Ladies, gents, and Edskies, this is very special day. Today marks the seven year anniversary of the Great Pumpkin's first rising. Once upon a time, under previous management, they tried to get this guy a holiday. I don't think it really took, partly because the day chosen -- September 21st -- was not a marker of any of his heroics, but also I suspect because one day is not enough to contain Dan Johnson.
It started with a scratch. Even though the miracle season was slipping away, DanJo -- fresh from Durham -- was supposed to be in the starting lineup. That was just Maddon's way. But travel delays forced a change of plans. So it wasn't until the ninth inning, with the Sox up by one and All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon in to close it, that Maddon introduced us to the previously unheralded ginger.
At first, I was kinda mad that there was no video with DeWayne and Joe calling it, no audio with Dave and Andy. But then, the more I listened to the simple sadness of the "it's gone" in Don Orsillo's voice, I realized, I think I like it this way better.
Often forgotten in DanJo lovefest is that this only tied the game. In case you forgot, this was the eventual game winner from later in the inning.
Sometimes I forget that there are good memories of Navi too. Troy Percival came on to get the save (no, really), and Tampa Bay never looked back.
No more highlights, since they would just be anticlimactic. But here are some other heroes of yore from September 9th, some of them positively DanJosian:
- 1914: "Iron" George Davis of the Boston Braves no-hits the Phillies. It is one of only seven wins Davis accumulates in his four year major league career.
- 1945: Dick Fowler of the Philadelphia A's notches his only victory of the season when he no-hits the Browns. He is also the first Canadian to throw a major league no-hitter.
- 1948: Rex Barney of the Dodgers no-hits the Giants. The game includes a one-hour rain delay as well as showers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.
- 1965: Sandy Koufax's fourth no-hitter is a perfect game. In the 1-0 Dodger victory, he bests Bob Hendley of the Cubs, who tosses a one-hitter.
- 1988: In his final appearance, Bruce Sutter saves his 300th game as the Braves beat the Padres. The future Hall of Famer is the third reliever to reach that milestone.
- 2002: Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks passes the 300 strikeouts for the fifth consecutive season, breaking his own record.
- From Baseball America, the NY Penn League may be moving a team to Camden (the pic looks neat with the Ben Franklin Bridge in the background). The team isn't known, but it's probably not the Hudson Valley Renegades (Rays affiliate).
- Tango asked a question on Bill James Online to showcase James's formula for representing lineup stability for any player. Might be interesting to apply to the Rays.
- Who's having the best second halfs at the plate this year? A Rays player comes in ranked 9th. Guess who?
- Here's a look at the worst production from the catcher spot this year. Guess which team is not on it? Weird. I guess maybe catchers just don't hit very well much of the time.