmer Steele tossed just 72 pitches in downing the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers 9-0 at Washington Park. Steele surrendered no walks, had no strikeouts‚ and allowed just one hit, a one-out ninth inning single that just got past 2B Dots Miller. But it wasn’t all good news: Honus Wagner severely injured his ankle, ended up on crutches and would miss 25-of-26 games. During his absence, the Bucs fell out of contention and finished a distant third to the NY Giants. 
  • 1913 - The Pirates jumped on the Giants Christy Mathewson, scoring eight times in the first three frames and then hanging on for an 8-6 win at the Polo Grounds. The “demon Dutchman” (per the Pittsburg Press) Hans Wagner went 4-for-5 with a homer to lead the offense. Babe Adams got the win with help from George McQuinlan. 
  • 1929 - 2B Curt Roberts was born in Pineland, Texas. The first black ballplayer for Pittsburgh, he played from 1954-56, hitting .223 as a Pirate. He lost his starting job at second in 1955 to Johnny O’Brien and they both lost out in 1956 to a kid from Ohio named Bill Mazeroski. 
  • 1947 - The Pirates blasted a franchise record seven homers in a game against the Cardinals in a 12-7 win at Forbes Field. Ralph Kiner launched three dingers - in a row! - while Hank Greenberg and Billy Cox had a pair. The homers accounted for all 12 of the Buc runs. Kiner matched the MLB marks of seven HRs in four games‚ six in three games‚ five in two games‚ and four in consecutive at bats. Kiner, Greenberg and Cox were joined by Cardinal Whitey Kurowski, who also had a pair of homers, to set a MLB record for most players with multi homers in a game. 
  • 1958 - Frank Thomas bombed three consecutive HRs off three different pitchers and brought home six in a 13-4 romp over the Reds at Crosley Field. 
  • 1984 - A stamp featuring Roberto Clemente, the fourth in a series honoring American sports heroes, was unveiled in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the outfielder's home town. 
  • 2011 - Andrew McCutchen hit a three run homer to give Pittsburgh the early lead, Neil Walker hit another to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, and Garrett Jones went yard in the eleventh inning for 5-4 win against the Cardinals at PNC Park. Chris Resop, the fifth Pirate pitcher of the game, got the win after working a pair of scoreless innings. Longtime Buc nemesis Albert Pujols reached 30 home runs for the 11th consecutive season when he lit up Jeff Karstens in the sixth and became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 homers in each of his first 11 seasons. 
  • 2012 - AJ Burnett wasn’t at his best, but battled into the seventh to take a 10-6 win over the Dodgers at PNC Park. This contest entered Pirate folklore when Hanley Ramirez homered off Burnett in the fourth and tossed a couple of barbs at the the Bucco hurler, who got his revenge in the sixth when he struck Ramirez out swinging on a 3-2 pitch and famously told him to “STFD.” Garrett Jones had a pair of three-run homers to spark the victory over LA.

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