January 6, 2012

The Hardball Times: Doing All The Driving

My first article for The Hardball Times:
On Sept. 2, 1996, the Red Sox beat the Mariners 9-8 in 10 innings in Seattle. Boston's left fielder, Mike Greenwell, batting eighth in the order, drove in all nine of the Red Sox runs. He set a major league record.

After flying out to right-center to lead off the top of the third inning, the Gator hit a two-out, two-run home run in the fifth, a grand slam with no one out in the seventh - putting the Sox ahead 6-5 - a two-run double down the left field line in the eighth - tying the game at 8-8 - and an RBI single in the top of the 10th to give the Red Sox a 9-8 lead. Unfortunately, Boston manager Kevin Kennedy stayed with reliever Heathcliff Slocumb in the home half of the tenth, denying Greenwell the opportunity to take the hill and pick up a save.

After the first inning, Boston managed only six hits, and Greenwell had four of them. He finished the day with a WPA of 1.051 - the third highest for a Red Sox batter in Retrosheet history, and only the sixth Red Sox batter to ever top a 1.000 WPA. Greenwell also drove in Boston's first run the following night, making it 10 RBI in a row.

Before Greenwell's one-man show at the Kingdome, there had been two instances of a player driving in all eight of his team's runs.

George "Highpockets" Kelly went 4-for-4, with three home runs and a single, for the New York Giants on June 14, 1924, in an 8-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Nearly 14 years later to the day — June 12, 1938 — Philadelphia A's second baseman Bob Johnson drove in eight runs in an 8-3 win over the St. Louis Browns in the first game of a doubleheader. Johnson had two homers and a single.

I started wondering which players with big RBI days had driven in almost all of their team's runs — eight of nine, nine of 10, 10 of 12, etc. I went to Baseball Reference's Play Index and did some digging. ...
See The Hardball Times for the full article.


tim said...

Off topic but needed to bitch:

Cafardo continues his brilliant insight

In reporting the signing of Carlos Silva, he lists Silva's career MLB statistics, starting off with the ever-important W-L record, then rolling right into the TWO saves that he has - clearly an important statistic to begin with, but especially for a starter/middle reliever with 300+ career ML games under his belt.

Thanks for your useful reporting, Nick!

(In other news, Pedro Martinez (219-100, 3 sv) recently retired...how about that!)

tim said...

BTW - I did read the article - then got to the end and realized that you wrote it! Interesting piece, neat stuff.

(In fact, mid-read when you mentioned BR's PI, I thought to myself "Allan loves that thing"!)

allan said...

"Allan loves that thing"

Yes, he does.

tim said...

Oh look - the top of your post says "My first article for The Hardball Times" - ah, the old oversight...

laura k said...

But Tim, not really! Allan added that line *after* your comment, when he realized JoSers might not realize he wrote the THT piece. So the oversight was his.

Kathryn said...

Congrats Allan, nice job. And, I noticed the byline at The Hardball Times!