Quiz – Baker’s Half-Dozen, minus one-half (Solved)
It’s time for another thrilling installment of “John Isn’t Doug,” in which I attempt to stump you readers long enough for Billy Hamilton to circle the bases!
These six men comprise all those in MLB history with a certain game-based feat that has two essential criteria:
What is their distinction?
For bonus points, explain:
- why Hernandez stands out far above the others; and
- who became the 7th on this list when the first pitch was thrown in Wednesday’s game.
Hints and discovered facts:
- Each game was a postseason clincher (identified by RJ), a necessary but not sufficient condition for the broader criterion.
- “Feat” was perhaps a misnomer. Some had positive WPA impact in the game, some had negative WPA. One had no measurable impact. One didn’t even bat, but had big negative WPA.
- Smalley did it in his farewell game. (Identified by Artie Z.)
- Hernandez did it in the 1982 WS finale. (Identified by Voomo.)
- Cummings did not score a run in his game.
We have a winner! Insert Name Here put it all together, just beating Richard Chester to the post. Those six men played in a postseason sudden-death game on their birthday. Richard was the first to identify the birthday angle. RJ was the first to identify the series clincher angle, and Richard put those two together, but “clincher” alone didn’t quite do the trick.
The seventh player, who joined the list tonight, was Bucs leadoff man Starling Marte. (One could argue that he “played in” the game as soon as the starting lineup wase submitted to the umpire, rather than my “first pitch” specification.)
Keith Hernandez stands far above the pack in terms of game impact (pending Marte’s remaining work). He had a tying 2-run single in the home 6th inning, pushing the lead run to 3rd. Hernandez also had another hit and two walks in the game. Of the other five, only Saenz had even one hit, same for RBI, and no others scored.
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