Willie McCovey, RIP

Featured image Willie McCovey, legendary first baseman for the San Francisco Giants, died on Wednesday. He was 80 years old. McCovey burst on the baseball scene in 1959 in the midst of a three-way pennant race among the Dodgers, the Giants, and the Braves. In his very first game, he went 4-4 with two triples. In just 52 games, the 21 year-old belted 13 home runs and drove in 52 runs. His »

Trump the Baseball Fan

Featured image On Saturday night, President Trump diverged from his usual Twitter themes to comment on Dodger manager Dave Roberts’ handling of his pitching staff in Game 4 of the World Series. Trump criticized the manager for removing a starter who was pitching well from the game: Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, »

This day in baseball history: A Game Seven for the ages

Featured image On October 10, 1968, Mickey Lolich took the mound for the Detroit Tigers in Game Seven of the World Series. He was hoping to succeed where Jim Lonborg had failed the year before by beating the incomparable Bob Gibson on just two days rest in a winner-take-all matchup. Lolich had an advantage over Lonborg. The Red Sox ace was a power pitcher. Lolich relied more on sink. Lack of rest »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On October 9, 1968, the Detroit Tigers crushed the St. Louis Cardinals 13-1 in Game Six of the World Series. With that win, the Tigers evened the Series after falling behind three games to one. This was a Series of two outstanding and evenly matched teams. The Tigers won 103 games in the regular season and captured the pennant by 12 games. The Cardinals, defending world champions, were on a »

This day in baseball history: Back-to-back no-hitters

Featured image 1968 was the year of the pitcher. However, when Gaylord Perry hurled a no-hitter for San Francisco against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 17, 1968, it was just the fourth no-hitter of the season, not an usually high number. On September 18, when the Giants again played the Cardinals, the pitching matchup wasn’t nearly as mouth watering as the day before when Perry beat Bob Gibson 1-0. However, the »

This day in baseball history: Perry tops Gibson with no-hitter

Featured image 1968 was the year of the pitcher. The collective ERA of the National League was 2.99. The American League’s ERA was 2.98. Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers won 31 games. This was the first time a major league pitcher had won 30 or more since Dizzy Dean won 30 in 1934. Carl Yazstrzemski won the AL batting title with a .301 batting average. Bob Gibson pitched to an ERA »

Kavanaugh confesses: He’s a huge baseball fan

Featured image Yesterday, Brett Kavanaugh responded to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s ridiculous questions about his purchase of baseball tickets. As anticipated, Kavanaugh said he is a “huge sports fan” and that he bought four season tickets annually from the Nationals’ arrival in Washington in 2005 until 2017. He also bought playoff packages in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Kavanaugh split the tickets with a “group of old friends” through a “ticket draft” at »

Brett Kavanaugh and his baseball buddies

Featured image Ed Whelan has posted an excellent series refuting various smears of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He deals with a long-forgotten controversy involving Manny Miranda, smears regarding wiretapping and interrogation, and claims that Kavanaugh lied about his role in the selection by the Bush administration of judges Charles Pickering and William Pryor. Ed does not deal with another of the left’s ginned up Kavanugh-related controversies — the one involving the purchase of »

This week in baseball history — beating the Niekros

Featured image The last time we peeked in on Bob Gibson’s historic 1968 season, back in late June, he had pitched five consecutive shutouts. Nor was Gibson done shutting teams out. In July, he blanked the opposition three more times. In Gibson’s first start in August, he gave up four earned runs (tied for his season high) in 11 innings against the Chicago Cubs. In that start, on August 4, Gibson squared »

Take Me Out to Kavanaugh’s Ball Game

Featured image I noted here last night the desperate attempt of the left to smear Brett Kavanaugh by trolling for possible cellphone photos of him at Washington Nationals baseball games, and hoping that somebody somewhere would be working up some good photoshops fit for the moment, especially since I am too snowed under this week to do it myself. Fortunately faithful Power Line reader Stephen Manning is up to the challenge, and »

Winning ugly

Featured image On Monday night, the Clearwater Threshers defeated the Tampa Tarpons 1-0 in a minor league baseball game without the benefit of a hit, a walk, a hit batsman, or a runner reaching base due to an error. How did they manage this? The key was the new rule in the minor leagues for deciding extra inning games. I discussed it here. Under this rule, which conceivably could come to the »

An experimental approach to deciding extra inning ball games

Featured image I read somewhere that this year non-pitchers are pitching an unprecedented number of innings in major league baseball games. A manager might call on a non-pitcher (a catcher, infielder, or outfielder) to pitch if he has used all of his relief pitchers or if the game is so far out of reach that he doesn’t want to burn his remaining relievers. It seems odd at first blush that we’re seeing »

Two fitting all star games

Featured image 1968 was the year of the pitcher. So it was fitting that 1968 gave us the only all-star game ever without a run batted in. The National League prevailed 1-0, its lone run scored by Willie Mays on a double-play ground ball by Willie McCovey. Fifty years later, 2018 is the year of all or nothing. Pitchers are piling up strike outs and batters are piling up home runs. Many »

Agent blames Bryce Harper’s woes on opposing defenses

Featured image Bryce Harper was the National League’s most valuable player in 2015. He was strong contender for MVP last year, before an injury in early August kept him out for about six weeks. This year, however, Harper is struggling. His batting average has fallen below .220. His power, 22 home runs, and his walks, 76 of them, still make him a valuable player. But he’s no MVP, probably not even on »

From the bushes to the show, an update

Featured image Less than two years ago, I was seated at a South Atlantic League baseball game (low A ball) between the Hagerstown Suns and the visiting Greensboro Grasshoppers. Behind me were two Greensboro pitchers — Trevor Richards and Ben Meyer. They were charting the game. As I discussed in this post, neither pitcher seemed destined to make the major leagues. Richards had been undrafted in 2015 coming out of a small »

This day in baseball history: Gibson’s fifth straight shutout

Featured image On June 26, 1968, in the first game of a doubleheader in St. Louis, Bob Gibson shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates on four hits. St. Louis won 3-0. Gibson contributed to the Cardinals’ offense with a double and a walk in three plate appearances. This was Gibson’s fifth consecutive shutout. Here are Gibson’s numbers in the five games: June 6 at Houston: 9 innings, no runs, three hits and two »

Red Schoendienst, RIP

Featured image Red Schoendienst died last week at age 95. A member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, Schoendienst was associated with the St. Louis Cardinals during six decades as a player, manager, and/or coach, and two more as a member of the front office. Schoendienst overcame a serious eye injury suffered as a teenager to hit over .300 in eight seasons and play in nine all-star games (his 14th inning home run »