Wednesday, July 6, 2016

7/6 Games: Farce, Freak Show, AJ's All Star Bid, Homers, Pitching...

  • 1896 - The Pittsburg Press described the game, played in the rain at Washington, as “...a farce. But was not without excitement, however, for Umpire Tim Hurst threatened to whip half a dozen players.” Hurst reportedly punched Pirates Jake Stenzel and Emerson "Pink" Hawley in the jaw for the guff they had given him during the game. According the New York Clipper "neither player resented the attack." The Pirates defeated the Senators 6-2 at Boundary Park.
  • 1901 - NY manager George Davis said he would pull his team off the Polo Grounds rather than allow ump Harry Colgan to call the game, and he got his wish. Colgan didn’t show up, and under the threat of a forfeit and fine by the league if the blustering Giants didn’t play the match, the two teams each selected a player - Giant Charlie Buelow and Pirate Jack O'Connor - to ump. Davis might have been better off with Colgan as his club lost 6-2, but at least there weren’t any rhubarbs. There were only two bang-bang plays, and sportsman O’Connor called them both for the Giants.
  • 1940 - Arky Vaughan, Elbie Fletcher and Maurice Van Robays each homered and combined for 10 RBI and six runs as the Bucs romped over the Cards 15-8 in the lidlifter of a Sportsman’s Park DH’er. Pittsburgh took the second match from St. Louis by a 4-3 count, pushing across a 10th inning run for the win. Van Robays had a two run homer in that game to help give Mace Brown the win. Brown pitched five innings of one hit, shutout relief to earn the victory.

Elbie Fletcher 1941 Play Ball
  • 1945 - A doubleheader couldn’t begin any better; Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell started it off with a bang, smacking back-to-back homers, the first time that had been done in franchise history. But Boston regained its composure pretty quickly and swept the Buccos 13-5 and 14-8 at Braves Field.
  • 1955 - Jerry Lynch, Frank Thomas and Dale Long hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the sixth inning against the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Carl Erskine during a 10-5 loss of a doubleheader lidlifter at Forbes Field. The Bucs didn’t homer in the nitecap, but won 4-1 behind Vern Law.
  • 1980 - Cub relief pitchers held the Pirates hitless for 12-2/3 innings at TRS but Pittsburgh took home a 5-4, 20 inning victory. Cliff Johnson's two-out homer in the ninth off Bert Blyleven tied it for Chicago‚ but Omar Moreno's single hours later (it was a 5-1/2 hour affair, the longest in TRS history) was the game winner. Jim Bibby (11-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings‚ but lost a probable start in the All Star game because of his unexpected relief outing.
Jim Bibby (photo via Sports Illustrated)
  • 1985 - The Pirates blew a three run lead at TRS, allowing the Padres to tie the game in the ninth inning, but came back in their half to take an 8-7 decision. Steve Kemp homered and the Bucs added a triple and five doubles during the contest, but Pittsburgh used three consecutive two-out singles against Craig Lefferts, the last by Marvell Wynne, to claim the victory.
  • 1992 - If you like pitching, this was the game. Zane Smith and Houston’s Jimmy Jones started in a game that ended up 1-0, with Orlando Merced’s sixth inning homer the only run scored in front of the 15,385 fans at TRS. Smith worked 8-⅓ innings of five hit ball with Stan Belinda coming on to record the final two outs. It was exciting. Belinda inherited Jeff Bagwell at second and walked the first hitter he faced, but got a pair of pops to ice the game.
  • 1997 - The Pirate “Freak Show” completed a four game sweep of St. Louis, 6-3, at Busch Stadium to go into the All-Star break with a one-game lead in the NL Central standings after winning seven straight. Steve Cooke won the game backed by Jose Guillen’s homer and four RBI, the first of his career.
Jose Guillen 1997 Bowman
  • 2001 - Pittsburgh put up a five spot in the eighth inning to rally past the White Sox 10-6 at Comiskey Park. Jack Wilson had three hits and John Vander Wal added a homer to pace the attack.
  • 2002 - Houston's Daryle Ward became the first player to put a baseball in the Allegheny on the fly when he homered off Kip Wells during a 10-2 Astro win. The ball traveled an estimated 463'.
  • 2015 - AJ Burnett, who was named to the All-Star team a half hour before the game for the first time in his 17th and final season, and James Shields hooked up in an epic pitching duel at PNC Park that was eventually decided by the bullpens. Both starters went into the eighth inning, leaving a 1-1 match for the relievers to decide. Jared Hughes tossed the final 1-⅓ frames scorelessly, while Brandon Mauer gave up a two-out, 3-2 pitch single to Pedro Alvarez, scoring Andrew McCutchen who had walked earlier in the frame and moved up on Jung-Ho Kang’s single. It was El Toro’s second career walk off hit; the first was back in 2010.

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