Phillies 5, Reds 4

A pop-up to Wilson Valdez
To lead off the game, start the top.
A two-run homer in the bottom
Forgotten by the time they’d stop.

The online box preserves its shape:
Room for innings, just one through nine
(What did the real newspapers do?)
One clicks to move along the line.

One needs two clicks to see the start.
Or one to see the reviewed play.
Homer for Bruce, play stands as called–
But Ryan overshadowed Jay

Homering in the bottom half.
The Reds responded, out of kind
Loading up the bases, but
Baserunners proved harder to find

After Valdez’ eleventh-inning
Single. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, came
And went with zeroes. Hits at last.
But on the linescore, just the same.

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. When
To take the risk? No guidebook says
When to bring in Wilson Valdez
Or to take out Danys Baez
Fingers crossed tight for Martinez
Grateful cheers for Raul Ibanez
In the morning, somehow it’s done
And Valdez the unlikely hero
Rises to plateau, one and zero–
While Fisher falls to oh and one.

ChiSox 8, Indians 2

Jottings from my visit:

My map-your-trip URL was a bit too functional, as I took a bus to try and catch a distinct bus…which I just didn’t catch. So I had a long wait in an unfamiliar part of town amid lots and lots of fog. Kind of awkward, and I didn’t show up for a half-inning plus (I saw Chicago’s first run). But it was okay, for as you sit on your bus, Chicago’s coach talks to you! “Join us at our stadium, root for us,” and so on. Cool stuff.

It’s hard to buy a card for scoring at a booth. You must visit a shop to pick it up. But, folks working at this stadium do know what such a card is (I cannot say as much for Ohio’s AL stadium, alas.)

An all-star lipogrammatic Sox squad of historic digits was part of this, to show how to put down plays, with Fox, Appling, Aparicio, Minoso, and…um, Robinson (#42…just go with it) up to bat.

It was shocking that display boards had information, not just about “this day in Sox history,” but also much to do with Indians history! And a quiz on it, to boot! (Solution was Sandy Alomar, Jr., now coaching first for today’s visitors.) This is unusual.

Also on display, virtual guys racing. Nothing odd about that, but usually such racing has your own squad’s stadium as its finish. This, though, wound up at Chicago’s Blackhawks’ stadium. Which I didn’t mind, for I got to hum along to Blackhawks goal music. A glorious thing.

Carlos hit a two-run shot, sparking light displays on a big board. I don’t know what would prompt a long word out on Comcast’s stand to light up…scoring a run through small ball?

It was hard to root, root, root for this squad without laughing. Following that song, Bon Jovi’s song about Gina and Tommy was playing (which I know mostly from Twins ballparks).

A gorilla got on Kiss Cam, blowing romantic signs to all of us.

An odd statistical phrasing was on display…nobody says that a guy brought in to pitch “owns” 14 Ks in 6.1 innings against a particular squad. Until now.

Adam Dunn holds his bat up in a funny way prior to hitting. Possibly you know all about that, but I’m not that good at catching on to all visual things so it was unusual on my part.

An odd film had spooky clips and dumb plays to go along with all that fog. So much fog.

Also, you probably saw, this blog now has an MLB look. I don’t know if I can bring back my old logo, but I might stick with this anyway now that such an MLB look is up for grabs.

Top Nine Facts About Multiple No-Hitters

To whoever got here by searching for “graph of no-hitters by year” (I’m overdue for another one of those search engine roundup posts…), welcome! As some of you know, my graphs of no-hitters specify walks and errors…which sort of helps pin down another variation on a no-hitter, the “facing the minimum.” This was the feat accomplished by Justin Verlander in his (second) no-hitter (of course, facing the minimum can occur while giving up hits. Also of course, the minimum number of batters one can face in a game is zero…retire a runner by throwing them out or something and then leave the game. The minimum batters one can face when throwing a complete game is 25, if you lose a road game (but you need one runner to score) (and that’s not even getting into rain-shortened games)).

But on the subject of actual pitchers of multiple no-hitters and how they did, facing-the-minimum wise, here were my top nine observations…

  • Mark Buerhle has two twenty-seven up, twenty-seven (eventually) down games; the perfect game and another no-hitter in which one batter was walked but got picked off.
  • Sandy Koufax also faced the minimum twice, once a perfecto; in his other two no-hitters, he left one and three on, respectively.
  • On the subject of more than two no-hitters, Bob Feller faced 6, 5, and 4 more than the minimum in his three no-hitters. In the last case, one of them scored.
  • Nolan Ryan’s high-water mark in seven attempts was 8.
  • The overall record among the pitchers I looked at was Jim Maloney, with ten left on base (but cut him some slack, it was ten innings).
  • Johnny Vander Meer faced just one more than the minimum in his first no-hitter. Perhaps rattled by the attention four days later, he faced eight more.
  • Warren Spahn also faced the minimum in one of his no-hitters; he walked two batters, but they both got out on the basepaths. Moreover, his team is recorded with making one error; a foul catch that should have been made, wasn’t. However, that batter struck out, so the error did not put a runner on base.
  • This is something I had not thought to consider in my previous graphs and as a result those “error” numbers, while correct, are perhaps misrepresentative.
  • This analysis only included games that Retrosheet had box scores for, so I’ll have to look up the exploits of Adonis Terry on my own.

Liriano’s No-No

Oh what a game
Francisco Liriano
Whose no-no had no-nos
Walks are rarely good ideas
And yet he
And the Twins defended
For a sweet win that would please
(Even without total ease.)

The fates have smiled
On lucky Liriano–
A no-no! There were no
Such great moments on the mound
This season
Left the White Sox wasted
The Twins were unwelcome, both teams had been struggling
But then on Chicago’s home ground
He got them to fly out, he got them to ground out
There wasn’t a hit to be found.
Speaking as a Chicagoan, I’m
Still very thrilled this was Francisco’s time!

He stopped the Sox from producing knocks, Francisco Liriano
Threw the year’s first no-no
Though you could find a fault
With some pitches, Sox cleaved the air
They were not worth their salt
Gardenhire didn’t pull him or call a halt.
Twins fans felt great in their frigid state, all hail to Liriano
Who has thrown a no-no.
How many innings? Nine.
He mowed them down, he shut them off
His pitching’s mighty fine.
All of the Sox had to go
Back down the line
He put on a marvelous show
Tonight was his night to shine.

Oh sad the bat
That faces Liriano
Whose no-no will, though no
One would say that it counts for more
In standings
Still stand out forever
With the many games before.
(Even beyond the box score.)

Let’s hear it for
Francisco Liriano
Whose no-no (I know no
One’s going to disagree)
Was awesome.
What a happy moment
Down at the Cell all their hitting skill weakened
The White Sox did not stand a chance.
From infield to outfield, Minnesotan goodness
Was fighting the home team’s advance.
He pitched with speed, he pitched with force
Setting them down, a matter of course.

Once in a while the fates will smile
On guys like Liriano.
Guys like Liriano
Suddenly hit the press
And fans cheer out with all the pride and joy that they possess.
None of the White Sox could hit–they were a mess.
When Liriano had it–he’d just impress.

What a scene, what a joy
What a lovely sight
When the Twins are the big sensation.
Even if it’s nothing much
Only this one night
It’s still a cause for celebration.
For now I just wanna see
A tremendous game, don’t you?
It’s a Central clash; neither great but both
In full view.

There’s no roof, they just played under open air.
Twenty thousand? It could be better.
But it must have ruled for those who made it there.
As days go, this one was red-letter.
It’s not just the best there is
Who put on this kind of show
Lightning can strike for the best and the worst
And now Liriano…

…Now at the Cell,
They put the “miss” into “Comiskey,” didn’t really prove their worth
Though you can’t tell
From just one game, tonight at least they stood back and let him excel
Clear as a bell, they fell
Francisco pitched so well!