Wednesday, June 13, 2018

6/13: Damaso Marte Deal; Lucky 13; Bucco Bids; Interleague Opener; Game Stories; HBD John & Darrell

  • 1885 - Pop Smith, slick fielding but weak hitting Allegheny 2B, hit into a 4-3-2 triple play against Baltimore in the 11th at Oriole Park. Pittsburgh would go on to lose the game 11-10, beginning a tumble that saw them drop from second to finishing 17-½ games back after an 8-23 stretch. 
  • 1904 - C John O’Connell was born in Verona. The Duquesne Duke’s MLB career lasted three games played in 1928-29; he doubled once in nine PAs with a walk. O’Connell was the first Red & Blue ballplayer to reach the big leagues since Johnny Miljus in 1915; the next Bluff product in the show was P Dick Ricketts in 1959 who also played pro hoops until he retired after the 1958 season. 
Preston Ward 1954 Topps
  • 1954 - It was a quite forgettable outing for the Bucs, dropping a twin bill to the Cards at Busch Stadium by 5-0 and 5-3 scores. But it a was rags-to-riches day for 1B Preston Ward. He wore the golden sombrero in the opener, K’ing four times while facing Harvey Haddix. He understandably sat in the nightcap, but was called on to pinch hit in the eighth, and hit a solo homer off Stu Miller. It would take 61 years for another Pirate to whiff in all four at-bats in the first game of a double header and then homer in the second before Starling Marte turned the trick in 2014. 
  • 1968 - Pittsburgh won a wild one, 8-7, over the Giants at Candlestick Park. San Francisco scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth and loaded the bases with two down, but had used up their bench and had to sent P Ray Sadecki, a good hitting hurler, to the dish to bat for reliever Bill Henry. Roy Face took over and whiffed Sadecki to close out the victory. The play of the game was made in the sixth when Roberto Clemente took a home run away from Willie Mays, making a grab over the RF railing as he was crashing into the fence with two on and two out. 
  • 1972 - LHP Darrell May was born in San Bernardino, California. He spent seven seasons in the bigs, with a brief look in Pittsburgh in 1996, getting five outings (two starts) and going 0-1/9.35 as a 24-year-old. The Pirates had acquired him off waivers from the Braves; Pittsburgh released him in September and California claimed him. He pitched in the show and in Japan through 2005. He did some high school and college coaching and now runs DMay Baseball School and is in charge of player development for TWC Sports Management. 
  • 1985 - The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority announced that it had a pair of groups ask about the availability of the Meadowlands should the Pirates relocate there, per the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The Bucco FO denied the rumors, saying that they hadn’t talked to any potential Jersey buyers and had made remaining in Pittsburgh one of their conditions for a sale. But the storm clouds over the franchise were gathering… 
  • 1988 - The Pirates shut out the Cubs, 8-0, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Bobby Bonilla homered and went 3-for-5 with three RBI while Barry Bonds went 2-for-4 with a dinger and scored three times. Bob Walk pitched a complete game for the win although he had to dodge some bullets - he threw 121 pitches and gave up eight hits with four walks but stranded 12 Cubbies. 
  • 1994 - The Bucs ducked becoming no-hit victims when Carlos Garcia singled off Expo pitcher Jeff Fassaro’s glove with two outs in the ninth. Fassaro, with his bubble burst, then served up a gopher ball to Jay Bell, but it didn’t do much but rub a little salt in the wound as Montreal was ahead 10-0 at Stade Olympique before Bell’s blast. 
  • 1997 - Ex-Pirate Jeff King hit a two-run homer for Kansas City but was answered by ex-Royal Joe Randa with a tying homer‚ a triple and three RBI as Pittsburgh and KC squared off. Tony Womack smacked the winning homer in the sixth off Royals reliever Mike Williams, who joined the Buccos the next season, in a 5-3 Pittsburgh win at TRS. It was the Pirates’ first interleague game. 
Joe Randa 1979 Donruss
  • 2000 - Pittsburgh scored three times in the ninth and once again in the 10th to rally for a 7-6 win over the Atlanta Braves at TRS. Bruce Aven drove in Kevin Young on a force play to cut the lead to 7-5 in the final frame with two down. Mike Benjamin doubled him to third and Warren Morris singled them both home to knot the score. Wil Cordero did it the easy way in the 10th by launching a leadoff bomb off Don Wengert for the walk off win, credited to Jose Silva. 
  • 2001 - The Pirates traded infielder Enrique Wilson to the Yankees for journeyman relief pitcher Damaso Marte. The Bucs would later trade Marte away, bring him back and then flip him back to the NYY with Xavier Nady for Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Daniel McCutchen, all in a three-year span. 
  • 2014 - The Pirates blew a ninth-inning, 6-2 lead to Miami by allowing the Fish to tie the score on one hit; three relievers walked six batters in a Friday the 13th nightmare. But Jeanmar Gomez pitched four frames of shutout ball - he and starter Jeff Locke tossed 12 innings, giving up just two of the runs without yielding a single walk - and Gregory Polanco’s first MLB homer won it in the 13th 8-6 at Marlins Park. Polanco had quite a coming out party; he became just the second post-1914 era rookie to have a five hit contest during his first four games in the league, going 5-for-7. The top of the Pirate order (El Coffee, Starling Marte, who also homered, and Andrew McCutchen) went 11-for-21 with six runs scored and five RBI. The Pirates snapped a 13-game, Friday the 13th losing streak in the 13th inning in their Twilight Zone-ish victory. The Pirates almost played out the same scenario the next day, giving up four ninth-inning runs but hanging on for another 8-6 victory.
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