Saturday, September 3, 2016

9/3 - Forward From the 40s: The Streak Ends, HBD Dave & Matt, Bucs Double Up Cards, Salomon Returns & More...

  • 1944 - The Pirates took both ends of a twinbill from the Cardinals‚ 6-5 and 8-2, to sweep the four game set from St. Louis. The brooming ended the Cards’ amazing MLB record of 132 consecutive series without a sweep. Rip Sewell and Jumbo Strincevich were the complete game winners, putting on a show for the largest Forbes Field crowd of the season, 34‚927.

Nick Strincevich (photo via Find A Grave)
  • 1945 - The Bucs took a double dipper from St. Louis‚ 6-5 and 6-2. The Bucs banged four homers in the opener, two by C Bill Salkeld. Ted Wilks took the loss; he wouldn’t lose again until 1948, after 77 more appearances. In the nitecap, Preacher Roe scattered seven hits while fanning 11, and his batterymate Al Lopez caught his 1‚793rd game‚ a then-MLB record for catchers, slipping past the old Cub Gabby Hartnett, who set the mark in 1941.
  • 1950 - The Pirates gave up a pair of runs in the tenth to the Cards, then rallied to score three in their half to beat St. Louis 12-11 at Forbes Field. Bob Dillinger and pinch hitter Pete Castiglione hit back-to-back homers off Harry Breechen to tie the game. After Breechen walked Ralph Kiner intentionally with two outs, Gus Bell doubled home the game winner.
  • 1962 - OF Dave Clark was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He played for the Pirates for five seasons (1992-96) as a reserve OF’er and bench bat. Clark’s Pittsburgh line was .278/35/158 with an OPS+ of 111 in 940 AB. He went on to coach in Pittsburgh, Houston (where he served as interim manager) and Detroit. Dave also managed several seasons for Licey in the Dominican League.
Dave Clark 1995 Score Platinum
  • 1978 - Dale Berra’s three-run, walk-off homer off Gene Garber in the ninth gave the Pirates a 6-3 win over the Braves at TRS. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox had intentionally walked Bill Robinson to get to Berra. Phil Garner tied the game in the seventh with a two-out, three run bomb, the same frame that Willie Stargell collected his 2,000th hit. Kent Tekulve got the win in relief of Bert Blyleven. The win was their 19th in 22 games and put them just two games behind the first-place Phils, but they finished second, 1-1/2 games short of Philadelphia.
  • 1983 - RHP Matt Capps was born in Douglasville, Georgia. The closer spent five years (2005-09) in Pittsburgh, putting up a record of 19-19-67/3.61. Though he went converted 27 of 32 save opportunities in 2009, his 5.80 ERA led to the Pirates to non-tender him after the campaign. After stints in Washington and Minnesota, he’s been out of MLB since 2013, signing several minor league deals without hitting paydirt.
  • 2002 - Salomon Torres pitched his first MLB game since July 20th‚ 1997‚ and went 8-1/3 scoreless innings against the Braves, also collecting his first hit since 1994 in the Pirates 3-0 win. Torres‚ 30‚ had retired as an active player in 1997 and served as Montreal's pitching coach in the Dominican Summer League before he signed with Pittsburgh in January. Torres now runs three training complexes for minor leaguers in the Dominican Republic to prep them for baseball and life in the US.
Salomon Torres 2003 Topps Total
  • 2007 - Jack Wilson had a big game, going 4-for-5 with a homer and double, scoring twice and driving in three as the Bucs beat the St. Louis Cards 11-0 at Busch Stadium. Ronnie Paulino was hot, too, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs and two RBI while Ian Snell and Juan Perez combined on a six hit shutout.
  • 2013 - Travis Snider’s ninth inning homer lifted the Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park and gave Pittsburgh a two-game lead in the NL Central. It also snapped a 20-year losing streak by the franchise, unmatched by any other major professional sports team in North America. There were more contributors than Snider, though - Andrew McCutchen, Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd combined to go 7-for-10 with three RBI and three runs scored, Mark Melancon picked up the save for Vin Mazzaro, and Gerrit Cole, who gave up a pair of first inning runs after just three batters, came back to put up zeroes through six innings and retired the last 12-of-13 hitters he faced. Cutch’s homer was his 100th, putting him in the Bucco 100 HR/100 steal club along with Barry Bonds, Al Martin, Andy Van Slyke, Dave Parker and Paul Waner. And in a final bit of irony, the Brewers broke their club record 12 season losing streak at PNC Park in 2005, so it was fitting the Bucs returned the favor at Miller.


WilliamJPellas said...

Y'know, looking back, it's very strange---is it not---that the Pirates actually did have some very good players throughout many of the 20 consecutive losing seasons. They just never (or almost never) had any truly great ones. But some of the names you mentioned in this post got me thinking. Jack Wilson? Near-elite defensive shortstop who was a better hitter than most realize until he ran into the never-ending leg injuries that ruined his career. Torres? Once a top prospect for the Giants who came back after several years away from the game to be an effective reliever for the Bucs for three or four seasons. Paulino? A pretty good hitter for a catcher who never seemed able to build on his first full season in the bigs, but a guy who, on paper, sure looked the part and who had his moments. Matt Capps? Likewise a better than average reliever if not truly a closer. Etc and so forth. Baseball is a funny game, eh?

Ron Ieraci said...

You're right about the elites, Will - Kendall, Giles, Bay and a lot of complimentary guys like Wilson, Sanchez, McLouth, LaRoche, Bream etc filled the roster. Never much depth and never much pitching - all the promise, from Neagle, Smiley, & Schmidt to Duke, Perez, Snell, J-Mac never panned out. But they did have some ballplayers, just never nearly enough here. I got dizzy watching them spin off guys who were MLB players and keeping the ones who were closing out their careers. It's interesting how the organization is constructed now; it looks like they finally have some eye for evaluation (sorely lacking in the early NH era) and are going hard for pitchers.

WilliamJPellas said...

The key word there being "some" eye for evaluation. The current regime still makes far too many mistakes in player evaluation and development for my taste, though Huntington and Co are clearly more competent than most of their predecessors in recent times. I still say Ted Simmons might have done some really good things in Pittsburgh had he not nearly died from his heart attack and then resigned as GM.