Thursday, May 24, 2018

5/24 From the 60’s Forward: Boys Will Be...; Cover Boy Richie; FranKie; Hot El Coffee; Roberto Bombs; Game Stories

  • 1961 - Roberto Clemente homered in back-to-back at bats against Dick Ellsworth and drove in four runs to lead the Pirates to a 7-3 win at Wrigley Field. Dick Stuart also went long and added a triple to help Vinegar Bend Mizell to the victory, closed by a Clem Labine save. The Bucs needed Clemente’s big day; they hit into three twin killings and committed a pair of errors during the afternoon. 
  • 1969 - Richie Hebner was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Pirates Pin-Up Prize.” In his first full season as a Pirate, he hit .301 after inheriting the hot corner from Maury Wills. 
  • 1983 - The Bucs built a 6-0 lead on the strength of Larry McWilliams arm and two-run shots by Lee Mazzilli and Jason Thompson (Lee’s left the yard; Jason’s was a two-bagger), then hung on as the Braves scored five times in eighth after twice leaving the bases loaded with an out in the second and fourth frames. Kent Tekulve nailed it down in the ninth thanks more to the baseball gods than good stuff; Atlanta ripped three bullets off him, but two of them found gloves to send the 17,447 fans at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium home frustrated. 
  • 1981 - A lot of little oddities occurred in the Bucs 7-1 win over the Phils at TRS. The Pirates drew four intentional walks, stole five bases in six tries and got a two-run homer from pitcher Jim Bibby. With all that, they didn’t put the game away until the eighth when one of the intentional walks backfired. They went into the frame up 2-1 on the strength of Bibby’s bomb and added another on Phil Garner’s one-out triple and a Dale Berra single. With runners on second and third and two gone, Philadelphia put Lee Lacy aboard to get to Omar Moreno. The Antelope singled home a pair off Sparky Lyle and Bill Madlock followed with a two-run two-bagger to ice the game. Bibby got the win and Victor Cruz worked two inning for the save in front of 21,771 fans. 
Marc lowered the boom on roomie Jeff - 1998 Pacific Invincible
  • 1998 - Relievers Marc Wilkins (who was on the DL with rotator cuff damage) and Jeff Tabaka got into a fight over a card game, which was thought to also involve some tippling, at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel that grew heated, and Wilkins punched Tabaka. He broke his jaw, sending him to the DL until early July. The two were roommates who shared an apartment in Pittsburgh during the season, and made up shortly after the brawl. GM Cam Bonifay brushed it off, telling the Associated Press that “Each other took a stance, as manly gentlemen sometimes do.” 
  • 2015 - Francisco Liriano capped a sweep of the Mets by K’ing 12 batters in six innings on the way to a 9-1 win at PNC Park, aided by homers off the bats of Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. It was historic work at the franchise level, as Liriano followed Gerrit Cole and AJ Burnett, who both fanned 10 in the series first two games, becoming the first trio of Pirate starters to compile three straight double-digit strikeout games since September 11-12th, 1969, when Bob Veale, Bob Moose and Dock Ellis did the deed. It's only the third time since 1900 that Pittsburgh put together such a stretch. The swing-and-miss fest also set an MLB record, per Elias Sports: "It is the only time in modern major league history (from 1900 to date) that a team's starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double digit strikeout total in each game." 
  • 2016 - The Pirates romped over the Diamondbacks 12-1 at PNC Park as Gregory Polanco homered, doubled, scored twice, and had five RBI. The first 11 Bucs in the lineup that got at bats had hits, with the streak ending after Arquimedes Caminero, in his first MLB at-bat, grounded out in the seventh inning. Frankie Liriano got the win, but was a wild child, giving up just four hits but walking five. He wasn’t as wild as Caminero, who hit two Snakes in the head as a reliever, not as a matter of bad blood but of bad control. After the game, Arizona manager Chip Hale questioned if Arquimedes should even be in the league with command that poor. 
Arquimedes was a wild child (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • 2017 - It looks like a runaway score, but the Bucs 12-5 win at SunTrust Park came down to the last out of the ninth. The Bucs jumped ahead 3-0 on Adam Frazier’s second-inning homer, but Atlanta rallied for four runs in the sixth and carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth. With two outs and the bases filled, rookie Jose Osuna laced a two-run knock into left to knot the game. In the 10th, Josh Collmenter had a nightmare frame as the Bucs rang up a seven-spot, with the cherry on top being back-to-back-to-back homers by David Freese, Osuna and Jordy Mercer. Adam Frazier reached base six times on two hits and four walks. He became the first Pirates leadoff man with at least three walks and two hits that included a homer since Barry Bonds on May 28th, 1988, against the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. Fraze also was the first Buc to reach base six times in a game via hit/walks since Neil Walker (5-for-5, walk) on August 12th, 2012, v the Padres at PNC Park.

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