Saturday, August 3, 2013

August 3: Good Ol' Days, Danny Murtaugh Hired, Shutout Skein, Drabek's Near No-No & More

Good Ol' Days, Danny Murtaugh Hired, Shutout Skein, Drabek's Near No-No...

  • 1895 - Pittsburgh took over first place with a rousing 5-4 win over the Cleveland Spiders at Exposition Park in front of 6,000 fans. The Pirates were down 4-2 in the eighth when Elmer Smith banged a two strike, two run triple off the wall in right to tie the score. The Bucs took it in the ninth on Jake Starzel’s double, a bunt, and Monte Cross’ walk off single. Pink Hawley, making his third start of the week, got the win. Alas, it would be the last day Pittsburgh was in first; the Pirates finished the year in the middle of the pack at 71-61. 
  • 1905 - Pittsburgh ended the NY Giants 13 game winning streak with a 10-4 victory at a rockin’ Exposition Park. The Pittsburg Press reported that “...after little rooting in the first five innings,” after the Pirates took the lead in the sixth “The crowd went wild with delight (and) was on its feet for five minutes cheering with might and main and waving hats, canes and hankerchiefs.” In fact, one fan had a fatal heart attack during the action, and a Giant supporter had to be removed by the police after assaulting Pirate owner Barney Dreyfuss in his box; of all things, the attacker was a seminary student decked out in his clerical garb. 3B Dave Brain had three hits and four other Buccos had a pair of knocks apiece. Sam Leever, with help from Pat Flaherty, got the win over Iron Man McGinnity and reliever Sam Wiltse. 
  • 1914 - The Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federation League took their second straight 1-0 win from Chicago at Exposition Park. Not much info on the games, but Charlton’s Baseball Chronology reports that the Rebels had to lend the Chi-Feds a catcher, Skipper Roberts, to continue their road trip, as the Windy City starting pair were laid up with appendicitis and a broken finger. 
  • 1930 - The Pirates won their seventh game in eight outings when they whipped the Chicago Cubs 12-8 at Wrigley Field. Gus Suhr and Adam Comorosky had three RBI while Dick Bartell score three times. All nine Pirates in the lineup had hits for the second day in a row. Ery Brame went the distance for the win. 
  • 1941 - Ken Heintzelman started both ends of a doubleheader against the Giants at Forbes Field, and the Bucs took both games, 5-4 and 10-5. Heintzelman didn’t get the decision in either contest though; he lasted two innings total and was charged with seven runs. The victories went to relievers Dutch Dietz and Bob Klinger. 
  • 1952 - The last-place Pirates knocked the Giants 6-1/2 games behind the Dodgers by sweeping a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds‚ 7-0 and 10-8. The two wins matched the hapless Buccos’ longest win streak of the year. Murry Dickson came in for Paul La Palme in the third inning with the bases loaded and an out, getting a DP ball from Bobby Thompson and then cruising 6-2/3 IP with three hits and no runs. Gus Bell was a homer shy of the cycle and drove in a pair of runs. The Pirates jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the closer‚ scoring four times in the sixth, then having the Giants answer with seven scores of their own. The Bucs managed to hang on to the win when the game was called because of darkness. 
  • 1957 - The news that Danny Murtaugh replaced Bobby Bragan as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates was leaked to the press ahead of time‚ and Bragan heard it on the radio before GM Joe L. Brown could reach him. It wasn’t much of a surprise; the quirky Bragan had greased his own skids with an outre incident in Milwaukee a couple of days earlier when he strolled onto the field sipping a drink through a straw and offered it to the umps. 
  • 1958 - The Cards finally scored against Pittsburgh in a 2-1 loss in the second game of a twin bill at Forbes Field as Red Witt beat Vinegar Bend Mizell. Bob Skinner had both RBI. The Bucs took the opener 2-0 as Bob Friend outdueled Sal Maglie, supported by a Bill Virdon homer and run producing knock from Frank Thomas. St. Louis had nine hits in each game, but found home plate a difficult destination to reach. The day before, Vern Law beat Sam Jones 1-0 on a three hitter, making a lone first inning run stand. In the series opener, Ronnie Kline beat Bob Mabe 2-0, tossing a four hitter in a game that was scoreless until Pittsburgh tallied in the eighth. The Bucs whitewashed the Cards for 33 straight innings in the four game set, and gave up one run on 25 hits in total. 
  • 1959 - RHP Jim Gott was born in Hollywood. Obtained from the Giants off waivers in mid-1987, the Bucs used him as a closer, and he saved 13 games with a 1.45 ERA. In 1988, he broke Kent Tekulve’s franchise record with 34 saves. But he only appeared once the following year after an elbow injury, and signed with the Dodgers as a free agent for 1990. Gott came back to Pittsburgh for his final season in 1995. 
  • 1960 - 1B Sid Bream, the Simon Legree of Bucco baseball, was born in Carlisle, PA. Sid played first from 1985-90 for the Pirates with a .269 average, having three pretty solid years from 1986-88. He signed with the Braves in 1990, and in 1992...well, we're still trying to forget that. 
  • 1961 - The Pirates ran away with a 19-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium for the largest shutout score in an NL night game. The Bucs banged out 24 hits against Al Cicotte, Bob Miller and Lindy McDaniel while Harvey Haddix tossed a four hitter for Pittsburgh. It was the most lopsided shutout in modern NL history at the time, tying a record first set in 1906. Smoky Burgess had six RBI with a pair of homers and Dick Stuart drove in five more, adding a long ball. Bob Skinner and Roberto Clemente scored four times. Clemente had five hits and Bill Mazeroski four. 
  • 1987 - On his birthday, the Bucs picked up Jim Gott off waivers from the Giants. In a season plus, he saved 47 games for the Pirates, but an elbow injury in 1989 limited him to one outing, and Pittsburgh let him go as a free agent. 
  • 1989 - A pair of unlikely offensive heroes, Rafael Belliard and Benny DiStefano, teamed up to give the Bucs an extra inning 1-0 win at TRS. With two down in the twelfth, Belliard singled through the left side off Andy McGaffigan, stole second and scored on DiStefano’s knock to left center. Bob Walk tossed eight innings of four hit ball, but the victory went to reliever Doug Bair. 
  • 1990 - Doug Drabek, who captured the 1990 Cy Young Award, was one out away from a no-hitter in Philadelphia when he gave up a single through the second base hole to Sil Campusano, who was hitting .188 at the time. The game was a bit lopsided; the Bucs outhit the Phils 18-1 and outscored them 11-0 at Veterans Stadium. Andy Van Slyke and Sid Bream each had a homer and double, and combined for seven RBI. 
  • 1999 - The Bucs bopped the Atlanta Braves 7-1 at TRS. Brian Giles bombed a pair of homers good for four RBI while Al Martin, Kevin Young and Warren Morris added solo shots. Kris Benson went eight innings of four hit ball for the win. 
  • 2010 - The Pirates jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 at PNC Park. Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with four RBI while Jose Tabata had a pair of hits, two runs scored and one driven home. After Paul Maholm and Evan Meek barely kept the Bucs above water, Joel Hanrahan shut the door in the ninth with a pair of punch outs.

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