Tuesday, May 15, 2018

5/15 From the 50s Forward: Foiles Trade; Cutch's First Sniff; Roberto Show; Game Stories; HBD Justin

  • 1956 - C Hank Foiles was traded to the Pirates by the Cleveland Indians for Preston Ward. Foiles, who mostly served as a back-up, started two years in Pittsburgh, and earned an All-Star spot in 1957, when he hit .270. He spent four seasons as a Buc, hitting .230 in 345 games before being traded during the 1959 off season to Kansas City. Utility man Ward would play until after the 1959 season, when he retired. 
  • 1967 - Roberto Clemente cracked three long balls plus a double off the scoreboard in left center to drive in seven runs while climbing the wall in the ninth to bring back a homer, but the one man show couldn’t carry the day as the Reds won in 10 innings at Crosley Field‚ 8-7. Cincy scored twice in the ninth off Juan Pizarro on a Lee May homer to tie and then beat him in the extra frame. 
  • 1981 - 1B Justin Morneau was born in New Westminster, British Columbia. He joined Pittsburgh during the 2013 deadline to fill a hole at 1B in a trade with the Twins for OF Alex Presley and RHP Duke Welker. In 25 games for Pittsburgh, he hit .260 with no homers and only 3 RBI. Morneau had a solid playoff run with a hit and a walk in the win over the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card Game, then went 6-for-20 with four runs scored against St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. His lack of power dimmed the Bucs interest in him and he signed a FA deal with the Rockies, going on to win the NL batting title with a .319 average in 2014 to finish ahead of Josh Harrison (.315) and Andrew McCutchen (.314). 
  • 1982 - Talk about helping yourself! P Rick Rhoden doubled and homered in a nine run third inning with Johnny Ray helping the cause by driving in five runs in the same frame. The Pirates held off a late Reds push - Cincy scored eight times in the last two innings - to take a 12-9 victory at TRS. 
  • 1996 - Denny Neagle blanked the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on four hits through seven to win his fifth game in a row, 3-0, backed by Jeff King’s two-run homer off Steve Avery. The lefty lost his next outing, then rang up three more wins to sit at 8-2 in early June. 
Denny Neagle 1995 Score Platinum
  • 2006 - The Pirates and Reds got in just three innings before rain cancelled their Hall of Fame exhibition, but it did mark the first MLB outing for 2005 top pick and future MVP/All-Star Andrew McCutchen. He was added to the roster for the game and he popped out in his only at-bat before returning to the Low Class A Hickory Crawdads. Cutch said it wasn’t time wasted. He explained that “To get some experiences from the outfielders, Jason Bay and (Jeremy) Burnitz, I learned a lot.” He made his regular season debut in 2009. 
  • 2015 - The Pirates showed lots of bounce back at Wrigley Field, rallying from 7-1 and 10-5 deficits, but dropped an 11-10 decision in 12 innings to the Cubs. Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen homered while Fran Cervelli drove in four runs with a bases-loaded double and two-out, ninth inning single to force the game into overtime. Chicago scored the winner when Gregory Polanco tripped while getting under a short pop fly, allowing Starlin Castro to score. But the day’s defeat was thanks to some shoddy mound work - eight Pirate pitchers gave up 15 hits, 10 walks, three hit batters and two wild pitches while tossing an ungodly 263 pitches. The Pittsburgh bench was reduced to three starting pitchers by the game’s end. It was the Pirates sixth walk-off loss of the young season; the club had no walk-off wins.
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