May 1, 2009

JVE Pitching In

Sean McAdam, Herald:
As the game got out of hand, Francona had third base coach DeMarlo Hale discreetly check with the position players to see who had past pitching experience. Van Every told Hale he pitched regularly in high school, earning him the assignment.
(But was it Hale? Kevin McNamara of the Journal reports that Tito was huddled with John Farrell, while over at the Globe, Notebook co-authors Amalie Benjamin and Adam Kilgore opt for "the coaching staff".)

JVE:
It's been quite a while, but I figured I'd just throw the ball over the plate and let the law of averages play out. ... All fastballs, 75-mph fastballs, just humming it in there. It's something you can tell your kids about. I pitched in the Major Leagues.
Jason Varitek was the only position player left on the bench, so Terry Francona sent Lopez to right.

The last Sox pitcher to play the field was Tom Burgmeier, who played left (in place of Jim Rice) for one batter in Texas on August 3, 1980. That game was not a rout, however; the Red Sox won 6-4 in nine innings. ... Anyone have the poop on that game? Why the last-batter switch?

***

Michael Silverman, on David Ortiz's poor April 2009:
The starkest stat was that Ortiz has never gone a month in a Sox uniform, while active, without hitting at least one home run. In his 35 previous months, he has hit at least one.

Ortiz' .341 slugging percentage also represented a low from the 35 months that preceded it. So did his on-base percentage of .289.
Also: Jed Lowrie will have the stitches from his left wrist surgery removed today. ... Rocco Baldelli has been taking batting practice and running at "a pretty good clip:, according to Terry Francona. ... Mark Kotsay will start a rehab stint with Pawtucket this weekend.

21 comments:

Benjamin said...

BaseballToaster:
The Boston Red Sox were leading 6-4 in the bottom of the 9th over the Texas Rangers. Boston's Tom Burgmeier pitching with two out, allowed a single to Jim Sundberg. Seeking the platoon advantage against right-handed batting Texas shortstop Dave Roberts, manager Don Zimmer brought in righty Skip Lockwood to pitch. Burgmeier moved to left field, replacing Jim Rice. Under rule 6.10, this move caused the Red Sox to lose the use of a designated hitter for the rest of the game, as Lockwood replaced DH Gary Allenson on the scoresheet. It didn't matter: Roberts fouled out to Carlton Fisk, ending the game.Doesn't explain why he replaced Rice, though.

Benjamin said...

QuirkyResearch has more flavor but no answer:
Up 6-4 in the 9th, with 2 outs and and man on 1st, lefty Burgmeier moved to LF (like Jeff Nelson, in Fenway) and righty Skip Lockwood came on to face righty Dave Roberts. Roberts fouled the first pitch down the left-field line, with Burgmeier giving it a "courtesy trot," and three pitches later popped out to the catcher to end the game.

Benjamin said...

(The reference to Jeff Nelson is from this game in 1993 where he briefly played left field.)

9casey said...

Does anyone have a reason to Papi's lack of HR's.....Besides the fact he can't seem to catch up to a high fastball...

Everyone who has a friend who is a yankee fan knows what they think the problem is.....

Benjamin said...

Answer appears to be that Zimmer wanted a temporary platoon advantage for one batter and wanted to be able to put Burgmeier back in if they didn't make the out. Rice and Evans had both batted in the top of the 9th, so it was probably a choice between LF and RF.

Here's Peter Gammons's writeup for the Globe (8/4/1980):

ARLINGTON, Texas It began with Mike Torrez pitching with one day's rest and ended with Tom Burgmeier in left field. On a night of need, the Red Sox tried everything, and, for once, it all worked.

As Glenn Hoffman led the 13-hit, six-run onslaught against the Rangers' Jon Matlack in the first five innings with four RBIs on a homer and single, Torrez and Co. held on for a 6-4 victory before 32,015 in Arlington Stadium. These days such accomplishments may seem meager, but at least it got the Red Sox back into fifth place and finished the road trip at 5-5, which, with Torrez working on one day's rest and Burgmeier in left field , isn't bad .

There are (and have been) a lot of things that can be said about Torrez and the frustrations of his 6-12 record, but one thing to his everlasting credit is that he will always go to the post. In Detroit on April 27, when a shellshocked, flu-ridden pitching staff had no one else, he pitched with a 103-degree temperature. And last night, when the other choices were Bill Campbell or Skip Lockwood, Torrez volunteered, saying "I may be going (---), but I love to pitch."

And Torrez shut out the Rangers until the bottom of the fifth, by which time Matlack was gone and it was 6-0. Dick Drago had gotten it to the eighth, when at 6-4 Burgmeier came in and got a break: a Richie Zisk line drive right at Rick Burleson with runners at second and third. "That's the best fastball I've had since before the All-Star break," said Burgy, who feels he is just about back from the tendinitis in his shoulder and the ensuing layoff.

Burgmeier had two out, none on in the ninth after a John Ellis double-play ball, but when Jim Sundberg singled to center, out came Don Zimmer, waving at Jim Rice in left as Skip Lockwood jogged in from the bullpen.

"I'd done this in the minors a couple of times," said Zimmer. "I've come close to doing it on a number of occasions here, using either Burgmeier or Drago in the outfield, but we've always gotten the batter out." Burgmeier had played center field in five games for the Angels in 1968, although in none of those appearances did he go to the field from the mound. Burgy's entrance to the field terminated the DH, for those of you scoring along at home, and when he looked in at Lockwood's first pitch to Dave Roberts, he watched it scream down the left-field line.

Foul. Easily. "I just gave it a courtesy trot towards the line," said Burgmeier. Roberts popped up the fourth pitch to Carlton Fisk, and the madness was over.

Had Roberts reached base, Zimmer would have brought Burgmeier back to the mound to face Mickey Rivers and used Garry Hancock in left. Burgmeier would have then batted fifth - Rice's old spot in the order - and Hancock would have been placed in the eighth spot.Torrez had outstanding control from the beginning, setting down the first nine hitters, walking none in his five innings and throwing only 60 pitches (39 of which were strikes). "I guess I stay more within myself in a situation like this," he said. "It's been hard, the struggling to get a W' the way I have, and maybe I've been trying too hard."

Before the game, Torrez admitted that the dark and silent gates to the Red Sox clubhouse - where no one has fun anymore - have led him to the negative state of mind that has pervaded some of his starts.

But this time, with their backs against the wall, he did one helluva job. The Rangers got the two runs off him in the fifth on singles by John Grubb and pinch hitter Jim Norris, but he got Mickey Rivers to tap out with two runners in scoring position to end his stint. "I could have gone further . . ." he shrugged. But he had done what Zimmer desperately needed him to do.

Matlack hadn't pitched in a week, as in his start two weeks ago in Boston he suffered shoulder stiffness that has taken him to Los Angeles and Dr. Frank Jobe. He had no fastball, and the Red Sox teed off on him. Carlton Fisk started the three-run second with a double down the left-field line, and Dwight Evans (.422 the last 24 games) doubled him in with a drive down the right-field line. Then Hoffman cranked his second homer into the bleachers in left.

"About a week ago, Johnny Pesky told me that I was just trying to hit the ball instead of hitting it hard," said Hoffman. "I remember Rac Slider telling me the same thing in Winter Haven in '77. But this little streak (he's gone from .231 to .275 with a six-game, 9-for-16 streak) is really confidence. The same thing has seemed to happen to me in Elmira, Winter Haven and Pawtucket."

As opposed to Friday, when everything went wrong, this night everything went right. There were three line drives - one of which, Al Oliver's, although turned into a fourth-inning double play, was hit so hard that it bruised Tony Perez's hand in the fourth and forced him to leave the game - that could have turned it around, and while Matlack escaped two jams, the three-run fifth was the product of three straight infield hits preceding Hoffman's single to left.

But on a night when Torrez went with 46 hours rest and Burgmeier played left, what could one expect?

Jere said...

"Everyone who has a friend who is a yankee fan knows what they think the problem is....."

Remember my easy retort to that one: "Okay, as long as we're making shit up, Derek Jeter took steroids, too. It's a real shame, Derek Jeter on steroids, but hey, no one of this era is beyond the realm of suspicion. Jeter, Ortiz, Jeter, Canseco, Jeter....all on steroids. So sad."

Jere said...

Burgmeier: If anyone has a clever story, they should just add it to wikipedia.

Jere said...

Hartford Courant:

"If Lockwood doesn't get Roberts, then Burgmeier comes back to pitch to Rivers," Zimmer said.

Burgmeier also said they would have done the same thing "five or six times this season," but they always got the guy out.

redsock said...

Yep, Gammons could flat-out write.

Nice stuff.

redsock said...

What's that? Jeter is totally on steroids?

***

Yeah, because without 'roids, a guy like Tiz simply cannot hit a ball over a major league fence.

Who knows why? Maybe he'll hit 20 in May.

9casey said...

redsock said...

Yeah, because without 'roids, a guy like Tiz simply cannot hit a ball over a major league fence.

Who knows why? Maybe he'll hit 20 in May.


Hey , I hear ya.......is he hurt?
is he afraid to swing to quick and hurt himself again?

Barth said...

I remember Zim doing this and a few years later, Davey Johnson sort of imitating it with Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco alternating by batter for an inning.

There was a lot of kerfuffle about what happens if Texas tied it up and Zim said he was hoping they didn't, which is why he did what he did and Burgmeier was really turning into a LOOGY as that point. (Losing Muggsy as the DH was no big deal, of course, but losing Rice in extra innings would have been, but then again, we would have dereved such a fate having blown a two run lead in the ninth.)

Barth said...

sorry about all those typos in my last post. And, yes, Gammons could write well and I miss him in that format, but Amalie does a great job, too.

Jere said...

"Muggsy as the DH"

This person's a real fan. (Growing up I had a black stuffed animal cat we named Muggsy after Gary Allenson!)

Jere said...

Oh, and I added the found info about the Burgmeier thing to his Wiki page.

Barth said...

I am unquestionably a "real fan" devoted to the Boston Red Sox since I was able to focus on anything---about 1958, but remembering Gary Allenson was Muggsy didn't seem so remarkable to me.

Maybe that is the sign of Red Sox dementia.

Was he the catcher who made rhe cover of the NYT Sunday Magazine? I think so. (Might have been Geddy or even Wedge, but I think not.)

And naming your cat after him? That's a person who deserved 2004 and 2007) as much as anyone.

Barth said...

I am shocked and just a little troubled to say that I was able to (and did) research my onw question about Muggsy Allenson making the cover of the Sunday NY Times magazine to find out that he did on April 1, 1979 in an article written by the esteemed J. Anthony Lukas, who, btw, refers to him as Muggsy.

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F4091EF9345B12728DDDA80894DC405B898BF1D3&scp=9&sq=%22Gary%20Allenson%22&st=cse

Maybe I should seek professional help.

redsock said...

Wow. ... J. Anthony Lukas's book "Big Trouble" is amazing.

Jere said...

Barth--yes, the Muggsy nickname is well-known among any of us who were paying attention in the early-80s...but I can assure you, there's a whole generation of Sox fans who don't know who Allenson is, let alone his nickname...

Muggsy was just a stuffed cat--I'm way more of a Gedman fan, actually...

Jere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barth said...

I think Muggsy is the manager of Norfolk, the Orioles Triple A team.

Geddy was, of course, a better catcher and something of a clone of Pudge (our Pudge) though not as good, of course.