This Day In Baseball May 11
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 11
In National League action, Washington Senators catcher Duke Farrell picks up 8 assists in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. For many years, record books will credit him with 8 runners caught stealing, but that is incorrect. Only 5 of the assists were on stolen base attempts; one came on a pick-off and the last two on other fielding plays. In spite of Farrell’s efforts, the Senators lose anyway, 6 – 3.
Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators pitches 12 scoreless innings in a duel with Jack Quinn of the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Johnson allows only two hits and retires 28 batters in a row. Future football star George Halas, batting leadoff for the Yankees, goes 0 for 5, striking out twice.
In front of the largest crowd in 13 years, the New York Giants defeat the Boston Braves, 5 – 1, in the first night game played at Braves Field. The 37,407 fans are surprised as their hometown heroes enter the field wearing shiny satin uniforms designed to reflect the light generated by the electricity used for the evening contest.
The Red Sox’ early season winning streak comes to an end at 15 consecutive victories when right-hander Tiny Bonham,�giving up just two hits in the Yankee Stadium contest,�blanks the team, 2-0. Boston, who will go on to easily capture the AL pennant, started the season 21-3 before today’s loss against New York.
Rookie Danny Kravitz will accumulate 10 home runs during his five-year major league career, but he’ll never top this, his first – a walk-off grand slam. It transforms a 3-run deficit into a 6 – 5 victory over Philly for Pittsburgh. It also launches the perennial cellar dwellers on a 16 and 6 tear that will land them, briefly, in first place before the bubble bursts and they revert to type, gradually wending their way back down to the cellar by season’s end.
Even though the game is practically over before the Pirates come to bat, having given up 6 runs runs to the Phillies in the top of the 1st inning, the first Pirate at-bat provides the most memorable moment of the game, Roberto Clemente’s 440-plus-foot inside-the-park home run. Les Biederman of The Pittsburgh Press writes: “Clemente greeted Harvey Haddix with a line drive that gathered momentum as it approached Richie Ashburn and took off over his head and ricocheted off the wall toward the batting cage. By the time Ashburn picked up the ball, Clemente was at third base and he made it to the plate without trouble. The hit provoked an argument between the Phillies and the umpires because the ball rolled under the batting cage but the Phils were told there was no ground rule to cover the situation.”
Bob Stevens of the San Francisco Chronicle writes about an incident before today’s game between the Pirates and Giants: “The shivering fans in the stands took their hands out of their pockets to applaud Roberto Clemente for a small, but at the same time very large, sympathetic act. During batting practice, a little boy in the right-field stands was hit in the arm by a line drive. He then hid among the seats to have his little cry. Clemente retrieved the ball and gave it away, his thanks coming in a puddle of tears.”
Minnie Minoso suffers a fractured skull and breaks his wrist when he runs into the left field wall chasing Duke Snider’s triple in the Cardinals’ 8-5 loss to L.A. at Busch Stadium. The St. Louis outfielder will return to the lineup in mid-July, only to have a bone in his forearm broken when he is hit by a pitch thrown by Craig Anderson of the Mets a month later.
Pitcher Steve Dunning of the Cleveland Indians hits a grand slam homer off Diego Segui of the Oakland Athletics to give the Indians a 5 – 0 lead, but reliever Phil Hennigangets the victory in the Indians’ 7 – 5 win. Due to the adoption the designated hitter rule in 1973, Dunning’s slam will remain the last one hit by an American League pitcher until Seattle’s Félix Hernández does it in an interleague game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in 2008.
In front of a sparse crowd of 2,992 at Cleveland Stadium, Indians starter Steve Dunning hits a grand slam off A’s right-hander Diego Segui in the bottom of the second inning in Cleveland’s 7-5 victory over Oakland. It will take another 37 years before another American League hurler goes deep with the bases loaded when Felix Hernandez of the Mariners accomplishes the feat against the Mets in 2008.
Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner decides to take the managerial reins of his team, which has lost 16 straight games. The Braves lose their 17th in a row in Turner’s debut, as coach Vern Benson makes most of the strategic decisions. After the game, the National League removes Turner from the dugout, citing a rule that prevents an owner from doubling as manager. Dave Bristol, who was given a “sabbatical” to allow Turner to step into the dugout, will be brought back to finish the year at the helm of the team.
Trying to snap the Braves’ 16 game losing streak, Ted Turner, the team’s owner, takes over as field manager. The skid continues as Atlanta is defeated by the Pirates, 2-1, and National League president Chub Feeney informs the new skipper he cannot manage again because of the rule which prohibits a manager from owning a financial stake in the club.
In the top of the seventh inning, Phillies’ leadoff batter Pete Rose steals home after swiping second and third base to become the first National League player in 52 years to complete the stolen base cycle in one frame. In 1928, Brooklyn’s Harvey Hendrick accomplished the feat in the eighth inning of an Ebbets Field contest against Chicago.
5/11/1988: The Mets were playing at the Astrodome in Houston. In the top of the ninth, Tim Teufel hit a line drive that cleared the fence in left center for an apparent grand slam off Dave Smith to put the Mets ahead. However, it struck the concrete outer wall and came back on the field. The blast was eventually ruled a three-run double, which tied the game and sent it into extra innings. The Mets eventually won it in the tenth, 9-8.
Dave Winfield rejects a trade that would have sent him from the New York Yankees to the California Angels in exchange for pitcher Mike Witt. A no-trade clause in Winfield’s contract gives him the right to turn down the deal. Five days later, Winfield will reach an agreement with the Yankees and give his permission for the trade to take place.
En route to a two-inning save in Montreal’s 4-3 victory over New York, Expo right-hander Mel Rojas strikes out the side in the top of the ninth, needing just nine pitches to end the game. The 28 year-old reliever fans David Segui, Todd Hundley, and Jeff McKnight, with each swinging at strike three, to complete his immaculate inning.
On ‘John Franco Day,’ the New York veteran reliever is ejected from the game, along with eight other players, as the result of participating in a fifth-inning bench-clearing brawl at Shea Stadium. Prior to the game the Mets celebrated their closer’s recent 300th career save, but his unavailability in the ninth leads to three hurlers combining to give up the tying runs in the team’s eventual 7-6 walk-off victory over Chicago.
Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs sets the major league record for strikeouts in consecutive games (33) by fanning 13 Arizona Diamondbacks in a 4 – 2 victory. The record for strikeouts in two starts had been 32, set by Luis Tiant in 1968 and matched by Nolan Ryan (1974), Dwight Gooden (1984) and Randy Johnson (1997).
Manny Ramirez hits a 1st-inning grand slam and adds a two-run home run in the 6th to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 16 – 0 rout of the Kansas City Royals. The victory, which stops Kansas City’s winning streak at five games, is Cleveland’s most lopsided shutout in 45 years, since the Indians crushed the Boston Red Sox, 19 – 0.
Aaron and Bret Boone, sons of former major league catcher Bob and the grandsons of Ray, also a former big leaguer, hit home runs in the same game for the second time in their careers. Bret’s pair of two-run homers, a shot in the top of the first and an inside-the-parker in the sixth, is offset by his younger sibling’s walk-off round-tripper in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Reds an 11-9 victory over the Padres at Cinergy Field.
The Devil Rays snap their 15-game losing streak, a franchise record, thanks to Randy Winn’s three-run walk-off homer. The right fielder’s ninth-inning two-out blast comes off Jorge Julio, giving Tampa Bay a 6-4 victory over Baltimore at Tropicana Field. (Our thanks to Adam Sanford for suggesting this entry.)
Amidst criticism of his handling of pitchers due the rash of recent injuries to the team’s young arms, the Florida Marlins fire manager Jeff Torborg. Jack McKeon, who has previously managed four other clubs, becomes the franchise’s sixth skipper, taking over a 16-22 team that will catch fire under his calm leadership.
5/11/2003: The Cardinals were at Wrigley Field and a 23-MPH wind was blowing out to right field. In the bottom of the first, Moises Alou of the Cubs hit a 2-run homer off Brett Tomko to centerfield. In the top of the second, Albert Pujols hit a grand slam to leftfield off Matt Clement. Corey Patterson led off the bottom of the second with a homer to rightfield. In the top of the third, Tino Martinez hit a solo homer to leftfield. Troy O’Leary hit a 2-run homer to leftfield in the bottom of the third. In the top of the fourth, Martinez homered for the second time in the game. This time it went to rightfield and scored 3 runs. In the bottom half of the fourth, Alex Gonzalez hit a 2-run homer to leftfield. He was the last batter faced by Tomko. The game was rained out in the top of the fifth inning. The final count in this day’s barrage: seven home runs and a score of 11-9 St. Louis ahead all lost to the weather.
Due to the rash of recent injuries to the team’s young arms, the Marlins fire manager Jeff Torborg, who has been criticized for his handling of the pitching staff. Jack McKeon, who has previously managed in Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, and Cincinnati, will take over the 16-22 team, becoming the franchise’s sixth skipper.
In Massachusetts, Pittsfield city officials and historians release a bylaw dating back to 1791 which they believe is the earliest written reference to baseball. The 213-year-old document, used to protect the windows in the town’s new meeting house by prohibiting anyone from playing baseball within 80 yards of the building, was uncovered by baseball historian John Thorn while doing research on the origins of baseball.
At Fenway Park, Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox leads his teammates out of the dugout waving an American flag to celebrate his first day as a citizen of the United States. As the 31-year native of the Dominican Republic comes to bat, the song America by Neil Diamond is played over the public address system.
Pittsfield city officials and historians release a 1791 document that they believe is the earliest written reference to baseball. The 213 year-old bylaw, used to protect the windows of the town’s new meeting house by prohibiting anyone from playing baseball within 80 yards of the building, was uncovered by baseball historian John Thorn while doing research on the origins of baseball.
After missing yesterday’s game to become an American citizen, Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, much to the delight of the Fenway faithful, leads his teammates out of the dugout waving an American flag to celebrate his first day as a citizen of the United States. As the 31 year-old native of the Dominican Republic comes to bat, Neil Diamond’s song America is played over the PA system.
The Boston Red Sox end a game for the second consecutive day by hitting a walk-off home run off the same pitcher, a feat only accomplished five previous times in major league history. Oakland Athletics closer Octavio Dotel, who gave up the decisive blast to Kevin Millar the previous day, is victimized today by Jason Varitek in the bottom of the 9th inning, to beat Oakland, 6 – 5.
The Red Sox end a game for the second consecutive day by hitting a walk-off home run off the same pitcher, a feat accomplished only five previous times in major league history. A’s closer Octavio Dotel, who also gave up Kevin Millar’s decisive blast yesterday, is victimized today by BoSox backstop Jason Varitek, who goes deep in the ninth to beat Oakland, 6-5.
Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees breaks his left wrist and his consecutive games streak ends in the Boston Red Sox’s 5 – 3 victory at Yankee Stadium. Going back to his days in Nippon Pro Baseball, he had appeared in 1,768 consecutive games. Matsui had played in 518 consecutive games (a record for the start of a career) since joining the Yankees in 2003 after playing in 1,250 straight for the Yomiuri Giants from August 22, 1993, through 2002.
Hideki Matsui’s streak of playing in every game since starting his MLB career with the Yankees in 2003 ends at 518 games as the left fielder breaks his left wrist attempting to make a diving catch. The 31 year-old Japanese star established the big league record for consecutive games to start a career, surpassing Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks, who played in 424 contests at the start of his playing days with Cubs from 1953-56.
The Colorado Springs SkySox top the Albuquerque Isotopes, 5 – 1. The game is historic in that it is the first no-hitter ever thrown at home by the SkySox. Franklin Morales walks six in five hitless innings and is relieved in turn by Chris George (1 2/3 IP, 2 BB), Matt Daley (1 1/3 IP, 1 BB) and Steven Register (1 IP, no BB) as the Isotopes get nine walks but no hits.
5/11/2008 – In the top of the ninth, after a double switch, the Reds batted out of order when David Ross hit in Corey Patterson’s spot. Ross flew out to right and then Mets Manager Willie Randolph told the umpires about the issue. Patterson was called out instead of Ross and Ross batted again and singled. Randolph should have taken the out and kept quiet.
At Shea Stadium, a 13-minute delay occurs in the beginning of the ninth of the Mets’ 8-3 victory over the Reds, when David Ross bats out of order, making an out in Corey Patterson’s place in the lineup. The very confused umpires eventually make the correct call, telling Ross to bat again, now with one out, without his teammate having an opportunity to come to the plate.
Ryan Zimmerman goes 4 for 5 with two home runs to extend his hitting streak to 29 games, but San Francisco beats Washington, 11 – 7. Randy Johnson strikes out nine for career win number 298. The game features the tallest pitching match-up in history, with the 6′ 10″ Johnson facing Daniel Cabrera, who stands 6′ 9″.
Johnny Cueto comes within about a foot of a no-hitter when SS Paul Janish dives to stop Ronny Cedeno’s ground ball in the 3rd inning, only to see it deflect off his glove for a single. That’s the only base hit for the Pirates, as the Reds hurler records a 9 – 0 one-hitter. Chris Heisey gets his first three major league hits in the game, including a home run.
The Mariners’ key acquisition during the off-season, left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee, finally wins a game for his new team. After spending all of April on the disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle, and pitching well in his first two starts but being let down by an anemic offense, he pitches 7 1/3 strong innings in a 5 – 1 win over the Orioles. Brandon League then relieves Lee and finishes the game to earn his first save of the year, while Ryan Langerhans homers off loser David Hernandez, who is now 0-5.
In their first game since Dallas Braden’s perfect game, the A’s have to use 6 relievers to grind out a 7 – 6 win over the Rangers in 13 innings. Daric Barton drives in Landon Powell, who had just stolen his first major league base on a busted hit-and-run play, for the winning run. Barton had earlier homered in the 11th, only to see Texas come back against Tyson Ross for the third blown save by an A’s reliever on the night. Ross then strikes out when forced to bat in the 12th because of an empty Oakland bench, and later gets credit for his first major league win.
Hyun-jin Ryu sets a new Korea Baseball Organization record with 17 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, breaking the mark of 16 shared by Dong-won Choi, Dae-jin Lee and Dong-yol Sun; Sun had whiffed 18 in an extra-inning game as well. Ryu’s Hanwha Eagles top the LG Twins, 3 – 1. Byung-kyu Lee’s solo shot is the lone run off Ryu.
The Indians’ 14-game home winning streak comes to an end at the hands of the Rays’ David Price, who shuts them down in an 8 – 2 win. The Indians have vaulted to the top of the AL Central standings on the strength of their success at home; logically, the team that finally beats them – the Rays – sports the best road record in the majors at 12-5.
5/11/2011: After a two hour and 14 minute wait, the Oakland at Texas game was postponed with the Rangers ahead 7-0 after three and a half innings had been played. Texas scored all of its runs in the third, with four of them coming on Mitch Moreland’s grand slam, which would have been the first of his career, off of Gio Gonzalez.
The Royals’ Greg Holland, on a rehabilitation assignment in the AA Texas League, pitches a perfect 1st inning to start the game for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, on his way to returning to Kansas City. Chris Dwyersucceeds him, and keeps Springfield hitless for 6 2/3 innings. Brendan Lafferty gets the last out in the 8th, and Kendal Volz completes the 2 – 0 no-hitter, the second in team history. Wil Myers extends his hitting streak to 16 games by singling in the Naturals’ first run.
The Mets play their 8,000th game in franchise history, dropping a 6-5 decision in Miami when closer Frank Francisco allows the tying and winning runs to score in the bottom of the ninth inning. During the thousand game span, the Amazins have compiled a 515-485 record, with third baseman David Wright being the team’s top home run hitter and run producer with 143 round-trippers and 595 RBIs.
Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals retires the first 13 batters in his start against the Rockies. Combined with Shelby Miller’s 27 straight outs to end yesterday’s game, the Cardinals tie a record for most consecutive outs by one team against another at 40; the Texas Rangers had also performed the feat on May 3-4, 1996. A one-out walk to Todd Helton in the 5th inning ends the streak, but Wainwright keeps the no-hitter going until the 7th and ends up with a two-hit shutout, 3 – 0.
Aroldis Chapman, in his first appearance of the season, strikes out three consecutive batters after issuing a leadoff walk, recording a save in Cincinnati’s 4-1 victory over Colorado. During a spring training game in March against Kansas City, the Reds All-Star closer was struck in the head by a line drive that resulted in surgery to repair fractures near his nose and left eye.
Today’s game between the Reds and Pirates features six hit batsmen, four ejections and four solo homers by Pittsburgh, which wins, 5 – 4, on a 9th-inning single by Jordy Mercer. Bucs OF Starling Marte and manager Clint Hurdle both get the heave-ho for arguing a caught stealing call in the 6th, but Marte’s replacement, Josh Harrison, later hits one of his team’s homers. For the Reds, P Ross Ohlendorf and manager Bryan Price are thumbed after Ohlendorf plunks David Freese following Mercer’s single.
Max Scherzer ties a major league mark when he strikes out 20 batters in a nine-inning game, joining Roger Clemens (1986, 1996 Red Sox), Kerry Wood (1998 Cubs), and Randy Johnson (2001 Diamondbacks). The 31 year-old right-hander, who goes the distance in Washington’s 3-2 victory over the Tigers at Nationals Park, has an opportunity to establish a new record with two out in the ninth, but James McCann grounds into a force out at second base to end the contest.
1999 – Houston ties a club record for runs scored during a 19-8 demolition of the Pirates at the Astrodome. Seven Astros, including Tim Bogar and Paul Bako , have multi-hit games in the 18-hit assault. Houston breaks open the game with back-to-back five-run frames in the fourth and fifth, making an easy winner of Sean Bergman, who surrenders six runs in five innings of work. Houston’s ten doubles sets another club mark.
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