Friday, April 28, 2017

4/28: Bucs Take 1st; Good Day v Cubs, Brewers; HBD Red, Snake, Freeser & Danny

  • 1902 - RHP Red Lucas, The Nashville Narcissus (his nickname was penned by Colonel Bob Newhall, a reporter for the old Cincinnati Tribune, when Red was a fast flowering player with the Redlegs, per SABR’s Allen Quimby) was born in Tennessee. The righty spent the last five years of his career (1934-38) with Pittsburgh after coming over in a deal with the Reds. He put up a 47-32/3.73 line for the Bucs. Lucas was also a good stickman; he pinch hit in more games as a Pirate than he pitched, though his .238 BA was well below the .300 average he carried with Cincy. Oh, and he remembered well the team that traded him - he was 14-0 against the Reds during his Pirate era.
Red Lucas 1938 (photo George Burke)
  • 1924 - Bucco rookie SS Glenn Wright hit his first homer off Vic Keen in a 7-4 victory over the Cubs. Wright was better known for his mitt than his thunder; he set a MLB record during the season with 601 assists, a mark that lasted until 1980, when Ozzie Smith had 621 Astroturf assists. “Buckshot” was the Pirate SS until 1928 when he was traded to Brooklyn Robins. He hit .298 over during his Pirates tenure.
  • 1930 - RHP Tom Sturdivant was born in Gordon, Kansas. Nicknamed “Snake” because of his nasty curve, he was an outstanding pitcher for the Yankees until he suffered a rotator cuff injury in 1958 that threw up a speed bump on his promising career: after posting 16 wins in 1957, he never again reached double-figures in season victories. He persevered as a seven-team journeyman, not leaving baseball until after the 1964 season. Snake hurled for the Bucs from 1961-63 with a 14-7-3/3.49 slash.
  • 1966 - The Pirates scored one run in each of the final five innings of regulation and added four more in tenth to outlast the Cubs at Wrigley Field 9-6. The tying run scored with two out in the ninth. Roberto Clemente fell behind Ted Abernathy 0-2, worked the count full and drew a walk after fouling off eight straight pitches. He then came around on Willie Stargell’s double. The Bucco tenth was highlighted by a delayed double steal, with Clemente swiping second and Manny Mota home.
Roberto could beat you lots of ways - 1966 Topps
  • 1970 - The Bucs 6-1 victory at Forbes Field ended Chicago’s 11 game winning streak. Luke Walker, Bruce Dal Canton and Dave Giusti combined for a three hitter while Manny Sanguillen hit a pair of homers and had three RBI. Gene Alley, known more for his leather than wood, went 3-for-4.
  • 1983 - 3B David Freese was born in Corpus Christi. He began his career in St Louis and had a dream postseason in 2011, winning the NLCS and World Series MVP honors along with the Babe Ruth Award. Freese was traded to the Angels in 2014 and signed a one-year FA contract with the Pirates worth $3M in March of 2016 to fill the dance card while Jung Ho Kang recuperated from leg injuries suffered the season before. Freeser held up his end, hitting .270 w/13 HR and the Pirates inked him to a two-year agreement during the season with a guaranteed $11M/team option year that put him under team control through 2019. That deal proved a godsend after Kang was picked up for DUI during the winter.
  • 1986 - LHP Danny Moskos was born in Greenville, South Carolina. He was the fourth overall pick of the 2007 draft by the Pirates out of Clemson. GM Dave Littlefield announced that they projected Moskos as a closer, raising a storm of criticism from the fans and media who were anticipating Josh Vitters (who was taken one pick ahead of Moskos and fizzled) Matt Wieters (who signed for $6M and thus fit into the “cheap Pirates” narrative), or perhaps Jason Heyward to be the selection. Moskos was signed by scout Greg Schilz to a $2.475M deal, but ended up a bust. He tossed for part of the 2011 season for the Bucs in his only MLB campaign, going 1-1, 2.96 but with serious control issues. He’s pitching indie ball this year.
Daniel Moskos 2011 Topps Update
  • 2010 - The Pirates defeated the Brewers for the second consecutive game to take the series at Miller Field with a 6-5, 14-inning victory. The Bucs tied the game in the ninth on a Ryan Doumit homer off Trevor Hoffman (the second straight game that Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, had blown a save against the Bucs) and went ahead in the 10th on a Cutch long ball. The Brew Crew came back to tie it off Octavio Dotel, who left the bases full of Brewers before escaping the frame. Garrett Jones doubled home Akinori Iwamura with two down in the 14th while DJ Carrasco worked three innings of scoreless, one-hit relief for the win.
  • 2013 - The Pirates beat St. Louis 9-0 behind rookie Jeff Locke’s seven-inning, three-hit performance at Busch Stadium to take the division lead. C Russell Martin had three hits - a pair of homers and a double - while RF Garrett Jones also had three knocks including a HR and two-bagger. The victory was also Clint Hurdle’s 700th win as a big league manager. The Bucs turned the corner during this campaign, finishing with their first winning season since 1992 (and what a monkey-on-the-back that losing streak was!), coming in second place in the NL Central with 94 wins and advancing to the NLDS where they lost in five games to the Cards.

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