April 21, 2009

Making Three Outs In An Inning

After Jason Varitek made the first and third outs in Boston's seventh inning yesterday, we were wondering if any player had ever made all three of his team's outs in an inning.

Joe Grav commented:
... it happened in an independent minor league game I was at in 2003. The North Shore Spirit scored 15 (?) runs in one inning against the New Jersey Jackals, and Brian Caruso made all 3 outs, striking out each time. They gave him a plaque to commemorate the occasion lol
The New York Times of August 16, 2003 offers more info:
The North Shore Spirit set a record for the independent Northeast League on Wednesday by scoring 13 runs in the fifth inning on its way to a 15-9 victory over the Jersey Jackals. The big inning took 42 minutes, with the Spirit sending 19 batters to the plate and knocking out 12 hits. It might still be going on if not for North Shore catcher Bryan Caruso.

Caruso set a record that might never be broken: he made all three outs in the inning, against three New Jersey pitchers. Caruso led off the inning by grounding out to third. After back-to-back homers, including a grand slam by Fran Riordan, made the score 9-0, Caruso struck out for the second out. The next eight Spirit batters reached base before his teammates presented Caruso with his bat for his third plate appearance of the inning. Joe Magri struck out Caruso to end the inning. After the game, Riordan said he should have gotten picked off second base to help Caruso out.
At least 19 batters would have to come to the plate for a player to make all three outs (as happened in Caruso's game). Hitting into a triple play or making one out and then hitting into a double play later in the inning would not count.

The major league record for most batters in an inning is 23, set by the Red Sox on June 18, 1953, against the Tigers. The Brooklyn Dodgers hold the NL record: 21, in the first inning (ouch!) against the Reds on May 21, 1952.

Here is a list of every player from 1900-1995 who has batted three times in one inning:

National League
Marty Callaghan, Cubs, August 25, 1922, 4th inning
Billy Cox, Dodgers, May 21, 1952, 1st inning
Pee Wee Reese, May 21, 1952, 1st inning
Duke Snider, May 21, 1952, 1st inning
Gil Hodges, Dodgers, August 8, 1954, 8th inning
Dusty Baker, Atlanta, September 20, 1972, 2nd inning
Mariano Duncan, Reds, August 3, 1989, 1st inning
Luis Quinones, Reds, August 3, 1989, 1st inning
American League:
Ted Williams, Red Sox, July 4, 1948, 7th inning
Sammy White, Red Sox, June 18, 1953, 7th inning
Gene Stephens, Red Sox, June 18, 1953, 7th inning
Tom Umphlett, Red Sox, June 18, 1953, 7th inning
Johnny Lipon, Red Sox, June 18, 1953, 7th inning
George Kell, Red Sox, June 18, 1953, 7th inning
I found a rec.sport.baseball discussion from 1991 with the results of those plate appearances:
Callaghan: 2 singles and struck out
Cox: Ground out, single, HBP
Reese: Walk, single, walk
Snider: Home run, walk, strikeout
Hodges: Triple, double, fly out
Baker: 3-for-5 that day; home run (in 2nd), single, double
Duncan: Walk, double, fly out
Quinones: Single, single, fly out
Williams: Walk, walk, ground out
White: Single, walk, single
Stephens: Single, double, single
Umphlett: Single, walk, single
Lipon: Strike out, single, walk
Kell: Double, fly out, fly out
Stephens is the only one with three hits in one inning. (Note: This list does not include games since 1995, such as Boston's 2003 game against the Marlins, in which Johnny Damon batted three times in the first inning and doubled, tripled and singled, joining Stephens in the record book.)

From 1900-1995, no major league player ever made all three outs in a single inning. (In fact, Kell is the only one on the list with two outs.)


allan said...

I could not find anything definitive for 1991-2008 and I don't think B-Ref's Play Index can answer this question. ... I could ask the SABR-L list.

allan said...

Note: Damon was the only Sock to bat 3 times in that 2003 inning.

I asked SABR-L.

allan said...

Cleveland sent "only" 17 men to the plate against the Chokers last weekend.

So could the AL record for 3 PA/Inning be held by only Red Sox players?

allan said...

I think that the minimum runs a team would have to score to send 19 men to the plate is 13.

13 runs in, 2 outs, 3 on, #19 batter makes third out.

How about searching for teams that have scored at least 13 runs in an inning?

allan said...

I looked at the boxes for every game between 1996 and 2009 in which a team scored at least 21 runs. All I found was Darryl Hamilton batted three times in Texas's 8th inning against Baltimore on April 19, 1996. Single, walk, 4-3. Texas scored 16 runs.

Franco said...

I believe Don Baylor once had 2 CS in an inning.

Jere said...

I saw that North Shore squad within months of the game you mention--Rich Gedman was coaching for them, and I traveled to Waconah Park to see them play the Berkshire Black Bears.

So basically, to be sure, you still would have to check games from '96 on in which a team scored 13-20 runs in a game (which included a 13 or more run inning)?

allan said...

Jere: Right. And there have been A LOT of games in the last 12 years in which a team scored, say, 13, 14 or 15 runs.

fmb: Here's a list of guys since 1954 with at least 2 CS in one game. I searched for Baylor's name but it did not show up.

4 CS -- 4 tries!!! Yikes.

allan said...

The 1996 Complete Record Book I have? I need one from 2008 or 2009.

I also posted at SoSH; someone there has to have a list.

laura k said...

Great stuff, A.

Jere said...

You'd really feel like an ass if you made all 27 outs in a game. Would you take comfort in the fact that your team score at least 117 runs in the game?

Wait. But you'd bat ninth in every inning after you made the last out. So if you're the leadoff man, your team would have to get 13 minimum in inning one. Then you'd have to score minimum 21 per inning to get the three at bats for the ass. So...

(21 x 8) + 13 = 181 minimum runs scored. BUT, you also make every offensive out in a game where your team didn't have to bat in bottom 9, so in that case it would be 160.

micah said...

Apparently nobody's ever had 3 CS in a game that didn't go to extra innings. Huh.

Jere said...

I looked into the Don Baylor thing. On June 15th, 1974, Don pinch-ran at first base in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. He took off for second, but an error by the second baseman allowed him to reach. It went as a caught stealing, the catcher getting an assist.

Then Baylor stole third. After an intentional walk, Baylor, perhaps feeling immortal, or in a euphoric state of cleptomania, tried to win the game single-handedly by stealing home! He was caught--his second caught-stealing for the inning, and the game went to extras. (The runner on first went to second on the play, so maybe it was a double steal attempt, but the play was just a "catcher unassisted.")

Baylor was on deck in the eleventh when Boog Powell hit a dong to end the game.

Jere said...

Your link only seems to show the first 200 out of 966. So Baylor must be on there further down the list of 2s. And also, from Baseball Library:

"Baylor's mark is a ML record‚ but will be matched four times in the NL between 1987 and 1992."

allan said...

Your link only seems to show the first 200 out of 966.

Ah, yes. Getting caught stealing twice in a game is far from rare!

Apparently nobody's ever had 3 CS in a game that didn't go to extra innings. Huh.

Maybe before 1954. This only includes the years for which reliable PBP data exists. I'll bet it has happened.

allan said...

You'd really feel like an ass if you made all 27 outs in a game.

I think you'd probably retire.

I also found this linescore, again with Texas, a mere 5 days after the Hamilton game:

April 24, 1996
MIN - 331 043 253 - 24 19 0
TEX - 206 200 001 - 11 14 3

Twins went OTT in the 4th (K, 3-1. 6-3).

Jere said...

Ooh, 88.8%. Nice.

Jere said...

Amalie with a nod to Bay/Kottaras/Joy:

"The tarp has been on the field since last night, aftre the game."

nick said...

You guys are such geeks. I love ya for it.

I'm enjoying reading the results of your research.

Amy said...

So what do you make of the fact that in the American League all those three-times-up occurred in the seventh inning, including in yesterday's game (which I missed because WORK got in the way)?

allan said...

Amalie with a nod to Bay/Kottaras/Joy: "The tarp has been on the field since last night, aftre the game".

Pretty sure it's a message to only me.

laura k said...

Amalie Benjamin is sending you messages, eh?

"You'd really feel like an ass if you made all 27 outs in a game. Would you take comfort in the fact that your team score at least 117 runs in the game?"


Unknown said...

1 batter 3 outs in 3 at bats in 1 inning happened to our team last night..he'll never live it down!!!

Unknown said...

Mike Lowell came close to making all three outs in the same inning tonight - he grounded out. the Sox batted around (scoring six runs), then Lowell grounded into a double play - he was responsible for all three outs (although he did not represent all three). Has this happened before?