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Getting the most out of very little
2007-08-21 20:59
by Bob Timmermann

Tampa Bay lost to Boston tonight at home 8-6. The Devil Rays got their six runs on just four hits. Two of them were homers: a 2-run homer by Carlos Pena and a 3-run homer by Akinori Iwamura. The sixth run came home on an error.

I didn't think six runs on four or fewer hits was all that unusual and it's not. It's happened 76 times in the last 50 years.

But two games stood out.

On April 9, 1996 the Tigers scored 10 runs against Seattle on just four hits and beat the Mariners 10-9 at Tiger Stadium. Four Seattle pitchers walked 9 Tiger batters and also gave up three home runs, one of them a grand slam to Cecil Fielder. Paul Menhart took the loss for the Mariners. And now he has appeared on this blog twice in a span of less than an hour and I didn't even remember who he was prior to tonight.

On June 29, 1962, the Mets (aka the gold standard for bad teams in the post 1947 baseball) beat the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, 10-4, despite getting only four hits.

The Mets scored six runs in the first innings this way:

  • Ashburn: Walk
  • Kanehl: Flyout to right
  • Woodling: Walk
  • Thomas: Walk
  • Neal: Walk, RBI
  • Perranoski replaces Moeller on the mound
  • Taylor: Walk, RBI
  • Mantilla: Walk, RBI
  • Chacon: Strikeout looking
  • Hook: Walk, RBI
  • Ashburn: Single, 2 RBI
  • Ortega replaces Perranoski
  • Kanehl: Foul out to first

Stan Williams relieved Ortega in the fifth and pitched the rest of the game. He walked eight, giving Dodger pitching 16 walks for the game. The Retrosheet boxscore has a pitch count for the game. The Dodgers threw 205 pitches, but only 97 were strikes. This was one of only two games the Mets won against the Dodgers in 1962 in 18 tries. The Dodgers had walked 11 Mets in a 13-inning win the night before and hold the major league record for most walks in two consecutive games with 27.

Frank Finch of the Los Angeles Times led his game story the next day with this:

Probably, if not possibly, the worst-pitched four-hitter in major league history was perpetrated by four wild men from Borneo disguised in Dodger unies Friday night at the Stadium.

2007-08-21 21:29:09
1.   Sam DC
What was unfortunate about that '62 game was all the extra homework the schoolkids in Borneo had to do the next day.
2007-08-21 21:32:19
2.   Bob Timmermann
I'm very glad you stayed up late to catch on to that.

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