Thursday, May 31, 2018

5/31 Games: Babe Takes Two; 1-0 Sweeps; Nine Doubles; Pops Blast; Castillo 5-Pack & More

  • 1909 - Babe Adams won both ends of a doubleheader at Exposition Park against the Cardinals. He worked the final two frames of a 5-4 win in the opener, then tossed a complete game 4-2 victory in the second match. Dots Miller had five hits during the twin bill with Hans Wagner adding three more knocks. The two games drew 20,633 fans. 
Babe Adams (photo source: Harwell Collection/Detroit Public Library)
  • 1915 - The Pirates swept the first place Cubs by identical 1-0 scores at Forbes Field in front of 15,000 fan as Wilbur Cooper (three hits, eight K) and Al Mamaux (five hits, five K) hurled complete game whitewashes. The Pirates won the first game when RF Bill Hinchman was plunked with the bases loaded to force home C George Gibson (they wouldn’t win another 1-0 game via the plunk again until 2017) and the second on a wild pitch that allowed Hinchman to plate from third. As Ralph Davis of the Pittsburgh Press noted, “This was getting the was the luck of the Buccaneers to profit twice from slips made by Chicago twirlers.” 
  • 1927 - The Pirates overcame a 6-1, sixth inning deficit by scoring nine times in the final four frames to nip the Cubs 10-9 at Forbes Field. 1B Joe Harris was on fire, going 5-for-5 with two triples, a double, four RBI and two runs scored. 
  • 1937 - The Reds beat the Pirates 8-3 in the opener of a doubleheader at Crosley Field. It was the only game Cincinnati won against the Pirates that season. Starting with a 7-5 loss in the nightcap - Pep Young’s three run homer was the big blow - Cincy lost the next 17 straight to the Buccos, and dropped 21 of 22 games‚ tying the MLB record set by the Cubs over the Braves in 1909 and the Yankees over the Browns in 1927. In fact, the Reds would drop the first three to open 1938 for a 20 game losing streak against Pittsburgh, another MLB record. 
Elmer Riddle 1949 Eureka Sports Stamps
  • 1948 - At Wrigley Field‚ the Cubs set a paid attendance record when 46‚965 fans passed through the turnstiles during a doubleheader split with the Pirates on Memorial Day. The Bucs lost the opener 4-3 after Chicago scored in the ninth off Kirby Higbe. Pittsburgh rallied in the nightcap behind Elmer Riddle to win 4-2. Danny Murtaugh chased home a pair of runs and scored once to provide Riddle with some working space. 
  • 1961 - Pittsburgh bashed out nine doubles (two by Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, with one each from Joe Gibbon, Dick Groat, Hal Smith, Gino Cimoli and Dick Stuart) in a 9-1 laugher at Forbes Field against the Milwaukee Braves. Joe Gibbon tossed a six-hitter with 10 strikeouts to earn the win over Warren Spahn. 
  • 1964 - Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers beat the Pirates 6-4 at Forbes Field, but had to survive a towering blast by Roberto Clemente to do it. The Great One hit a ball halfway up the light tower 450’ away in center field. Post Gazette writer Jack Herndon estimated the drive would have traveled 500’ if the lights hadn’t been in its way; the Dodgers beat man Frank Finch of the LA Times agreed. 
Willie Stargell 1973 PSA
  • 1973 - The Bucs topped the Atlanta Braves 3-1, backing up Nellie Briles three-hitter with Willie Stargell’s three-run blast in the eighth at TRS. Stargell’s ball went 468’ and landed in the upper deck. Of the 12 shots that carried into the cheap seats in TRS history, Pops launched the most; this was his fourth and final second-tier homer. It broke up a gem by Gary Gentry; he had a shutout going into the eighth when with one out, an infield single and 3-2 walk that raised the hackles of Bravo manager Eddie Matthews was followed by Willie’s blast. Briles went the distance for the win, sending Atlanta to their seventh straight loss. 
  • 1986 - Barry Bonds collected his first MLB hit, a first-inning double off Rick Honeycutt, as the Bucs beat the LA Dodgers 4-0 at PNC Park. Bonds must have been excited; he was picked off a batter later. BB had debuted a day earlier, but went 0-fer. Bill Almon’s two-run homer and Bob Kipper’s eight shutout innings keyed the win. 
  • 1994 - It wasn’t a good day to be a Pirate pitcher. San Diego scored 13 runs in the second inning on the way to a 15-5 whipping of the Bucs at Jack Murphy Stadium. Steve Cooke and John Hope were the hapless hurlers in that unlucky frame. 
Jose Castillo 2007 Topps
  • 2006 - Jose Castillo homered in his fifth straight game as the Pirates defeated Milwaukee 6-1 at PNC Park. Castillo hit a two run shot off Chris Capuano in the second inning to continue a streak that began on the 26th against Houston’s Taylor Bucholtz, the third longest in franchise history behind Dale Long’s eight game streak and Jason Bay’s six-gamer. Ian Snell and three relievers combined on a three hitter against the Brew Crew. 
  •  2008 - SS Luis Rivas had four RBI, two runs scored, a homer and double as the Bucs pounded St. Louis 14-4 at Busch Stadium to ruin Tony LaRussa’s 2,000th game as St. Louis skipper. Ronny Paulino added three RBI with three hits and a homer of his own while Jose Bautista chipped in with four knocks. Xavier Nady and Freddie Sanchez had three hits each as the Pirates pounded out 19 knocks.

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