Monday, October 28, 2013

World Series: Did You Know?

Dan Driessen was the first designated hitter in the World Series. Or maybe I should say Lou Piniella was?

You mean before he was such a funny manager, Lou was a DH? Yes!

The DH, adopted by the American League in 1973, was not used in the World Series until 1976.

The 1976 World Series pitted The Cincinatti Reds vs. The New York Yankees in a rematch from 1961. The Reds, this time, were the defending World Series champions. The Yankees were the underdogs, having not appeared in the World Series in 12 years.

So anyways, Piniella of the visiting Yankees and Driessen of the home town Reds, were the DH's in game 1 of the 1976 World Series. Driessen sort of came to bat first.

The Yankees went 1-2-3 in the top of the 1st. Piniella batted in the 4th spot, so he was on-deck when Thurman Munson went down on strikes against Don Gullett.

Joe Morgan hit a 2-out solo home run in the bottom of the frame, to put the Reds up, 1-0. Tony Perez then singled off Doyle Alexander. Now batting, the designated hitter, Dan Driessen. With a 1-0 count on Driessen, Perez took off on ball 2. He was thrown out by Munson.

So I guess, Piniella, who led off the second with a double, was the first official plate appearance of a DH in a World Series. Piniella ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Driessen had no such luck in his first plate appearance, flying out to right centre. Driessen ended the day 0-4 and Pinella was 0-2 after the double. The Reds won the game, 5-1 and went on to a sweep.

Driessen, who ended up DH'ing the who Series, batted .333. The Yankees used Elliot Maddox in game 2 at DH and Carlos May in games 3 and 4.

The DH was used in all the even numbered World Series for a while: 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984

After no DH in 1985, there was a rule change for the 1986 World Series. The DH was only used in American League ballparks. The rule remains in effect to this day.


Snyder, John S. World Series!: Great Moments and Dubious Achievements. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1995. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Monday, October 21, 2013

1993 World Series: 50 Interesting Facts

50) The Phillies were making their first World Series appearance since 1983.

49) Actually, this was just the 5th time the Phillies had made the World Series. They reached in 1915, 1950, 1980, 1983.

48) Philadelphia, at this point, had won just 1 World Series, 1980.

47) Philadelphia was in the postseason for just the 9th time in their history, which dates back to 1883. The were originally called the Quakers. Philadelphia also had an NHL team in the 1930s (for one season) called the Quakers.

46) Philadelphia had briefly adopted the name "Blue Jays" from 1943 to 1949.

45) Philly Lenny Dysktra finished the 1993 World Series with 4 home runs. That upped his total to 6 lifetime home runs in the World Series (He hit two more as a member of the 1986 New York Mets). All of them were from the leadoff position, which set a World Series record!

44) The 1993 World Series was the first time a sports team from Toronto faced a sports team from Philadelphia in the postseason since the NHL Leafs faced the Flyers in 1977.

43) The other Canadian MLB team (at the time), The Montreal Expos, beat the Phillies (who were the defending World Series Champions) in the 1981 NLDS (A strike season that had extended playoffs).

42) The 1993 World Series was the last time that the playoffs format was Division Winner, LCS, World Series. 1994 was supposed to be 4 teams in the postseason. But this didn't happen since the 1993 World Series was the "one before the strike" of 1994.

41) The Jays, in winning the World Series, became the first team since the 1977/78 New York Yankees to repeat.

40) The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves in the 1993 NLCS. Toronto had beaten Atlanta in the 1992 World Series.

39) Once again, the Jays "won in six". Toronto won the 1992 and 1993 ALCS in six games. They also won the 1992 and 1993 World Series in six games.

38) But something did give this time. In 1992, the Jays won games 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the ALCS and the World Series. This time, they won games 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the ALCS, and games 1, 3, 4 and 6 of the World Series.

37) The Jays lost game 5 of the 1993 World Series. So the Jays are stuck on their game 5, 1993 ALCS win over the Chicago White Sox, as the only game 5 they have won in their entire postseason history!

36) Curt Schilling's shutout of the Jays in game 5 was just the second time in all of 1993 that the Jays were shutout.

35) Actually, the game 5 loss in Philadelpha was Toronto's only road postseason loss of 1993.

34) Danny Jackson, who pitched on the 1993 Phillies (losing game 3), shutout the Jays in game 5 of the 1985 ALCS.

33) Darren Daulton and Larry Anderson were on the 1983 Philadelphia team that made it to the World Series. But neither actually played in that postseason.

32) Tony Fernandez, who the Jays picked up in June of 1993, was a member of the 1985 Toronto Blue Jays that made it to the ALCS.  However, no other member of the 1985 team was around for the 1993 World Series. There were actually 4 members of the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays that were in their second tour of duty with the Jays: Fernandez, Tony Castillo, Mark Eichhorn and Luis Sojo, and 1979 Rookie Of The Year (AL) Alfredo Griffin. All but Sojo played in 1993 World Series.

31) There was a Canadian on the Jays in 1993. Rob Butler, a reserve, got into games 4 and 5 of the 1993 World Series. He even got a hit in game 5, and scored a run in game 4. He was just the 8th Canadian to appear in the World Series.

30) Another reserve on Toronto was Willie Canate. He played in 38 games with the Jays in 1993. Plus he made an appearance as a pinch-runner in game 5. He never played another game at the big league level. In fact, the 38 games he played with the Jays in '93 proved to be Willie's only games at MLB level!

29) Dave Stewart was certainly no stranger to the postseason. His 1981 Dodgers beat the Expos in the NLCS and Yankees in the World Series. His 1989 A's beat the Jays in the ALCS and the Giant in the ALCS. Here, he was the MVP of the 1993 ALCS to help the Jays. So it was his third different team that he played (pitched for) that won a World Series.

28) Schilling, who was the 1993 NLCS MVP (despite not winning a game) pitched for the 2001 World Series winning Arizona Diamondbacks and 2004, 2007 Boston Red Sox. So the two LCS MVPs of 1993 won a World Series ring with 3 different teams. But Curt went one step further! Schilling recorded a win in a World Series game with 3 different teams. That's what Jack Morris, who was a member of the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, was trying to do a year earlier. After failing in to win a World Series game in 1992, Jack was left off Toronto's 1993 postseason roster.

27) Todd Stottlemyre, a 1993 Toronto Blue Jay, was also a member of the 2001 Arizona Diamonbacks, but missed the entire year due to injury. After his game four start in the 1993 World Series, he never again pitched in the World Series. Mike Timlin, another Blue Jay pitcher in 1993, was also a teammate of Schilling on the 2004 and 2007 Boston Red Sox. Woody Williams, a rookie with the Jays and not on the postseason roster in 1993, pitched for St. Louis in game 1 of the 2004 World Series against the Red Sox. Schilling pitched game 2 of the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox.

26) Another World Series connected several members of the 1993 World Series. Tony Fernandez was on the 1997 Cleveland Indians team that lost to the Florida Marlins in the World Series that year. Devon White, a teammate of Fernandez in 1993, was on the Marlins team in 1997. Also on the Marlins team, was Darren Daulton and Jim Eisenreich. And pitching for the Marlins in that year, including the World Series? Al Leiter!

25) Nicknames of the famous Philly teams that lost World Series: A) 1950, Whiz Kids B) 1983, Wheeze Kids C) 1993, Wild Bunch

24) Juan Guzman finally lost a postseason game in the 1993 World Series. That was game 5, of course. But with the Jays winning game 1, Toronto ended up 7-1 in the postseason in games that Guzman pitched! Guzman actually never won a World Series game in three tries, however.

23) Pat Hentgen's game 3 start was the only World Series game he ever pitched. He was a member of the Jays in 1992, but not on the postseason roster.

22) Tommy Greene, who started game 4 for Philadelphia, also never pitched again in a World Series game.

21) Butler was later traded to the Phillies before returning to the Jays. Several Phillies players later became Jays: Mariano Duncan, Dave Hollins, and Mickey Morandini. Likewise, Jim Fregosi later managed the Jays in 1999 and 2000, with Cito Gaston (the Blue Jays manager in 1993) as his hitting instructor!

20) As mentioned earlier, Tony Fernandez rejoined the Jays in 1993. Then he was back with the Jays for a third time in 1998. He stayed with the team in 1999 and later rejoined them for a 4th time in 2001!

19) Cito Gaston went from hitting instructor of the Jays in the 80s to manager in of 1989. After being fired by the Jays in 1997 and returning as hitting instructor two years later, he managed the team again in 2008!

18) The general manager of the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays was Pat Gillick. Gillick later went on to be G.M. of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006. In 2008 he was there as the Phillies won their second World Series.

17) The last active member of the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays was Woody Williams, who released by Houston in spring training of 2008. He retired shortly after. The last active member of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies was Curt Schilling. After missing all of the 2008 season, he announced his retirement in spring training of 2009.

16) How about guys who returned to the Phillies? Dave Hollins, one of the more underrated Phillies, rejoined the team in 2002.

There is another, but he will be mentioned later. Kinda of a "same last name" connection!

15) David West, who pitched against the Jays in the 1991 ALCS, came into the 1993 World Series with the Phillies, and an ERA of infinity. He had faced 6 batters in the 1991 World Series with the Twins and failed to retire a batter. In game 1 of the 1993 World Series, he faced 2 batters and failed to retire a batter. In game 4, the first two batters he faced got a hit. After retiring a batter, John Olerud singled and Paul Molitor was hit by a pitch! Fernandez grounded out and Pat Borders flied out. After walking the only batter West faced in game 6, David had faced 16 batters in the World Series. He retired 3 of them and had an ERA of 17.18 in the World Series, lifetime!

14) Molitor had played on the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers and set a record by getting 5 hits in one World Series game (game 1). In the 1993 World Series, Molitor set another record by becoming the first player to hit 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs. He also batted .500 in 1993 (12-24) to nab MVP honours.

13) Game 4? Many World Series records were set that night. Among them:

Most runs, both teams combined, one World Series game, 29

Most runs by a losing team, 14

Longest World Series game, 4:14. This broke the previous record, by 1 minute!

Most total runs by the 4th game of a World Series, 65

Todd Stottlemyre tied 2 records. Most walks (4) in one inning. Most consecutive walks (3) in one inning!

Lenny Dykstra, who just miss hitting 3 home runs in the game, tied a World Series record by scoring 4 times

12) John Olerud, benched in game 3, was just the second batting champion to be benched for a World Series game. Chick Hafey was benched, if you can believe it, in game 7 of the 1931 World Series. This after hitting .349 to lead the National League. So Olerud was the first American League batting title winner to be benched in the World Series!

11) Actually, Olerud almost got into game 3, as he was in the on-deck circle in the top of the 9th. Danny Cox, who actually batted for himself an inning earlier, was due to hit. But Pat Borders ended the inning for the Jays by lining out to Dykstra.

10) Molitor, in playing third base, was playing a position he had last played in 1990. Actually, he did play third base in the 1991 All-Star Game, which was held in Toronto.

9) The Blue Jays set a World Series record with 3 sacrifice flies in game 3.

8) Molitor almost hit for the cycle in games 3 and 6. In both games, he missed out on a double.

7) There was a bet between a Philadelphia and a Toronto zoo:

If the Blue Jays won (and they did), Philadelphia had to send 2 white lion cubs to the Metro Toronto Zoo

If the Phillies won, Toronto had to send 2 (young) Tasmanian devils to a Philadelphia zoo!

6) Lenny Dykstra's hit 4 home runs in the 1993 World Series. That was just 1 home run shy of Reggie Jackson's record of 5 in 1977 World Series.

5) So I've mentioned Mitch Williams and Woody Williams. Would you believe there was another "Williams" was on one of the teams? That's right, Mike Williams! He was on the Phillies that year, but not on the postseason roster. He went on to become a pretty good relief pitcher, saving 144 games, and returned to the Phillies in 2003 to close out his career!

4) The night the Jays won the 1993 World Series (October 23rd), Toronto's other pro sport team (The Raptors wouldn't join the NBA until 1995/96) the Maple Leafs, set an NHL record for most wins in a row to start the season, 9. They would win their next game for good measure for a 10-0-0 start!

3) Paul Molitor actually scored the winning run in game 6, not Joe Carter!

2) This wasn't the only World Series that Joe Carter was involved in the final play. He caught the final out of the 1992 World Series (a ground ball fielded by Mike Timlin, who tossed to Carter playing first base). Carter even caught the final out of the ALCS in 1993!

1) Despite obviously the fierceness of the pitcher-batter confrontation, Mitch Williams has gone on record that he and Joe Carter are now friends!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Your Guide To The 1993 Toronto Blue Jays: The Starting 5

Those brave souls who took the hill at the start of the game for the Jays in 1993, had some troubles.

But they also had a lot of heart.

Jack Morris

The Jays were hoping that Jack Morris would be as good as he was in 1992, but it didn't work out that way.

It was Morris that took the hill on the Jays opening till. He was beaten 8-1.

And this trend continued on for a while. Almost the entire year.

Jack lost his first three starts, got blown off the mound in his 4th, before finally winning a game. Morris's numbers for April: 1-3, 11.51 ERA.

Following another loss in his first May start, it was time for some DL time. Morris was gone from May 2nd to May 21st.

When he came off it, things looked a little brighter:

An 11-2 win against his own team, the Twins on May 21st saw Jack give up just 2 earned runs in 7 innings!

A masterful 4-0, complete game, 5-hit shutout of the Twins on June 16th!

Then for a little no-no going magic on day!

One June 27, against the Brew Crew, Morris had a no-hitter for the first 6 innings. The Brewers then got 4 straight hits to knock out Jack. The good news was, Morris won the game to improve his record to 5-7. The bad news is, he ended up giving up 2 earned runs. The way he was pitching, he needed a shutout to drop the ERA.

The ERA at the end of June now 7.68. Jack's best start of the next month was his last July start. It was a  fine 5-hitter against the O's, but it was also only 7 innings. Oh and it was a no decision.

He pitched fairly good overall in July, but lost his only 3 decisions to drop his W-L record to 5-10. He would only manage to go 2-2 the rest of the year.

His ERA did drop, in both July and August. 3 of his starts in August saw Jack give up 2 or less runs. His last August start against the same Mariners team that beat him 8-1 was good. Morris tossed 7 innings of shutout ball and gave up just 3 hits, no runs. Again though, it was a no decision.

And after two more starts in September, Morris was done for the year with an ugly 7-12 record and a 6.19 ERA.

It didn't help that the Jays high-octane offence scored only 4.3 runs for Jack Morris in his starts. But with that kind of an ERA, it wasn't going to matter!

And Toronto was just 11-16 in Jack's starts.

Of Morris's 27 starts, only 8 of them were "quality starts". That's a start of 6 or more innings with 3 of less earned runs allowed.

And the opposition batted .302 against Morris. Gee, I bet John Olerud wished he could have hit more against Morris.

He did manage to lead the Jays in compete games with 4, tie for shutouts (with Juan Guzman, Todd Stottlemyre and Al Leiter) with 1. But he gave up 11.1H/9IP. There were some other ugly numbers, too!

He walked almost 4 batters per 9 innings pitched. Only Dave Stewart, with 4, and Juan Guzman with 4.5, average more.

He threw 14 wild pitches, which was second on the staff (and third in the American League) to Guzman's 26.

It just wasn't Morris' year. It was too bad, because the way he pitched in '92, you had to figure it was just a matter of showing up. It seemed age (38) and injuries had caught up to Jack.

But Jack kept a positive attitude all the way. Indeed, it was his plus Dave Stewart's experience and presence that really helped some of the other starters. Most notably, the team's big winner of 1993, Pat Hentgen!

Pat Hentgen

Speaking of which, Hentgen had battled injuries of his own in 1992. But he still managed to go 5-2 with the big league club. There just wasn't any room for him in Toronto, with Morris, Juan Guzman, Todd Stottlemyre, Jimmy Key, Dave Stieb, David Wells, and later David Cone.

But with Morris and Stewart hurt early, Key, Cone, Wells and Stieb gone, the door was open.

I didn't expect much from Hentgen. He started the season in the bullpen despite all that above. But after 2 appearances, he was in the starting rotation for the season. What did the 24 year old kid do?

Despite losing that second relief appearance, all Hentgen did was win his first four starts and drop his ERA to 2.08!

Then, after losing a game in May, he won his next 7 decisions (including a perfect 5-0 June) and was 11-2 by the end of June! His ERA was a little higher, but only 3.02!

But July seemed to be bad. I guess going to the All-Star Game made him feel it was too easy. July was a 1-3 month for Pat, and an ERA of 6.19. I guess Jack Morris and Patty traded spots!

August was 4-2, and September was 3-2. But his ERA slowly climbed. It was 3.78 at the end of July. 3.78 by the end of  August. At the end of the year it was 3.87.

Also, he lost his last start on October 2nd. With that, he failed to join Morris as the only pitchers to win 20 games for the Jays, to that point.

But his 19 wins led Toronto and was second in the AL in 1993. Only another Jack, Jack McDowell, won more games (22). Also, Pat finished 6th in Cy Young voting. On the negative side, he was also 6th in the American League in home runs allowed, with 27. More bad news: he was 7th in the AL in wild pitches with 7!

But the Jays actually won 3 other games that Pat started. So the team won a total of 22 games that he started. Only Juan Guzman starts produced more wins. The team was 22-10 in Hentgen's starts and 23-10 in Guzman's starts.

Pat Hentgen was also second to Juan Guzman in "quality starts". Hentgen had 16, Guzman 20.

Another stat that Hentgen was second to Guzman in, was run support per games started. The Jays scored an average of 5.9 runs per start by Pat. Guzman was a little better, 6.3. The league average was 4.7 in the American League, so Hentgen about a run per game more than the average AL hurler.

Opponents did hit him well, it seemed. Opponent's batted .258 against Pat, but it was 9 points less than the league average. And hey, opponents hit .302 against Morris, .292 against Todd Stottlemyre, .284 against Mike Timlin and even .272 against my man Mark Eichhorn!

One thing that surprised me to find missing from Pat Hentgen's 1993 season was a shutout.

But opposing batters didn't walk too much against this particular Toronto hurler. Hentgen walked only 74 batters. That was good enough for an average of only 3.1BB/9IP.

But in a year, where the starting pitchers were anything but a sure thing, it was Hentgen who was the top winner and 2nd on the staff (to Guzman) in W%. Hentgen logged more innings than anyone on the staff except Guzman (216 1/3). No Jays starter posted a lower ERA than Pat's 3.87.

So Pat Hentgen had certainly met and exceeded ERA. The Jays had the "Guy who always gets the W's"

But there was another pitcher with a lot of W's. Wins and wild pitches.

The wild Juan!

Juan Guzman

Guzman may have been wild, but he sure was consistent on the mound. Would he be as good as he was in '91 (11-2) and '92 (16-5)? You know, a lot of wins and few losses? Winning percentage!

He got off to a slow start as far as the ERA thing goes, but finished strong.

And as far as the aforementioned wins goes, was Juan and only ever there!

He got hit hard his first 2 starts, but didn't lose any of them. Then he pitched well in his last 3 starts in April. Guzman shutout Kansas on the 29th, having almost blanked the Indians on the 19th.

May was strange. 4 straight no decisions, then a win. Then, another no decision.

But Juan beat Oakland in his first June start, to go 5-0 on the campaign. Guzman K'd a season high 11 batters. He finally lost a game against the Tigers, but here we are, and it's June 10th! He won his next two starts, anyways. Also, he dropped his ERA from 5.18 to 4.69 in this month. Seems odd though, his best start (June 20th, just 2 earned runs in 7 innings) produced a no decision. Guzman is up to 8 of those in three months!

Toronto, though, is now 12-4 in games that Guzman has pitched. He's the guy you need up there, if you are going to win!

That's the thing, isn't it? With Morris and Todd Stottlemyre struggling, Stewart hurt, Al Leiter (hurt a bit, too) and Pat Hentgen iffy, Guzman was winning a lot of key games at this time.

It catches up with you eventually, though. Guzman lost his only 2 decisions in July. So the record drops to 7-3. The ERA also drops from 4.69 to 4.35.

He had pitched well in the second loss of the month (3rd of the season), allowing just 2 earned runs to the White Sox. The Jays lost 2-1. The start before that, a 7-2 Jays win, Guzman got a no decision despite surrendering just 1 earned run in 7 innings. Finally, you had Guzman give up just 1 earned run in 6 1/3 innings in his last July start. Guzman gave up 10 hits, though.

Now, for something incredible: Guzman did not lose another game in the regular season!

In his second August start against the Twins on the 11th, it was just 1 earned run in 8 innings. It was win #8. His next start start against the Indians, it was zero earned runs in 7 innings for win #9. Then is was 3 earned runs for win #10 on the season against the Mariners on the 22nd. In this month, he fanned 10 batters in a game twice!

Guzman was not finished yet.

Against Oakland on the first day of September, it was win #11 for Juan. In this start, he allowed just 3 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. A week later, in a 2-1 loss to Oakland, it was another no decision. It was also time for zero runs allowed period by Juan in 7 2/3 innings. Juan was so dominating that he allowed just 3 hits.

In Guzman's 12th win on the season, he beat Minny again. This time it was 10-0. Guzman only pitched 8 innings, but you can tell how many runs he gave up. His next start was another win (#14) 7-3 over the Yankees. 2 earned runs in 7 innings pitched.

So Guzman finsished the season on a 7 game-winning streak. He started the season on a 5 game-hitting streak. Just that 2-3 little trip from June 10th to July 20th!

Juan Guzman topped the AL in W% with a .824 mark. He also finished 7th (behind Hentgen) in the Cy Young voting. Jack McDowell won it, but he would see more of Guzman later. And come up second best, twice.

Guzman was 3rd in the AL in K/9IP with 7.9. He led the American League in wild pitches with 26. As for all those no decisions I keep mentioning, Guzman ended 1993 with 16 of them. That topped Toronto starters. But he also had 20 "quality starts". Juan led the Jays in that, too!

Of the 33 games he started, the Jays won 23 of them. Again, it led the Jays staff. Guzman was also received  8.3 run support per start, tops on the Jays.

On the Jays staff, Guzman led in K's with 194, walks with 110. He allowed 211 hits, but that was in 221 inning pitched. Only Dave Stewart (8.1) allowed fewer hits per nine innings pitched than Juan Guzman (8.6).
194 walks was enough for an average of 4.5 per nine innings. No Toronto pitcher logged more innings pitched or starts. Guzman was tops on the Blue Jays in batters faced (963) Only Todd Stottlemyre (11) allowed fewer home runs than Guzman did (17).

Guzman was also tied with Mark Eichhorn, Stottlemyre, Morris for fewest batters hit among Jays' pitchers. See, he's not that wild!

Opponent's batted .252 against Guzman (But it was only good enough for 15th place among AL starters). Only Dave Steward (.242) had a lower batting average against among Jays' starters.

Dave Stewart

Stew, as he was called, came from the A's in the off-season, perhaps as a way to try and stop him from beating the Jays. He was 36 years old in 1993, but had only really been a big winner since 1987. Actually, he won 20 or more games the next 4 years.

Indeed, Stewart had beaten the Jays twice in the ALCS in 1989, tossed a no-hitter against them in 1990, then went 1-0 against them in the 1992 ALCS. Toronto, if you can't beat him, get him!

So now he was a Jay. Smart move, Blue Jays!

I feared this guy. It was that menacing stare of his. Think about Bob Gibson!

In any event, Stewart started the season on the disable list. And Dave would stay on it until May 13th. It was his right forearm. The Jays during this time had lost Jack Morris to a right shoulder problem on May 2nd. The staff just didn't look as good anymore. Wild Todd Stottlemyre was placed on the DL May 21st, 2 days after Morris came back.

So when Stewart came back, you can see he was really needed.

His first start was against Detroit (May 13th), and he lasted 3 2/3 innings. He did not allow a run. I think the Jays removed Stew for precautionary reasons. It was his first start, the Jays didn't want him to go too far. The Jays ended up winning the game 6-5.

Then he got killed by the Red Sox in his next start on May 19th. 7 hits, 5 walks and 10 (earned) runs in 1.2 innings pitched!

But he won his next two starts that month. His ERA was like Morris, high (7.27).

June brought only a 1-2 month despite an ERA of 3.89. Actually, the start in June I remember the most was that win. And it was against Boston on June 19th.

Stewart was owning the Red Sox, 9-0 Toronto into the top of the 9th. But then the Red Sox struck for 2 home runs and a double. Cito took out Stewart and brought in Eichhorn. Another 2 runs scored before the Jays won 9-4. Stewart fanned 9 in 8.2 innings.

He pitched well his next start, allowing just 4 hits and 1 earned run, but he could manage only a no decision.

July had two good starts, but three bad ones. In the three bad ones Stewart gave up a combined 18 runs in only 17 1/3 innings. Nonetheless, he won three games that month and lost two.

Another bad outing was Dave Stewart's first in August. In that game, against the Yankees on the 4th, Stew allowed 6 (earned) runs in only 6.1 innings. Toronto lost, 7-2 and Stewart's record was back to .500 (6-6).

Then he won his next two games. Against the Twins on August 10, Stew surrendered just 3 earned runs in 7 innings. Then, Dave allowed just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings pitched against Boston.

But, just as it looked like he was settling in, Seattle beat him twice in two starts. Stewart was scored on 10 times, gave up 10 hits, and allowed 11 walks. All this in only 13 2/3 innings. His record was back to .500 again, 8-8.

He then pitched twice against his old team, Oakland. The two starts (August 31 and September 7). It was a bit of an improvement. In a combined 10 1/3 innings, he gave up 6 runs (5 earned), 8 hits and walked 6. Dave Stewart didn't get a decision in either game. Toronto went 1-1 in them.

So was Dave going to be a win one, lose one pitcher in 1993? Not quite. It suddenly clicked. And really clicked! In September, Toronto saw the real Dave Stewart!

He beat California on the 12th, the Twins on the 18th, the Red Sox on the 23rd and finally, Milwaukee on 28th. In those four starts, his ERA was 1.44. The opposition batted .204 against him during this time, I should add.

So Stewart had brought his record to 12-8. It was actually an improvement from 1992 (12-10) and 1991 (11-11). It wasn't quite as good as it had been from 1987 to 1990, where he won 20 or more games each season.

His ERA was high, 4.44, but only Juan Guzman (3.99) and Pat Hentgen (3.87) were lower. Actually, if you take away his start against Boston on May 19th, his ERA was 3.93 for the '93 regular season.

Opponent's hit just .242 against Stewart. This was tops on Toronto. The league batting average was .267. Stewart's was not good enough for a top 10 finish, as he finished 11th. Randy Johnson led the AL with opponent's hitting just .203 against him.

Stewart received 5.1 run support per start for the 1993 season. That was less than Hentgen, Guzman, and barely more than Todd Stottlemyre (4.9). But on the other hand, Stewart had only 11 quality starts out of 26.

The Jays went 15-11 overall in his 26 starts.

The biggest negative I see against Stewart is the "0" in the shutouts and "0" in the complete games! No other Jay starter failed to register a complete game. Besides Dave Stewart, only Pat Hentgen failed to get a shutout.

But on a team loaded with so much offence and relief pitching, I don't think Stewart needed any of those two things.

Stewart was second to Juan Guzman (4.5) in BB/9IP with 4.0.

His .600 W% was third on the staff, trailing Guzman and Hentgen.

Despite all this, I was glad Dave Stewart was a Jay. When the other starters faltered late in the season, he Juan Guzman, and even Todd Stottlemyre, picked up the slack.

When the postseason came, there was good reason for Stewart and Guzman to be Jays: Stewart was 6-0 in the ALCS lifetime after 1992. Guzman, 3-0 lifetime.

Right guys to have.

But then, there was Todd Stottlemyre...

Todd Stottlemyre

Stottlemyre was someone who you never forget. But what I always forget is, he had been with the big league club since 1988. Yep, he had more experience on the mound for the Jays than anyone around in 1993! Head of the class? Has it come this quickly for Todd?

Todd was 7-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 1989. Two years later, he was 15-8 with a 3.78 ERA.

The problems was, 1990 (13-17) and 1992 (12-11) weren't so good for Todd.

Stottlemyre was talented. It's just, like some starters, he had trouble with control. He sometimes hit a lot of batters. He had this likeable, fiery personality. Yes, it did get him into some troubles. But Todd was always fun to watch!

He didn't walk too many batters, really. But in his last two seasons before 1993, Todd hit a combined 22 batters!

The key for Todd, was consistency. Sometimes, he'd have a great start. Then the next time out, no so good!

He won his first two starts on the 1993 season, including a 5-hitter in his second against the Mariners on April 15th.

He pitched three more times in April, and here's where he had some problems. In two of the starts, he gave up more than 11 hits in each.

The other start was a 1-0 win over Chicago, April 25th. Todd only went 8 innings, but gave up just 7 hits in a scoreless outing.

So he finished April with a winning record, 3-2.

May was not good, as he went 1-2 with an ERA of 5.00. Worse, he was forced to leave his start on May 22nd vs. Minnesota. It was some soreness in his right shoulder. He was on the DL from the next day to June 13th.

He pitched twice in relief in June, and it actually went quite well. Todd gave up just 1 run in 5 innings pitched.

But in Stottlemyre's next start, June 23rd against the Yankees, Todd could only toss 5 innings. 9 hits off him saw Todd out of there. The Yankees won the game 4-3, and Jimmy Key had his 9th win on the season already. Guess the Jays should have kept him, right?

But Todd beat the O's on June 28, so he was back to .500 (5-5). But he gave up more hits (7) than innings pitched (6).

In July, Stottlemyre failed to win a game. But wasn't as if he didn't pitch well. Well, at least sometimes.

Two of his outing saw him give up just 3 earned runs in 7 innings. He also gave up 4 runs twice. Once in 6 2/3 innings and once in 7 1/3 innings. After losing his first two July starts, he finished up with three no decisions in July.

August saw some of the better Todd. In his first start of the month on the 2nd, he beat the Yankees 4-0, but the game was close until the top of the 9th. The Jays, visiting, turned a 1-0 lead into a 4-0 lead on a Joe Carter 3-run home run (That, of course, would not be the only time Carter hit a 3-run shot, now would it?). Stottlemyre was out of the game after 7, but as the Jays were ahead (they scored their first run in the 6th), Todd got the win.

But Todd lost his next 2 starts. In fact, for his next 5 starts in the month, he gave up 7 or more hits. After a no decision on the 18th, he somehow won against Cleveland on the 24th, despite giving up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. On August 29th against the Mariners, Stottlemyre gave up just 2 earned runs and 7 hits over 8 innings pitched. With his second straight win, his record was just a game below .500 (8-9).

From August 29th to September 21st, Todd pitched 5 times, won 4 games and posted and ERA of 2.70 ERA. Had Todd finally found the grove? Todd Stottlemyre, Dave Stewart and  Juan Guzman were picking it up as Pat Hentgen was starting to fade. Well, isn't it great that when your ace struggles, everyone else wins? I guess I'll take the trade-off!

After a September 4th loss, Stottlemyre pitched like he had on the 29th of August. Again, 8 innings. Again, just 2 earned runs. Again, just 7 hits allowed. The Jays beat the Angels 10-4 on this day.

A win in his next start (though not impressive) brought his record to 10-10. It was time for Todd's finest moment.

Stottlemyre, with his 10-10 record, now had a better record than a pre-steroids Roger Clemens (11-13). Clemens had never had a losing season to this point in his career (9 seasons, 152 wins and only 72 losses). But he was Stottlemyre's mound opponent on September 21st at Skydome.

All Todd did was toss a 3-hit shutout and K'd 10. He retired the first 13 batters he faced. This was his first, and only complete game of the season. He handed Clemens his 14th loss of the 1993 season. That turned out to be the most losses Clemens ever suffered in one season.

Clemens, for his part, kept the score close (if you count 3-0 as close) until the Jays scored twice in the bottom of the eighth. It was also the Jays 9th straight win!

Todd, being Todd, then lost his next two starts to finish 1993 below .500 (11-12).

So what do we make of Todd Stottlemyre's 1993 regular season? It was a high ERA (4.84) that was really a problem. He gave up 10.4 hits per nine innings. Only Jack Morris allowed more.

No other starter also issued more intentional walks than Stottlemyre (5). Actually, only one other Toronto pitcher (Mark Eichhorn) had more (7).

Opposing batters hit .292 against Todd. Only Morris had a higher batting average against among Toronto starters (.302).

On a team that scored an average of 5.3 runs scored per game, Todd found his run support at only 4.9. Al Leiter also averaged 4.9 runs scored for in games started. Morris was the only starter to average less (4.3)

As for quality starts, Todd had only 9, just one more than Morris. Only 4 more than Al Leiter did in only 12 games started!

But on the positive side, Todd walked only 3.5 batters per nine innings. Only Pat Hentgen allowed fewer (3.1). He walked only 69 batters, total. And Toronto actually won 15 of Stottlemyre's starts to tie him with Dave Stewart. That was behind only Juan Guzman and Pat Hentgen (but the Jays only lost 11 of Stewart's starts, compared to 13 of Stottlemyre's).

Stottlemyre was also one of only 4 pitchers on the Jays staff to toss a shutout, joining Guzman, Morris and Leiter.

Todd's 11 home runs allowed was the lowest on the staff. He also tied Guzman and Morris for fewest batters hit, with only 3.

His 176 2/3 innings pitched was third on the staff. The shutout of Boston proved to be his only complete game, however.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kirk Gibson: Clutch long before 1988!

Sometimes, doing a deed once forever marks you for life.

It doesn't matter if you never do it again.

You hit a game-winning home run, sink a game-winning shot, score a game-winning goal, you are remembered forever.

That is, if it's a memorable game.

You're Mr. Clutch for life.

But there are some like Micheal Jordan in basketball, who make it a habit. And yes, I am well aware of this commercial:

But are any of you buying that MJ wasn't the guy you wanted with the game on the line?

25 years ago, Kirk Gibson swatted that memorable 2-run home run off Dennis Eckersley (who was the best relief pitcher in the game at the time) to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 Dodgers win.

Now, was that the only time he hit a home run to just say, put the Dodgers (or any team he played for) ahead?

No way!

Coming into the 1988 World Series, Gibson had 62 home runs that put his team ahead. Of these, 5 were walk-offs. And by the time his career came to an end in the 1995 season, Kirk had hit 92 go-ahead home runs, 27 game-tying home runs, and 7 walk-off home runs.

That, of course, is just the regular season!

But for those wondering, the only other home run Gibby hit off Eckersley was 6 years before their historic meeting.

The Red Sox, Eckersley's team that day, took this one easily. But in the top of the 8th inning, with the Red Sox up 9-3, Kirk Gibson led off.

And slammed Eck's pitch for a solo shot! A flyball out and a double by Larry Herndon finished off Eckersley.

A bit of a sidenote here: Eckersley was once a starter

And a pretty good one at that, winning 149 games there. This was one of those 149 wins, of course.

Gibson's Tigers are a story in themselves two seasons later.

See, the Tigers in 1984 (the season, not the novel) were one awesome team. And it seemed as though they thrived off Kirk! It was somehow better then the novel, if you asked me.

How's this for a stat: Tigers' record when leading after 8 innings (including postseason), 100-0!

But I've given you the false sense that it all came easy. It didn't.

Now, as it was, the Tigers were 104-58. Only two teams, Baltimore and Boston were above .500 against Detroit that season. Seattle went 6-6 against them, if it matters.

But how about 1-run games? The Tigers were 25-11. So 36 games were nail-biting close.

Gibson had 2 hits in the opener of the ALCS against Kansas. The Tigers ended up sweeping them. But this was a KC team that won it all the next year. And while game 1 was a rout, 8-1, the next two games were anything but.

In game 2, Gibson's home run in the top of the 3rd made it 3-0. But Kansas fought back to tie it before the Tigers pulled it off in the 11th.

In game 3, we almost had a double no-hitter. Each team managed just 3 hits. The Tigers managed to score the game's only run.

So it was on to the World Series, but that ALCS was anything but easy. The last two games could have gone to KC. And then you're down 2-1, in a best of 5 Series. Odds not looking good for Detroit.

Gibson, I should tell you, ended up getting the MVP of that short Series. Short, but tough!

The San Diego Padres would face the Tigers in the World Series of 1984.

San Die-Go. Not exactly a fitting name, for the Padres did anything but, "Go Die."

The Tigers might have told them to do that. But it was obvious from the first game that the Padres weren't about to listen.

The Tigers were behind 2-1, when a 2-run home run by Herndon made it 3-2 Tigers. They held on to win this one. But San Diego won game 2, despite Gibson's 2 hits, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.

In game 3, now in Detroit, the Padres out-hit the Tigers 10-7. But somehow lost 5-2! Gibby didn't get a hit, but walked twice and got another RBI.

In game 4, the Tigers won 4-2, but again they only got 7 hits. Gibby got one and stole a base. No RBIs or runs scored, though.

Something had to Gib in game 5.

Did it ever!

Gibson swatted a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 1st to put the Tigers up 2-0.

By the top of the 4th, the Tigers had watched their 3-0 lead become a 3-3 tie. Gibson was needed.

So in the bottom of the 5th, Gibson singled and scored (on short fly ball) to put the Tigers ahead again. A Lance Parrish later hit a home run of Goose Gossage to made it 5-3 Detroit. Game in the bag?

Not quite.

The stubborn Padres got a home run of their own in the top of the 8th, by Kurt Bevacqua. We need a laugh now! Remember what Tommy Lasorda had to say about Kurt? Oh, wait! I don't want to lose 99 percent of my readers!

Seriously though, if you have not seen it, make it a point to.

As long as you don't mind some colourful words!

Anyways, where was I?

Oh, the bottom of the 8th. Tigers holding on for dear life.

Yep, it's only 5-4, and there were runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out. Gossage still on the mound.

Gossage was in the middle of a conference on the mound. He begged his manager, Dick Williams, to allow him to pitch to Gibson.

Yes, first base is open.

But we need to look at the head-to-head stats, don't we?

Gibson was 1-9, lifetime in the regular season vs. Gossage.

And 0-1, lifetime in the World Series vs. Gossage.

Yep, we got a case of a .100 hitter vs. pitcher!

So, the decision was made to pitch to Kirk. Would it work?

Well, not quite! Gibson would swat a 1-0 pitch to deep right. This sewed up The Detroit Tigers' World Championship!

Alan Trammell got the MVP of the World Series that year, but man, did Gibby ever help!

So, let's get to '88, right?

Quick stop in 1987, though. Tigers trail the Jays 3 1/2 with 7 games to play. Done deal right?

Top of the 9th, Jays looking for the 4 game sweep. Looking to go up 4 1/2 games with only 6 to play.

Up 1-0, too! That is, until Kirk Gibson saved the day!

3 outs away from victory, Gibson snatched it away from Toronto by belting a home run off Tom Henke (another great relief specialist, another 300 + saves).

Then in the 13th, it was Kirk's single that put the Tigers ahead for good!

A few days later, October 1st, the Tigers were facing the Baltimore Orioles. They were holding on to a slim 7-5 lead.

Here comes that man again!

Another dinger, another game blown wide open. The Tigers were down only 1 game to the Jays with 3 to play. 3 to play against the Jays.

And the Tigers won all 3 games. In fact the Jays ended the season on a 7-game losing streak. That Gibson home run off Henke made the difference. His single later started the Jays down the loss road!

So it is now on to 1988. And a new league and team for Gibson: Los Angeles Dodgers

Kirk Gibson was MVP that season.

Odd, isn't it? He didn't hit 30 home runs, he didn't drive in 100 runs. He didn't even bat .300.

But was he ever needed in the NLCS of that year.

The Mets were too good it seemed.

Poor Gibby had just 1 RBI in the first three games, and the Dodgers were down 2 games to 1.

The Mets were 3 outs away from being down 3-1, but a clutch home run by Mike Scioscia scored 2. It was on to extra innings!

The Dodgers seemed to lose steam here. They couldn't do a thing in the 10th or 11th. Then there were 2 outs in the top of the 12th.

That's when our boy came through, again!

Gibson hit a home run and the Dodgers survived a bases loaded jam. Series tied at 2!

In game 5, the Dodgers were up 3-0. But this was a Met team that was known to come back with run after run. More offence was needed. Gibson would provide it.

Gibson hit a 3-run shot in the top of the 5th. The Dodgers really did need it. The Mets came back and scored 4 times, but the Dodgers held on to win, 7-4.

The Dodgers lost game 6, however. It was down to a winner-take-all game 7.

In the bottom of the 1st, Gibson hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. That's all pitcher Orel Hershiser (who had a knack for throwing shutouts that year, believe me!) would need. But buoyed by Kirk, the Dodgers scored 5 more times in the second!

It was Hershiser who got the MVP, but I think Gibson really provided the spark. Games 4 and 5 would not have been won without him!

And then, of course, the World Series.

And Kirk Gibson's home run off Eckersley. At this point I have one question for everyone:

What did you expect?


Brenner, Richard J. "A Team Of Destiny." The World Series: The Great Contests. East End Publishing, 1989. Print. pp. 95-120.

Toronto Blue Jays Souvenir Program. Spring Training, 1988. 

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.

Retrosheet. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.  <>.

Youtube. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <>.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Your Guide To The 1993 Toronto Blue Jays: Al Leiter

Was he ever going to get a full season in?

In the minors?

Would he ever get to the majors to stay?

That had been the question the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans had been asking about Al Leiter.

Ever since that the Jays traded fan favourite Jesse Barfield for him in April of 1989, Leiter had rarely been healthy enough to stay in the bigs. Even in 1992, when he got in a full season in the minors, the Jays took no chances on him when they called him up in September. Leiter pitched just once for them that year, October 4th. It was as if the Jays had given up on him.

If you had asked me who Al Leiter was in the spring of 1993, I wouldn't have known what to say.

But in spring training of 1993, Al was 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA. Could this be the year?

When spring training ended, he was on the big league roster! Then, with Dave Stewart on the DL, Leiter was part of the starting rotation. There is light and the end of the tunnel and it just keeps getting brighter!

A fine 2-hitter over 7 innings gave him his first win on the campaign.

Then, two bad starts.

Then, the day after his third start, that old feeling again. Blisters!

Leiter was placed on the 15-day DL.

He was back in May to make 2 starts and 2 relief appearances. But he got rocked in both of them. Fully healthy, it just seemed Leiter just didn't have enough fuel! Dave Stewart was back in the rotation on May 13th. Was this it for Leiter?

No, and things got better in June. Todd Stottlemyre went on the DL from May 23 to June 13. Leiter was needed in the rotation again. This time, Al Leiter lit it up out there!

He won 3 of his 4 starts, including a 7-0 compete-game shutout over Boston on June 17th. The bad news here is it was his last start until September 25th.

But in that stretch he pitched 20 games, posted a 3.19 ERA in 36 2/3 innings, and won 3 games and saved two more.

And, back into the rotation because of an injury to Jack Morris, he won his last 2 starts. They were both good: a 6 inning 1-hitter and a 6 inning 4-hitter

Leiter finished 1993 with a 9-6 record, 2 saves, 3 holds, and a 4.11 ERA.

Okay, it might not look great, but here are a few things to consider:

1) Leiter pretty much was the "starter if any of the other regular starting 5 are hurt." Indeed, other than Scott Brow's 3 starts and Doug Linton's May 8th start, no one else other than Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Todd Stottlemyre, Pat Hentgen (who made 2 April relief appearances), Juan Guzman or Al Leiter started a game for the Jays of 93. That's important when it comes to stability. The last thing a team wants to do is shove someone in there who is really only a minor-league player

2) Leiter, when in the bullpen, could pitch long innings, and also to just lefties. Indeed, lefties hit just .233 of Leiter, so that option was available if Tony Castillo wasn't.

3) Leiter after proving this, was part of the postseason roster.

So Leiter, in my opinion was a key member of both the bullpen and the starting rotation. Can I get some of the negative out of the way, then come back with the positive?

He blew the save on September 7th vs. Oakland, but it was his only blown save on the season.

He started 12 games and relived 22.

He tossed 105 innings. He only K'd 66 batters and did walk a little too many batters, 58.

As a starter, he was 6-5 with a 4.50 ERA. As a reliever, he was 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA.

After starting out 1-4, he went 8-2 the rest of the way

After going 4-5 in the first half with a 4.93 ERA, Leiter did what Mike Timlin did: really come on in the second half (5-1, 2.75 ERA)

He did not appear in any games in the minor leagues in 1993.

In any event, it was a sort-of breakthrough season for Al Leiter of the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays. Although 27 years old, getting through this season made him a young 27. But he'd be 28 by the time the Jays were champions!

And I'm sure Leiter will not forget his 28th birthday.


Bingley, Phil, et al. Another World: the Toronto Stars Tribute To The’ 93 Blue Jays. Toronto Star for Doubleday Canada, 1993. Print.

Dan Diamond and Associates and Toronto Blue Jays Club. Toronto Blue Jays Official Guide 1987, 1993, 1994. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 09 Oct. 2013.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pittsburgh Pirates: Always An Exciting Team To Watch In The World Series!

The Pirates have an interesting World Series history. One that, this blogger sort of wishes he could have seen.

The very first World Series, in fact, involved the Pirates. It was 1903, and they opposed the Boston Americans (They became the Red Sox in 1908). Pittsburgh may have lost it, but The first ever World Series homerun was hit.

In 1909 the Pirates had Canadian George Gibson on the team, but the big matchup was Ty Cobb vs. Honus Wagner. The Series was close, but the Pirates took it in 7 games. Wagner also was clearly better than Cobb in this one.

In 1925, the Pirates came from 3-1 down to beat the Washington Senators. Amazingly, the beat Walter Johnson in game 7.

1927 saw the Pirates lose to the Yankees in 4 straight. But, two games were close. Too bad it had to end on, of all things, a wild pitch!

In 1960, it was Harvey Haddix who helped the Pirates beat the seemingly invincible Yankees in the 1960 World Series. But, come on, all I have to do is say the right two words. That being, of course, Bill Mazeroski!

In 1971, the World Series was now ready for prime time, and the Pirates won game 7 thanks to the bat of Roberto Clemente and the pitching of Steve Blass!

Then, in 1979, it was the same two teams again in the World Series. Again it went 7. Like in 1925, the Bucs had to rally from a 3 games to 1 deficit, but they managed to win the World Series again.

The 1979 team used the Sister Sledge's song, "We Are Family", to make sure that the team stayed a close-knit team. Indeed, they were. And who can forget about Pops? Willie Stargell! 7 extra base hits, 3 of them homeruns.

One of my all-time favs, Bert Blyleven was a pitcher for the Pirates that season. My favourite pitcher from that team though, is the reliever Ken Tekulve. Ken had this neato submarine style. But it was effective! He saved 3 games in 1979 to tie a another Pirates, Elroy Face, for most in one series. Too bad John Wetteland of the 1996 Yankees came along and broke that!


Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns. Prod. Ken Burns. PBS. 1994. Television.

Enders, Eric. 100 Years Of The World Series. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 2005. Print.

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Nemec, David, and Scott Flatow. Great Baseball Feats, Facts & Firsts. Toronto: Signet (Penguin Group), 2010. Print.

Nemec, David et all. 20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-by-year History of Major League Baseball. Collector's Edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International, 1993. Print.

Retrosheet. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.  <>

Seaver, Tom, and Martin Appel. Great Moments in Baseball. New York, NY: Carol Pub. Group, 1992. Print.

Shalin, Mike, and Neil Shalin. Out By A Step: The 100 Best Players Not In The Baseball Hall of Fame. Lanham: Diamond Communications, 2002. Print.

Snyder, John S. World Series!: Great Moments and Dubious Achievements. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1995. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. <>.

Youtube. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. <>.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Your Guide To The 1993 Toronto Blue Jays: The Bullpen

Duane Ward

For years and years, it was: Starter goes 7, Ward pitches 8th, Henke 9th, game over!

That changed for the 1993 season, as Tom Henke was off to Texas. It had all started there for The Terminator in 1982.

Ward had his share of saves since joining the Jays in 1986. For those who've forgotten, Toronto got him in a trade for Doyle Alexander in July of that season.

Ward had saved 15 games in '88, 15 more the next year. 11 in 1990. Then he upped it to 23 the next before sliding back to 12 in 1992. But the Jays felt he was ready. The Jays were right.

And at 29 years old, Ward was in his pitching prime. Not only did he save 45 games that year (which was enough to tie Jeff Montgomery of the Royals for  league lead), but he set a Jays franchise single-season record. He also had an ERA of 2.13 and K'd 97 batters in 71 2/3 innings. His 71 games pitched topped the Jays staff and was 3rd in the American League that year.

The big negative was the 7 wild pitches he tossed that year, tops of anyone in the Jays bullpen that year.

I sort of missed the old Ward. It seemed that he would only come into the game in the 9th. But when that happened, it sure did work! Duane did not blow a save in the 39 games where he entered in the 9th inning.

He did blow the lead 6 times. 2 resulted in wins, 4 in losses. He was not charged with the loss on June 25th against the Brewers. In that game, he came on to pitch in the bottom of the 8th, with the Jays ahead 5-4. He couldn't hold on and Jays eventually lost 6-5. But it was Danny Cox who was charged with the loss.

Danny Cox

Speaking of Danny, he was a new arrival in the off-season. He had once been a pretty good starter, but had some injuries in '89 and '90. He had slowly recovered from the injuries in those seasons.

But the Jays were asking a lot out of him. Perhaps the Jays feared that Mike Timlin was a one-hit wonder from 1991, and Mark Eichhorn wasn't quite the pitcher he was from his last tour of duty with the Jays. Cox was a much-needed man in the 'pen in 1993.

And did he ever give the Jays a much needed boost. A veteran at 33, Cox pretty much could do it all: long outings, short outing, mop-up after the starter got shelled, be the set-up guy, close if Ward couldn't...

Yeah, you name it, Cox did it that year.

Okay, other than 84 K's in only 83.2 innings, he didn't have any stats that jump out after you. But let's look closer.

So he saved 13 games and got 2 saves. He won 7, but he lost 6. His ERA was 3.12. Okay, not that great.

But he also got 10 holds. And how's this for a stat? I looked through his game logs and noted that, 27 times he got the Jays, "into the 8th inning or later." See, there were many times, especially early in the season, when the Jays starters were shelled or had to leave early. The bullpen phone was ringin' and Cox was answerin'!

Cox did blow 4 saves. 1 of those games he won (April 13 vs. Seattle), two he lost. The other game, July 22nd, the Jays won after Cox left (8-7 vs. Texas).

Mark Eichhorn

Now here was a guy I really liked!

Eichhorn was a sidearmer. And with his finishing move, he almost jumped at the batter. He was a lot of fun to watch. He also had quite a history with the Jays. I'll try to be brief.

He has pitched 7 games as a starter, way back in 1982. Then he was back in the minors for the next 3 years. The Jays became a team to contend with during this time.

Eichhorn, though, you had to wonder if he was ever going to pitch again back then. See, he hurt his shoulder and had to change his overhand motion to a sidearm motion. But did it ever worked.

Invited to spring training as a non-roster player by the Jays in '86, all he did was win 14 games, save 10, and post an ERA of 1.72. He almost won the ERA title, but fell 5 innings short.

Just to prove it was no fluke, he won 10 more games the next year. He remained effective, but not as spectacular over the course of the 4 years (although he did post an ERA of 1.98 ERA in 1991). He bounced around, going to Atlanta and California, and finally back to the Jays in 1992.

Bit of an unpopular trade, though! The Jays gave up Greg Myers, who I liked. Plus, going to the Angels was Rob Ducey, a Canadian and another of my favourites.

But Eichhorn, like Cox, was needed more than those two.

He went 2-0 with a high ERA (4.35) the rest of the way after the July 30th trade. The Jays and I liked what we saw, however.

So in 1993, Eichhorn was now 32 years old. And he was back for a full season for Toronto.

Eichhorn was 3-1, his lone loss coming August 23rd vs. Cleveland. He also sported a ERA of 2.72 ERA. He didn't get any saves, but did finish 16 games. And he recorded 6 holds.

Funny thing with Eichhorn: he did give up more hits (76) than innings pitched (72.2)

But his control was so good (2.7 BB/9) that it more than made up for that.

Eichhorn pitched as many games as Mike Timlin (54) and 10 more than Cox. As for his innings pitched, only Cox pitched more.

But Eichhorn was more of a righty-specialist on the Jays of 1993. Right-handed batters hit just .224 against him. Left-handers had much better luck: .326

But that's not to say he wasn't as important as anyone else out of the 'pen. From May 1st to September 5th, he spotted a 1.81 ERA, a span of 39 games and 49 2/3 innings.

And he did have some long outing. Yours truely always felt he could have pitched more. In any event, he tossed 3 or more innings 3 times (April 23, May 7 and May 19) and 2 to 2 2/3 innings 11 other times.

But you really had to see Mark pitch. That sidearm, I just loved seeing it! Although not overpowering, it was really difficult to pitch no matter what pitch he threw.

Mike Timlin

Mike Timlin was overpowering, but not always could he master his control.

He had been a big surprise on the Jays in 1991, as mentioned earlier. Winning 11 games, saving 3, and even getting 3 more. But he had struggled in 1992. Yes, I know, he did get the save in the clinching game in Atlanta in 1992.

But in 1993, it honestly looked like he was on his way out of Toronto, and maybe baseball. But like Eichhorn, he worked his way through it. Like Eichhorn, he was there in 54 games. Like Eichhorn, he was a right-hander. Unlike Eichhorn's problems of 1983-1985, Timlin's problems of 1992 and '93 never saw him down in the minors for too long. Always back when the Jays needed him. The Jays fears turn to joy when it mattered.

So what do we make of the hard-throwing righty of '93, who was only 27 years old? Okay, 4-2, a save, 27 games finished. Looks good!

But a 4.69 ERA, 63 hits against and 27 walks in only 55 2/3 innings? Ouch! Not to mention opponents hit .284 off him that year!

But he did register 9 holds, 8 of them coming after April.

Okay, let's look at 1st half and 2nd half.

His ERA was 5.54 in the first half (35 games). But it was a pretty-good 2.95 in the second half (19 games).

And he was back up from the minors on August 30th. He would be around in the fall! The Jays would really need him then!

Overall, he also fanned 49 batters. He pitched "just the 8th inning" 9 times. He had only one outing (July 10 vs. Texas).

As far as blown saves, he blew 3. 1 resulted in a win for Mike (July 25, again against Texas), 1 a loss (April 25 vs. KC) and one later won by the Jays (Aug 6 vs. Milwaukee).

It was the wildness that could just sometimes derail him. 4 times he walked 3 batters. Mercifully speaking, he hit just 1 batter (Alan Trammell of the Tigers, September 14, 1993). And he also threw just 1 wild pitch.

Tony Castillo

Tony appeared in 3 games less than Eichhorn and Timlin (51). He pitched 5 innings less than Timlin (50.2).

But he was the Jays lefty specialist that season (Although Al Leiter, the Jays other lefty that season, pitched less than 2 innings 11 times).

Like Eichhorn, there had been a previous stay in blue. Tony pitched in 1988 and '89 for Toronto. He didn't seem that impressive and didn't pitch much. So he was off to Atlanta in an August trade in '89. Then it was off to the New York Mets in another August trade, this time in 1991.

I really didn't know what to expect from him. But if you look at what happened in the spring of 1993, it was obvious the Jays were out of luck and looking too Castillo for answers to their pitching woes. They needed a lefty. Leiter was going to be one!

David Wells had shown up to the spring overweight, and frustrated that he was not going to be part of the starting rotation. So the Jays released him.

Bob MacDonald, a lefty that I liked for some reason, was purchased by the Tigers that spring. Here was Castillo's chance.

Now, I really didn't know what to expect from Tony, a native of Venezuela. He was 30 years old in 1993. It had been 10 years since the Jays first signed him. Castillo had not pitched at all in the bigs in 1992. His appearance, (small, and not with any overpowering stuff) made it seem unlikely that he'd be around Toronto at the end of this season. Or maybe even the middle of the season with his track record.

It  looked like he might not even make the team as he was optioned to the Jays AAA team, the Syracuse Cheifs on March 29th.

And even when he was called up on April 15th, after the Jays released Ken Dayley, it looked like a brief stay. No way is this guy going to be here very long. Let's see him last!

Yet, by the end of the season, he was still in Toronto. And although he was never appreciated, his effectiveness cannot be overlooked.

So, as mentioned earlier, he pitched in 51 games, posted a more-than-respectable ERA of 3.38, won 3 games and finished 10. And he would end the season with 13 holds, tops on the Jays. Seems so unlikely.

He did not record a save, but blew one. That would be August 23rd vs. Cleveland. The Jays went on to lose the game, 9-8. Castillo was not the losing pitcher.

He was the losing pitcher on September 7th and 9th (Oakland, both times), and although his primary job was to hold lefties in check, he did toss 2 or more innings, 7 times.

Okay, how about what about what he was here for? You know, lefties?

Lefties hit just .213 against him. But how about righties?

Actually, they hit only .256!

The one big complaint I have is pitching in the second half. In the first half of the 1993 season, Tony Castillo produced an ERA of 2.22. In the second, it ballooned up to 4.84.

But the guy could pitch, I tell you. Like Eichhorn, he had something you had to see: This big sweeping curveball!

It honestly looked like it would hit the batter if he was left-handed. And then it would drop off the table for a strike. The batter would not swing. And although he fanned only 28 batters, it was rather amusing to see the pitch come in, and the lefty would not swing. And despite what I told you earlier about him nearly hitting the batter, Castillo hit none in 1993.

Probably my favourite moment of the 1993 regular season for Castillo was on July 29th. Facing the Tiger's Kirk Gibson (who always seemed to kill the Jays) in the top of the 7th, the score was notted 4-4. Now with two outs, Tony started with a called strike. The count went to 2-2, and then Gibby took a called strike 3. After a 1-2-3 8th inning from Tony, the Jays untied it with 3 runs in the bottom of the frame. Tony got the win!

It's safe to say the little lefty won me over right there!

Woody Williams

Woody was a rookie in 1993, and didn't ever begin the year in the bigs. But the Jays called him up on May 14th. They must have really needed him.

He pitched 2/3 of an inning on that day and gave up 2 earned runs. But he was credited with a hold. And he would get 3 more before the year was over.

Actually, before the month was over he was back in the minors. Jack Morris came of the DL on May 21st and there was no room for Woody.

Two days later, Todd Stottlemyre hurt his shoulder. Woody was back.

By the time July rolled aroud, Williams was still around. And he had a respectable ERA of 3.18 after his first July appearance (8th). But I forgot about June, didn't I?

In that month, Williams won 3 games in a 4 game stretch. Those would be the only games he won that year.

His June and July appearances consisted of mainly 7th and 8 inning assignments. And although his ERA was 5.40 in during this time, he was pitching in key situations. And he wasn't losing games, so he must have been giving up meaningless runs.

And the Jays' brass must have liked what they say, for he pitched 9 times in August. It was a tough month on the newcomer. Toronto may have been guilty of overuse of someone new.

He posted an ERA of 7.27 that month, blew a save (Aug 6th vs. The Brew Crew) and lost the game (blowing another save in the process) on August 27th vs. Seattle.

So it was back to the minors for Williams on August 30, this time to Dunedin (A). This killed any chance of him being on the postseason roster.

But Woody was back 5 days later. However, he would pitch just two more times, September 26th and October 1st.

Overall, Williams got into 30 games, finished 9 and had an ERA of 4.38. In 37 innings pitched, he surrended 40 hits and 22 walks. Batters hit .274 against him.

His longest outing was his second game with Toronto (May 15th vs. NY), 3.2 IP. There, he did not allow a run. He had 8 games of 2 to 2 2/3 innings pitched. 10 times he pitched 1 to 1 2/3 innings. 10 other outings were 1/3 to 2/3 innings. He also failed to retire the only batter he faced (Greg Vaughn) on June 25th vs. Milwaukee.

But the Jays must have liked what they saw in him. And Woody, had a long career ahead of him, eventually turning himself into a pretty good starting pitcher.

But if I was with the Jays of '93, I would have just pitched Woody in day games!

Woody's ERA was 3.21 in day games.


Bingley, Phil, et al. Another World: the Toronto Stars Tribute To The’ 93 Blue Jays. Toronto Star for Doubleday Canada, 1993. Print.

Dan Diamond and Associates and Toronto Blue Jays Club. Toronto Blue Jays Official Guide 1987, 1993, 1994. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

World Series: Did You Know?

Yogi Berra hit the first pinch hit home run.

It was off Ralph Branca, who of course also gave up that homerun to Bobby Thompson in 1951. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Thompson's was in the next decade and this Fall Classic moment came four years earlier.

This moment was from game 3 of the 1947 World Series. The game, played on October 2, 1947 was an awesome display of offence by both teams. That tiny Ebbets Field, where no lead is safe, was at it again.

But the Yankees trailed 9-7 when Berra batted for catcher Sherm Lollar in the top of the 7th. Yogi went yard on a solo blast, which pulled the Yankees to within one run. It was the last pitch Branca would throw.

Hugh Casey, the Dodgers closer at the time, came in to pitch. Yogi, by the way, stayed in the game. It seemed to work as Casey pitched well.

He did have a scare in the 8th, as the Yankees put two on with nobody out. But Casey got Joe DiMaggio himself to hit into a double play. George McQuinn grounded out to end the inning. The Yankees did not get another man to first on this afternoon.

In the top of the 9th with 2 outs and nobody on, Yogi Berra was the last batter of the game. He hit a ball that hit Casey, and deflected to second basemen Eddie Stanky. Stanky threw out Berra to end the game.

Now, a little for all you who are new to baseball. In this game, the starter for the Dodgers, Joe Hatten, did not pitch 5 innings. So he can't get the win. Branca, who gave up 2 runs and 4 hits in only 2 innings of relief, also can't get the win. Casey actually gets the win, which must have pleased him since saves were not recorded at the time.

Casey gets the win because he pitched the more effectively (2.2IP 0R, 1H, 1BB, 1K) than Branca. No save for you, Casey.

Berra, meanwhile, went on to play all 7 games of that World Series. He started 5 games, pinch-hit once, and came in as a defensive replacement in game 4. The Yankees went on to win the World Series.

Berra would be around for a lot more. But in 1947, his very first one, he had already etched his name into World Series history!


Enders, Eric. 100 Years Of The World Series. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 2005. Print.

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Nemec, David et all. 20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-by-year History of Major League Baseball. Collector's Edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International, 1993. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.

Friday, October 4, 2013

World Series: Did You Know?

Don Drysdale was the first pitcher to take the hill in a World Series game played on the West Coast.

Taking the hill in game 3 of the 1959 World Series on October 4, 1959, Drysdale didn't have his best stuff this day. But it was enough that his team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, got a 3-1 win of the Chicago White Sox.

Drysdale gave up 11 hits in only 7 1/3 innings. He was picked up nicely by Larry Sherry, who earned his second save of the Series.

Another interesting thing about this game: both starting pitchers first and last names began with the letter, "D" Let's sing a song to that old Sesame Street song, "Letter B". You remember? A parody of the Beatles song, "Let It Be"? Only, let's use letter D!

Letter D, letter D, letter D, letter D

The first World Series on the west coast,
And you need starting pitching,
That no one else can see.
You just might get an itching, 
And use pitchers with, letter D!

We've even got the name, "Don", used twice here: Don Drysdale and Dick Donovan!

Anyways Donovan, starting for the Chi Sox, gave up a hit to Gil Hodges in the bottom of the second. There was one out at the time. Gil was then erased on an inning-ending double play. Other than that, it was 1-2-3 go the Dodgers for the first 6 innings. Yep, the Dodgers weren't seeing Dono's pitches to well!

Why should the Dodgers? Donovan led the AL in winning percentage and complete games in 1957. He also led the AL in ERA in 1961. That was the year he was pitching with the expansion Senators.

Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Donovan had faced just 18 batters. In terms of batters faced, he right on pace with Don Larsen's second start from 3 years earlier.

But in the that fateful inning, he gave up a single and two walks. Bases loaded, 1 out, and Gerry Staley came in to pitch. Carl Furillo greeted him with a single that scored 2 runs. It was the first two runs of the game. The White Sox came back with a run of their own in the top of the 8th, but that was it.

With the 3-1 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in this game 3, the World Series had taken one more step to being, the "World" Series.


Enders, Eric. 100 Years Of The World Series. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 2005. Print.

Fonseca, Lew, director. 1959 World Series. Performance by Vince Scully, Major League Baseball Productions, 1959. DVD produced by A&E Home Video.

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Nemec, David et all. 20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-by-year History of Major League Baseball. Collector's Edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International, 1993. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How Dandy Was Sandy?

Just how great was Sandy Koufax in game 1 of the 1963 World Series? Here is a 50-point breakdown of Sandy's performance:

1) Number of strikeouts: 15

2) Number of walks: 3

3) Number of hits: 6

4) Number of runs allowed: 2

5) Number of earned runs allowed: 2

6) Number of homeruns allowed: 1 (Tommy Tresh)

7) Number of batters faced: 36

8) Number of double plays opponents hit into: 0

9) Number of pinch-hitters faced: 3

10) Number of pinch-hitters fanned: 3

11) Hits allowed in first 4.2 innings: 0

12) Hits allowed in last 4.1 innings: 6

13) Walks allowed in first 4.2 innings: 0

14) Walks allowed in last 4.1 inning: 3

15) Runs allowed in first 4.2 innings: 0

16) Runs allowed in last 4.1 innings: 2

17) Strikeouts in the first 4.2 innings: 10

18) Strikeouts in the last 4.1 innings: 5

19) Strikeouts looking in the game: 3

20) Strikeouts swinging in the game: 12

21) Number of times striking out the side: 2

22) Number of innings with at least 1 K: 8

23) Number of innings without at least 1 K: 1 (6th)

24) Strikeout breakdown by innings:

1st, 3 (3 batters faced)

2nd, 2 (3 batters faced)

3rd, 1 (3 batters faced)

4th, 3 (3 batters faced)

5th, 2 (6 batters faced)

6th, 0 (5 batters faced)

7th, 1 (3 batters faced)

8th, 2 (6 batters faced)

9th, 1 (4 batters faced)

25) Strikeout breakdown by batters:

Tony Kubek (SS), 2 in 4 AB

Bobby Richardson (2B), 3 in 3 AB

Tommy Tresh (LF), 2 in 3 AB

Mickey Mantle (CF), 2 in 3 AB

Roger Maris (RF), 1 in 4 AB

Elston Howard (C), 1  in 4 AB

Joe Pepitone (1B), 1  in 4 AB

Clete Boyer (3B), 0  in 4 AB

Whitey Ford (P), 0 in 1 AB

Hector Lopez (PH), 1  in 4 AB

Phil Linz (PH), 1  in 4 AB

Harry Bright (PH), 1  in 4 AB

26) Hit breakdown by innings:

1st, 0

2nd, 0

3rd, 0

4th, 0

5th, 3

6th, 0

7th, 0

8th, 2

9th, 1

27) Hit breakdown, by batters:

Tony Kubek, 1

Bobby Richardson, 0

Tommy Tresh, 1

Mickey Mantle, 0

Roger Maris, 0

Elston Howard, 1

Joe Pepitone, 1

Clete Boyer, 0

Whitey Ford, 0

Hector Lopez, 1

Phil Linz, 1

Harry Bright, 1

28) Walk breakdown by innings:

1st, 0

2nd, 0

3rd, 0

4th, 0

5th, 0

6th, 2

7th, 0

8th, 1

9th, 0

29) Walk breakdown by batters:

Kubek, 0 in 4 PA

Richardson, 1 in 4 PA

Tresh, 1 in 4 PA

Mantle, 1 in 4 PA

Maris, 0 in 4 PA

Howard, 0 in 4 PA

Pepitone, 0 in 4 PA

Boyer, 0 in 4 PA

Ford, 0 in 1 PA

Lopez, 0 in 1 PA

Linz, 0 in 1 PA

Bright, 0 in 1 PA

30) Number of ground outs, 3

31) Number of fly ball outs: 1 (Boyer, 9th)

32) Number of pop-ups, for outs (fair territory) : 3

33) Number of pop-ups, for outs (foul territory): 4

34) Number of line drive outs: 1 (Howard, 9th)

35) Number of sacrifice bunts: 0

36) Number of sacrifice flies: 0

37) Opponent's batting average against, game: .182

38) Opponent's batting average, first 4.2 innings: .000

39) Opponent's batting average, last 4.1 innings: .286

40) Opponent's on-base percentage, game: .273

41) Opponent's on-base percentage, first 4.1 innings: .000

42) Opponent's on-base percentage, last 4.2 innings: .409

43) Stolen bases allowed: 0

44) Caught stealing: 0

45) Game score: 79

46) Win probability added by pitcher: .211

47) Number of times Koufax batted himself: 4

48) Number of hits Koufax himself got: 0

49) Number of times Koufax himself struck out: 1

50) Number of times Koufax himself drew a walk: 0


Enders, Eric. 100 Years Of The World Series. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 2005. Print.

Golenbock, Peter. Dynasty: The New York Yankees, 1949-1964. Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary, 2000. Print.

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Nemec, David et all. 20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-by-year History of Major League Baseball. Collector's Edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International, 1993. Print.

Retrosheet. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.  <>

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 3 Oct. 2013. <>.

Youtube. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. <>.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 3 Oct 2013.