Welcome to the Rays Tank, where the Rays are irrelevant (sorry, Danny) but the games still go on (sorry everybody else). But, but, BUT, dear Rays fans, we still have this going for us:
Irrelevant Rays baseball >>>> Bucs footbaw!
So, while we still have a few weeks left before that fangling tower of Garfoose that is Roger Goodell and his league is the only game in town, and America watches as they slowly choke the life not just from their players but from nature itself, let's revel in the last remnants of Spring, dance around the flickering remains of April's fires of hope, suck the marrow from a season's worth of bone spurs and ew gawd that's gross what the hell was I talking about?
Anyway...ladies, gents, and drusseses, I give you the irrelevant baseball heroics of September 11ths past:
From 2010, here's Brad Hawpe hitting a grand salami during a 13-1 route of the Blue Jays.
How irrelevant was that homer? Put it this way: The game was so tight that Mike "The Janitor" Eckstrom pitched the ninth.
From 2013, Puig hace tremenda arapada en la 6ta.
What a play! Later, he did this!
Diamondbacks win, 4-1.
In the ex-Ray files, Felipe Lopez makes a nice catch for the Cards in 2010.
Doesn't matter. Cards lose 6-3 in extras.
From 1985, pre-permabanned Pete Rose finally breaks Ty Cobb's all-time hit record when he records #4,192.
By the way, player/manager Rose would pencil himself in as the starting first baseman for a playoff caliber Reds club 119 times in 1985, while slashing a robust .264/.395/.319. Seriously, over 400 at bats, and 16 extra base hits all year. But hey, at least the Reds won this game, so Pete probably won some money.
Here's some other baseball heroics from this day in history:
1902: Pitcher John Malarkey of the Boston Beaneaters (hahahahahaha!) hits a game-ending tater off the Cardinals' Mike O'Neill, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history win a game by hitting his own walk-off homer
1948: The Phillies clinch a losing record for the 16th straight season, the longest in major league history.
1955: In his only major league appearance, Fred Van Dusen is called upon to pinch hit for the Phillies against the Braves, and is hit by a pitch on an 0-2 count. He is the only player in big league history who never took the field and whose only plate appearance ended with a hit by pitch. This is cool though: for a time, he shared this "record" with Adam Greenberg -- whose HBP fractured his skull with Cubs -- until the Marlins signed Greenberg and gave him an at-bat in October 2012. Who threw out the first pitch? 75 year old Fred Van Dusen. This is him talking about it.
1966: Nolan Ryan records his first strikeout, fanning Braves pitcher Pat Jarvis.
1974: A major league record 202 batters come to the plate as the Cardinals beat the Mets 4-3 in 25 freaking innings. The game takes over seven hours, and winning run is aided by an errant pickoff throw from losing pitcher Hank Webb, who had just entered the game in the top of the 25th after eight shutout innings from reliever Jerry Cram.
1991: Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena work the first combined no-hitter in National League history, leading the Braves past the Padres, 1-0.
1998: The Marlins lose the 100th game of the season, become the first defending World Series champion to reach the century mark in losses. They finish the season 54-108. But count the rings!
1999: Eric Milton no-hits the Angels in a 7-0 win for the Twinkies.
2004: Barry Bonds becomes the first big leaguer to walk 200 times in a single season when Diamondbacks walk him three times.
2013: This is not historic, but it is pretty damn funny:
- A little while ago, beat writer Mark Topkin started the discussion on whether or not the Rays should offer a long term deal to Kevin Kiermaier. When we wrote about it we put forth Franklin Gutierrez as a comparable player, but Jason Hanselman, who now publishes his stuff over at The Process Report, has another comparable that hits a lot closer to home: Kevin Kiermaier is a lot like Carl Crawford before the Rays extended CC.
- There was some good stuff today from Topkin. First off, Chris Archer talks about an adjustment to his throwing program (he's throwing radically less between starts now), and Logan Forsythe, who Topkin wonders about as a team MVP, talks about what he learned from last year and his focus on consistency.
- At THT, Jeff Zimmerman explores using batted ball data for scouting purposes.
- For those of you pitch-type geeks out there, Dan Weigl highlights an extreme one: Jeurys Familia (of the Mets) throws a splitter that averages 93.7 mph and has touched 96 mph. There's discussion and video in the article, but let me whet your appetite with a graph. The bottom clump of sinkers are actually splitters. That's Alex Cobb on steroids (seriously though, can someone get Alex Cobb some steroids?)