Wednesday, May 27, 2015

5/27: Wilbur's Streak, Vinegar Bend, Ken Brett's Big Day, Big Rallies...

  • 1921 - Wilbur Cooper won his eighth straight game, this one by a 5-4 count at Forbes Field against Cincinnati when the Pirates pushed across a ninth inning run. All eight of Cooper’s victories were complete games. Rabbit Maranville’s sac fly brought in Walter Schmidt with the winning tally in the home half of the ninth. Maranville also tripled and scored twice for the Pirates. Between June and July, Cooper would go on an 8-of-10 win streak, and his two hot spells would carry him to a 22 win season for the Pirates. 
  • 1927 - The Pirates overcame a 7-1 deficit by scoring six times in the sixth and seventh innings to defeat the St. Louis Cards in 10 innings at Forbes Field by an 8-7 count. They ran their victory streak to nine games; it reached 11 before being snapped. Kiki Cuyler had three hits to spark the Bucs while four other Pirates had a pair of knocks. Guy Bush pitched three innings of one hit ball for the win. 
  • 1960 - Pittsburgh acquired 29-year-old LHP Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell from the Cardinals‚ along with LF Dick Gray‚ for minor leaguers IF Julian Javier and RHP Ed Bauta. Javier started at 2B for the Cards for a dozen years, but he was blocked in Pittsburgh by a guy named Bill Mazeroski. Mizell went 13-5 for the Bucs with a 3.15 ERA, solidifying their staff during their World Championship run. 
Vinegar Bend Mizell via Baseball Birthdays
  • 1974 - It was a big day for Ken Brett in a DH sweep against the San Diego Padres at TRS. In the opener, he carried a no-hitter into the ninth, settling for a two-hit, 6-0 win in a game that wasn’t decided until the Bucs put up a five spot in the eighth. In the nitecap, his two-run pinch hit triple primed a five-run seventh that was key for the Bucs 8-7 victory (the match was eventually won in the ninth on a two-run, two out homer by Richie Hebner). Brett ended the day going 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and three RBI to go along with his two-hitter in one of the Bucs’ top “do it all” performances. 
  • 2006 - The Pirates won an 8-7, 18 inning match at PNC Park against the Astros when Jason Bay flattened Astros' catcher Eric Munson to score on Jose Bautista’s sac fly. The game time of five hours, 49 minutes tied it as the longest contest ever played in Pittsburgh. Bay also hit a homer in his fifth consecutive game, the first Pirate player to do so in 50 years.
Jason Bay (photo - Getty Images)


WilliamJPellas said...

That doubleheader achievement by Brett was truly epic, and was a snapshot of what he could have been had he not hurt his arm after coming back from military service. I was initially skeptical when I read that most people who saw both Ken and George play when they were kids always said that Ken was better than George, but this story makes me believe that he really was. But---he got hurt. Would have been quite the achievement if Ken had stayed healthy and both ended up in Cooperstown. I read elsewhere recently that the Dodgers were interested in Ken Brett as an outfielder and that that's where they would have played him. What coulda been, eh?

Ron Ieraci said...

He wasn't the pitcher Cole is, but Cole's not the hitter Ken was. But they were the same type of bulldog player, and it is a pity that those early surgeries took their toll.You have to wonder if he had this generation's medical know-how available to him just how good a ballplayer he would have ended up. Still, 14 years is a pretty nice career.

JAL said...

Good to see Wibur Cooper there, he remains the only pitcher to win 200 games for the Pirates.

Ron Ieraci said...

Glad someone appreciates him, JAL. The lefty still holds the Pirates franchise records for career victories with 202 and complete games, with 263; Bob Friend broke his long-standing career IP and K marks. I guess he gets lost in Babe Adam's shadow, tho statistically he was the superior hurler.