Tigers and A’s Share “One”

In 1920 the Detroit Tigers played 155 games, finishing the season with a 61-93-1 record. The “one” occurred on August 3 in their 122nd game against the Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park.

Fifteen innings after the game began, though 16 runners had crossed the plate, it ended without a winner.

It was never finished.

Each team used only two pitchers. For the Tigers, RHP Doc Ayers started the game and, after 6.2 innings, was replaced by LHP Red Oldham, who gave up only one earned run. The A’s started with RHP Slim Harriss. He lasted one inning: Five runs crossed the plate, but only one was earned. His successor, LHP Roy Moore, gave up 13 hits, but only three runners scored.

Combined, the teams got 30 hits. Center fielder Ty Cobb led the Tigers offense, getting four hits. A’s third baseman “Jumping Joe” Dugan did even better. He got five hits.

From Wikimedia Commons

Only five of the game’s hits were for extra bases, all doubles.

That season, the Tigers hit just 30 homers. Outfielder Bobby Veach, who led the team in homers with 11, hit more triples (15) than homers. The Tigers hit 72 triples, but that was only fifth-best in the American League, the White Sox hitting the most three-baggers, 98, one shy of the Brooklyn Robins’ MLB-leading 99 triples, the league as a whole hitting 621 versus only 369 homers.

Only two teams hit more home runs than triples, the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees, Babe Ruth blasting 54 in his first 50-plus season.

The Babe, not known as a triples hitter, hit nine in 1920 and 136 in his career.

From Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Ainsmith caught the whole game for the Tigers; whereas, for the A’s, Cy Perkins started the game, staying in it long enough to get seven plate appearances, the same number as his replacement, Glenn Myatt, the game’s starting right fielder. Though the boxscore does not reveal when Myatt switched positions, his replacement in right field, Dick Burrus, did not have a plate appearance, so it had to be late in the game.

The teams made nine errors. The A’s made six of them. Dugan’s error was his 29th of the season. Despite that, a BR Bullpen article says that he was “[a] brilliant fielding third baseman.”

Two men umpired it. George Hildebrand was behind the plate and George Moriarty at first base. Four umpires in a regular-season game did not begin until 1952.

The game lasted three hours and four minutes, but then, in those days baseball’s clock ran faster.

Other tie games in MLB history

Statcast Searches: Four Core Components

This post shows how to use Statcast Search to do these investigations:

1. Find pitching data for all the pitchers in a league (National or American or both) in a year (limited by Statcast Search’s years of data)

2. Get the number of pitches each league pitcher threw to another pitcher in the same league.

3. Find how many pitches a specific pitcher threw to other pitchers.

4. Discover how many pitches a pitcher threw to every batter regardless of position.

When conducting a Statcast Search, four components are especially useful. One is Player Type. It contains 10 items: Pitcher, Batter, Catcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, SS, LF, CF, RF. The default value in Player Type is “Pitcher.”

The other three core items are Position, Batters, and Pitchers.

If you want to find pitching data for all the pitchers in the National League in 2019, use these four settings:

– Player Type: Pitcher
– Team: NL
– Season: 2019
– Season Type: Regular Season

If you search using those values, you will get data for 426 NL pitchers, starting with Stephen Strasburg, who threw the most pitches: 3,384.

The search results https://tinyurl.com/yawcthuu include these columns sorted by Pitches from a pitcher’s perspective: Pitches, Total, Pitch %, AB, Hits, BB, BA, SLG, EV(MPH),LA(°), Dist (ft). Pitches is the number of pitches thrown by the pitcher during all his mound appearances.

If instead of finding pitching data for all the pitchers in the National League in 2019, you want the number of pitches each NL pitcher threw to another pitcher you need to change the Position setting (second column) from the default of any position to “P” (Pitcher). https://tinyurl.com/ybwcxo3e

That reduces the number of results from 3,384 to 300. Those results show the number of pitches each NL pitcher threw to another pitcher. What is not immediately obvious is whether all the other pitchers were also in the National League though that appears to be the case. It is true.

Jacob deGrom heads the list. In 2019, with only pitchers in the batters box, he threw 220 pitches, holding those hitters to a .120 batting average.

Let’s make another setting change. This time in the Pitchers box (third column), Stephen Strasburg will be selected. (Position still is “P.”) Those results show how many pitches Strasburg threw to other pitchers: 208. By clicking his name, a pitch breakdown appears. https://tinyurl.com/ybxooty7

If Position is not set to a position, the results show how many pitches Strasburg threw to every batter regardless of position (3,384) and gives a pitch-by-pitch breakdown. https://tinyurl.com/y8aefb8u

But what if in the Batters box (third column), Stephen Strasburg was entered with nothing selected in Position? Then, the results show his hitting data for the 38 NL pitchers that he hit against. He was in the batters box against Sandy Alcantara for 22 pitches, the most, including one eight pitch at-bat that ended in a groundout. Strasburg has the most success at the plate against Braves pitcher, Touki Toussaint, getting a single and a homer in his two at-bat against Toussaint. Toussaint also was the only pitcher Strasburg got more than one hit against. The homer was both his only homer in 2019 and only the fourth in his 10-year career. Note: Setting the Position to “P” does not make any difference. https://tinyurl.com/ybnxnefa

And if there is a “P” in Position? The results are the same. https://tinyurl.com/yb8ao6v6

Free Baseball Book Not Just for Yankees Fans

I like to read books, especially baseball books, and today I found one that appears to be a standout. I say standout though I have only read about 8% of the book — according to the Kindle app — but at least I’m not judging it just by its cover. In fact, I don’t even remember what the cover looks like.

It’s written by Phil Pepe, a long-time sportswriter who covered the Yankees beat. He wrote for the World-Telegram and Sun, a New York newspaper that I once delivered by bicycle and the New York Daily News, a paper that had a great sports department until 2018 it downsized it from 30 to 9 and then in 2019 had the chutzpah to write a story headlined “The Sports Illustrated layoffs are disgraceful.”

But this post is not a bearer of bad news. Instead, it is about a company that deserves a shoutout: Sports Publishing.

Today, while browsing through Amazon’s baseball books I found Phil Pepe’s Yankee Doodles: Inside the Locker Room with Mickey, Yogi, Reggie, and Derek. Though published in 2015, the book is not dated. It’s about Yankees like Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle, Yankee greats who played the game when baseball was still America’s pastime.

On its Amazon page, the book’s print list price of $24.99 is crossed out. Its Kindle price is not. It is $0.00.

That is not a typo.

I don’t know for how long it has been free nor for how long it will continue to be. What I do know is that it appears to be a great read. So even if you are not a Yankees fan, just being a sports fan is a good enough reason to treat yourself to this Sports Publishing giveaway.

Thank you Sports Publishing.

Cy Young Lives On

For more than 60 years, baseball has recognized its mound stars with a plaque that memorializes the achievements of a man whose 22-year career began in 1890.

When he retired at age 45, Denton True “Cy” Young had won 511 games and, until his next-to-last year in 1910, never lost more games in a season than he won.

Young’s greatest achievement may have come on May 5, 1904, when at the age of 37 he pitched the first perfect game in American League history – just the third in the major leagues and the first from the 60-foot-6-inch pitching distance. 


Young died in 1955. A year later Major League Baseball awarded the first Cy Young Award, to Don Newcombe, who got 10 of the 16 first-place votes.

Since Newcombe, 117 more pitchers have won the prize.

During those first 11 years, just one pitcher won it more than once. Sandy Koufax won it three times. While others won it three times, only Roger Clemens (7), Randy Johnson (5), Greg Maddox (4), and Steve Carlton (4) won it more than three times.

Koufax was also one of five winners who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Dodgers winning the prize five years in a row.

Further, five of the first 11 winners made it to the Hall of Fame: Warren Spahn, Early Wynn, Whitey Ford, Don Drysdale, and Sandy Koufax.

In 1966, Koufax was the last sole winner in a season. After his final receipt of the award, it was given to the best pitcher in each league.

Cy Young won 477 complete games, fully 60 more than Walter Johnson. Only five times did he win a game that he had started but not completed.


At first, those winning it were starters who had won at least 20 games. That ended in 1973 when members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awarded it to Tom Seaver though he had a 19-10 record.

A year later, the first reliever won the Cy Young. Mike Marshall, pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, finished the 1974 season with a 15-12 record. He stood on the mound in 106 games, 30 more than Rollie Fingers, and pitched in 208.1 innings, starter’s numbers. So he averaged just under two innings a game. Despite all those appearances, his ERA was just 2.42.

Though Marshall had 21 saves, he did not lead the lead in that category, coming in second to Terry Forster who had 24 in 59 games. Despite being the runner-up in saves, Marshall was named the The Sporting News’ Fireman of the Year. 

After Marshall, eight other relievers have won the Cy Young, but none since another Dodger, Eric Gagne, received it in 2003.

Among all pitchers, both starters and relievers, only 11 have won the award in back-to-back seasons. Among them is Jacob deGrom, Mets standout, who received it in both 2018 and 2019, winning 21 games. However, unlike Gaylord Perry, those wins were not in one season but two, 10 in 2018 and 11 in 2019. Those two win totals were the lowest ever for a Cy Young Award winner who was a starter.

Cy Young threw a baseball until his right arm could no longer obey his mind’s commands.

“All us Youngs could throw,” he said. “I used to kill squirrels with a stone when I was a kid, and my granddad once killed a turkey buzzard on the fly with a rock.”


He was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1937.

On his tombstone, above his name and that of his wife, is a winged baseball.