Many random notes from one crazy game

Orioles 9, Red Sox 6:

  • Look who suddenly has the best record in baseball!
  • A long game is the last thing you need when your starter takes an early shower on a travel day. Both teams ran out of nominal pitchers despite using their last four bullpen denizens for 2 innings each.
  • Each side used nine pitchers and six of them for 2+ IP. The only other searchable game wherein 12 different pitchers went 2+ IP was in 1982, a 21-inning affair that ended with Bob Welch playing LF, RF and LF again (his only positional appearance in a 17-year career).
  • The O’s swept a series of 3+ games in Fenway for the first time since June ’94.
  • The last time Baltimore went 17+ innings and won, it was in the midst of a season-ending 9-game win streak that crowned them division kings. The time before that was during the same September. (And why don’t we hear more about this race? On August 28, 1974, the O’s were 63-65, trailing Boston by 8 games with two other teams between. They finished at a 28-6 clip to win the division by 2 games.)
  • Terry Francona remembers the last time Boston went 17+ innings and lost; it kicked off a 27-40 finish that turned them from division leaders into postseason spectators.
  • It’s the second 5-game skid for Boston this year. They had just two all of last year, and one in 2010.
  • Baltimore’s bullpen ERA fell to 1.41, more than 2 runs below the AL average. To put that another way: In 95.2 IP, Oriole relievers have saved 26 ER compared to the rate of the other AL teams.
  • Anyone know of the last road trip on which the Orioles won series at both Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium?

Individual notes:

  • Orioles Luis AyalaMatt Lindstrom and Jim Johnson and maintained their spotless ERAs, in a total of 41.1 IP.
  • Only two other hitters are known to have matched or exceeded the Adam Jones melange of 2+ GIDPs with at least one HR, double and steal. Both happened in July 4 losses. One was by Barry Bonds, who had just one other career game with 2 GIDP.
  • It only feels as if Robert Andino specializes in crushing BoSox pitching. In reality, his career BA, OBP and OPS against Boston is a little worse than his total marks.
  • Before Sunday, young Will Middlebrooks hadn’t hit a HR or batted with the bases loaded; now he’s done both. He knows what to do with a hanger, and it’s got nothing to do with breaking into cars in the Lansdowne Street Garage. (On second thought….)
  • Nine-oh-nine” is a decent Beatles song. But as an ERA, it leaves Clay Buchholz looking up at all other qualifiers. Out of 84 pitchers with 6+ starts so far, only Buchholz is still without a quality start.

More on winning “pitcher” Chris Davis:

  • He’s the first player since 1920 to go 0 for 8 or more and pitch in the same game. Besides Davis, the other four who’ve done that since 1918 all started and pitched at least 18 innings, and none got the win.
  • Before unveiling his hurling prowess, Davis was having a really bad day at the plate, not just in volume of outs made but also situationally. His Win Probability Added (WPA) of -0.554 was the worst of this season and the 4th-worst since 2010.
  • Davis joined Jim Thome and Bobby Darwin as the only players known to have 5 strikeouts and a GIDP in the same game.
  • One more AB would have given Davis a chance to tie the records for DH hitlessness and for whiffery.
  • The 0-for-8 dropped Davis’s BA by 27 points, but over a full season it will only cost him about 4 points.

More on the “designated pitchers”:

I’ve just scratched the surface, but let’s get the discussion underway!


Many random notes from one crazy game — 14 Comments

  1. I don’t watch much baseball on TV, but it seems I’ve watched the last two games in which a position player got a win. Before all the nuttiness, I wondered about the Sox batting Middlebrooks right after Saltalamacchia. That’s 26 letters between them — is that a record for two guys hitting back to back?

  2. The 18 pitchers used in the game by the two teams combined equal the number of pitchers used by these two franchises (then known as the St. Louis Browns and Boston Americans), combined, during the entire 1906 season (154 games played by Boston, 149 by St. Louis). St. Louis used only six pichers all season and Boston (then as now occupying last place) used 12.

  3. I wonder why the Sox brought in McDonald, who had pitched once before with awful results…

    …instead of using today’s starter, Doubront, who would have been working on the normal 4 days rest. After a 17 inning game you are almost certainly going to dip into AAA for some arms anyway.

    They could have let Darnell start today’s game and called Melancon out of exile to close. :)

    • As I watched the game, announcers were talking about records for the amount of the games relievers have pitched consecutively and there was a reference to Dale Mohorcic who I think Bobby V had as a reliever while he managed with the Rangers. With Scott Atchison pitching in his 3rd game in a row, Peter Gammons was joking that Atchison would lead the league in relief innings and later the Mohorcic reference said that he pitched in 20 of 22 Ranger games in the late 80s. Anyway any of you gents know what the record for most games pitched in consecutively is? Mike Marshall’s 1974 season comes to mind for me.

      • You’re right, Dan. Mike Marshall was in 13 straight games from June 18-July 3 for the Dodgers in ’74. His 11th straight game was against the Giants in San Francisco, and after the game Giants announcer Art Eckman tried to interview him. I say “tried” because Marshall was less than cooperative, as most of his answers consisted of “Yes”, “No”, and no responses at all- one of the sadder examples of an announcer being hung out to dry by an athlete…

  4. “Anyone know of the last road trip on which the Orioles won series at both Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium?”

    Baltimore took 2 of 3 in New York and 3 of 4 in Boston from July 28 to Aug 2, 1992. At the end of that trip, Baltimore was 4.5 GB Toronto, and Boston and New York were 14.5 and 15 games behind, respectively.

    During Sep 24-30, 2001, the Orioles won 3 of 4 in Fenway and then split a 3-game set in New York with a 15-inning tie in the last game.

    Between these two trips, Baltimore had only one road trip to New York and Boston, in 1995.

  5. You knew that game where Bob Welch played the outfield would be a Tommy Lasorda managed game. Lasorda was not afraid to to that, and if I remember did it in the playoffs or WS one year with Jesse Orosco playing right field.

  6. I’m very late to the table after having looked forward to this discussion…and now having returned to earth following last night’s drubbing at the hands of the Rangers. Great detail from Sunday’s game. I especially appreciated the nod to the ’74 Orioles who had both a 10-game and 9-game win streak during that great finish. They were missing Jim Palmer for two months — his only non-20-win season over a 9-year span — and seemed to re-energize upon his return, even though he was not very effective.

    The bullpen performances have been incredible…unsustainable, but incredible. I liked the Orioles quick roster moves to ensure everyone else had at least one day off.

    I really like the fact that Chris Davis can have a fond memory from this one. He’d been real solid offensively until then. Thanks for the post.

    • I think the reason we don’t hear about the Orioles ’74 finish is they lost the ALCS. That, and the fact that they had been so good for so long, and would continue to be very good (the Orioles finished lower than 3rd only twice in 20 seasons – from 1964 to 1983).

      In contrast, we hear a lot about the finish of the ’69 Mets because they won, but also because they had been so bad for so long.

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