Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7/28: Giles Stuns 'Stros; Vanimal's 1st Shutout; Max Butcher Deal; SI & ESPN Appearances

  • 1932 - Pittsburgh swept a twin bill from the NY Giants‚ winning 10-7 and 9-1. Earl Grace had three hits and three RBI during the lidlifter to pace the Pirate attack. In the nitecap, Tony Piet smacked a grand slam and three-run homer to go along with two more hits for a seven RBI, three run day to plow the road for Heinie Meine.
  • 1939 - The Pirates traded veteran 1B Gus Suhr to the Phillies for RHP Max Butcher. Suhr was nearing the end of his career (he was released after playing just 10 games in 1940, his last MLB season), but Butcher became a mainstay for the Bucs, pitching for seven seasons, making 154 starts and winning 67 games in Pittsburgh.
  • 1940 - The Pirates won their eighth of nine games and fifth in a row after sweeping Boston at Braves Field by 5-2 and 7-3 scores. Maurice Van Robays was the hero of the opening match, homering and driving in three runs to give Dick Lanahan all the support he needed. The Bucs used a balanced attack to support Max Butcher’s four-hitter in the nitecap.
Max Butcher 1939 (photo: tnfotos Baseball Page)
  • 1958 - Frank Thomas was featured as the cover story of Sports Illustrated in an article titled “Nobody Knows Him But Everybody Wants Him.” In case you’re among the gang that doesn’t know him, the Pittsburgh native hit 163 HR in eight years as a Bucco and 286 bombs in his 16 seasons in the majors.
  • 1968 - Al McBean had one of those can-do-no-wrong Sundays. He gave up 13 hits to the Cards at Forbes Field, but still went the distance for a 7-1 win. The big blow? McBean’s grand slam in the fifth off Larry Jaster, coming with two down after Milt May was walked to get to Alvin. Donn Clendenon added a two run blast to the cause.
  • 1971 - Luke Walker spun a four hit, complete game whitewash at Los Angeles in a 4-0 win at Dodger Stadium. Bob Robertson homered and had a sac fly to bring home two runs. The Bucs nickled and dimed the Dodgers; every position player had a hit, four different guys scored and three had RBI as the club put up their runs one at a time in four different frames.
Luke Walker 1971 Topps series
  • 1987 - Barry Bonds hit 176 homers while wearing the Bucco colors, but only one was an inside-the-park job. In an otherwise blah 5-2 loss to the Phillies at TRS, rookie Bonds drilled a two out liner to right off Shane Rawley that kicked around, allowing him and Junior Ortiz to score the only Pirate tallies of the day. "Glenn Wilson tried to cut the ball off and missed it," Rawley recalled for the AP. "It rolled around the corner and ricocheted all the way around. By the time he got the ball, there was no way to get Barry." The hit was payback for Bonds, who Rawley had plunked twice. It was the first of three Bonds’ homers that didn’t clear the fence among his 762 long flies. The other two were in 1997 with the Giants.
  • 1996 - Orlando Merced hit two home runs and tallied four RBI while Al Martin & Mark Johnson had four hits each as the Bucs beat the Phillies 12-8 at TRS. Reliever John Ericks took home the win of the nationally televised ESPN Sunday Night Baseball match. It would be the last SNB appearance for the Bucs until 2014.
  • 2000 - Aramis Ramirez drove in six runs with a pair of homers, Emil Brown went long to plate four more runners while John Vander Wal also went yard in a 16-5 romp over the San Diego Padres at TRS. A-Ram, Jason Kendall, Kevin Young and Vander Wal scored three times each.
  • 2000 - The Bucs sent OF Wil Cordero to the Indians for IF Enrique Wilson and OF prospect Alex Ramirez. Cordero played respectably through 2003, while Wilson was traded again in 2001 and Ramirez began a long career as a slugger in Japan after the 2000 season.
Alex Ramirez 2001 Topps series
  • 2001 - Pittsburgh became only the second team in NL history (the Cubs were the first in 1952) to win a game by scoring seven runs with two outs and nobody on base in the ninth inning. Brian Giles capped the scoring with a walk-off grand slam off Astros ace Billy Wagner to win the game 9-8 after Pat Meares had hit a two-run shot earlier in the frame. The game was the opener of the first home day-night doubleheader in franchise history before a crowd of 32,977 at PNC Park. There was no drama in the nightcap as Houston rolled 12-3.
  • 2003 - Jeff Suppan won his sixth consecutive start with a 3-0 decision over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, scattering seven hits. He was backed by Reggie Sanders’ homer and three hits from Randall Simon. Suppan was flipped to the Red Sox three days later as part of a deal for Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez.
  • 2004 - In one of their more frustrating losses, the Bucs collected 11 hits but were shut out by the Braves 1-0 at PNC Park. Ollie Perez threw a five hitter with 10 K, but Chipper Jones’ fourth inning homer was enough run support for the Bravos. John Smoltz came out of the bullpen to save the game for Russ Ortiz.
  • 2005 - The Bucs traded for IF JJ Furmaniak from the San Diego Padres in exchange for C David Ross. Furmaniak batted 52 times as a MLB'er while Ross is still in the show.
JJ Furmaniak 2006 Bowman Rookie Blue series
  • 2012 - The Pirates won for the ninth time in 11 games, taking a 4-3 decision from the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Alex Presley and Neil Walker had solo shots, and Rod Barajas singled in Andrew McCutchen with the game winner with two out in the eighth. They remained two games back in the NL Central race.
  • 2013 - The final page in a deal that didn’t happen was turned when the Astros passed on the Bucs final offer of Luis Heredia & a competitive balance pick for Bud Norris. The give and take was released as part of Astro e-mails leaked by St. Louis Cardinal staffers. The Pirates offered one of Heredia, Tyler Glasnow or Alen Hanson for Norris; Houston GM Jeff Luhnow wanted Glasnow and either Heredia or Nick Kingham as a package, offers that Neal Huntington wisely rejected. (Thanks to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review)
  • 2014 - The Pirates laid some small ball on Madison Bumgarner in the first inning, and it led to a big frame. The Bucs used three hits, two walks, an error and a pair of sac flies to jump ahead of the SF Giants 4-0, and then added on a final run when Josh Harrison homered. The rest of the night at AT&T Park belonged to Vance Worley, who tossed his first MLB shutout and just his second career complete game. He allowed four hits, facing two batters over the minimum, only one of whom advanced past first thanks to three DPs and a caught stealing, to toss the Bucs first complete game shutout since AJ Burnett turned the trick in 2012.


WilliamJPellas said...

Nice to see the pic of Luke Walker, who was a pretty good lefty for the Pirates for a few years.

WilliamJPellas said...

As for the Furmaniak - Ross trade, I never did understand why the Pirates were so eager to get rid of Ross. He's gone on to a very good career as a second catcher, but at the time the Pirates had him, he was coming off a strong season (I believe with the Reds) as the most-of-the-time-starter, and was still pretty young. I believe he had some back problems for a couple of years---which is probably what led to him leaving Cincinnati, since the wonky back torpedoed his follow up year after his one season breakout---but regardless, he had very good power for a catcher and as far as I know has always been pretty good defensively. Never liked the deal at the time, don't like it now. A bad trade for the Pirates.

WilliamJPellas said...

If the Astros had taken Glasnow for Norris, Neal Huntington should have been fired. I could have lived with Hanson or Heredia, but definitely not Glasnow. I can't believe he was even offered. Good grief.

Ron Ieraci said...

In order: Luke was OK, I always thought of him as a lefty Bob Walk except with one killer pitch, his curve. Ross was OK, too, but they had Dewey and Ronnie Paulino, and they were thought to be the catchers of the future (not a very lucid thought, as it turned out) with Humberto Cota as the third man in. Glasnow would be a major chip now, but in 2013 he was a 19 year old Sally League pitcher who was a 5th round pick; time does make a diff. I'm glad the Astros were being piggies and wanted two prospects to scuttle the deal. I never thought much of Norris, but the FO then (as now) is infatuated with power arms and they did make a credible run for his services, as they were.

WilliamJPellas said...

Yes, Glasnow was young, but Huntington is too often missing, and missing badly, on talent evaluation for my taste. I can't begin to comprehend what he saw in Norris, a mediocre 3/4 starter if there ever was one. Glasnow, even a Class A Glasnow, for Norris? No way. But, onward.