This Day In Baseball May 9
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 9
Washington defeats Pittsburgh, 14 – 9, in a beanball battle. Senators pitcher Win Mercer hits three Pittsburgh batters while Pirate Pink Hawley plunks three Washington batters in a disastrous 11-run 7th inning, tying a mark he set on July 4, 1894. Hawley retires in 1900 after only nine seasons with a still-standing National League record of 195 hit batters. All told, eight batters are plunked in the contest, a National League-record five by Hawley. The five Washington batters hit by pitches ties the NL mark and won’t be matched till July 2, 1969.
In Cleveland, rookie P Earl Moore, purchased from Dayton for $1,000, allows two unearned runs but no White Sox hits through nine innings. Cleveland matches the White Sox with two runs of their own in the 3rd inning. In the 10th, with rain coming down, the Sox use singles by Sam Mertes and Dutch Hartman off Moore, “The Steam Engine in Boots”, to score two runs and win, 4 – 2. The threatening weather keeps the crowd to 400 at League Park.
Thirty walks are allowed at Philadelphia as Detroit overwhelms the A’s, 16 – 2. Tiger rookie George Cunningham is lifted with one out in the 3rd inning after walking six batters. He is given the win, but leaves with a no-hitter and leading 9 – 0. Eighteen of the walks are issued by the A’s – 12 by reliever Carl Ray – on their way to a season total of 715. Not until 1938 will a team (the St. Louis Browns with 737) top that. Detroit will add another 11 walks against the A’s tomorrow for a two-game major-league record of 29.
At St. Louis, A’s pitcher Walt Kinney relieves in the 3rd with his team down 3 – 0, and helps tie the score in the 6th by reaching Urban Shocker for a solo home run. The Browns rock Kinney for four runs in the 7th and he is lifted, and St. Louis goes on to win, 10 – 5. For Kinney, his home run comes in his last major league at-bat.
The Yankees’ and the Tigers’ outfielders make only two putouts for an American League record which has never been equaled. The National League record for outfield idleness is one chance (Pittsburgh versus Brooklyn on August 26, 1910). Detroit’s George Uhle strikes out 8 in winning, 5 – 4, and dropping the Yanks to 7th place. Hank Johnson (7 innings) and George Pipgras are the New York hurlers.
At Philadelphia, Charlie Gelbert of the Cardinals plays his first game since a 1932 hunting accident almost severed his leg. Gelbert’s error in the 7th paves the way for the Phils’first run as they win, 2 – 1. The victory goes to Bucky Walters, the infielder whom manager Jimmy Wilson has been endeavoring to convert to a pitcher all spring. Bucky allows four hits and scores the winning run in the 9th to win his first major league game.
The press reports the impending sale of the New York Yankees by the Ruppert estate to political bigwigs Jim Farley and Jesse Jones. The Sporting News declares the sale will be for $4 million. The imminent sale will resurface on the front page several times during the next year, but it will never happen.
In his first game outside of New York City, Jackie Robinson has two hits and scores twice in the Dodgers’ 6 – 5 loss to the Phillies. After the game, the Dodgers give their young first baseman a vote of confidence by selling Howie Schultz, Robby’s back-up, to the Phils for $50,000. The next day, Branch Rickey announces he’s giving up his attempts to pry Johnny Mize away from the Giants.
Heralded Giant rookie Clint Hartung makes his first pitching appearance and throws six shutout innings of relief against the Braves. He will start 20 games and compile his best record at 9-7. He will also play seven games in the outfield and bat .309 for the year. But the Braves win today, 6 – 2, behind Warren Spahn.
In the second game of a Sunday doubleheader between the Pirates and the Dodgers, the umpire continues the game through a 7:00 P.M. curfew because he believes Pittsburgh to be stalling with a 5 – 4 lead. The Dodgers pass the Pirates for a 7 – 5 score, but Ralph Kiner hits a three-run home run to carry Pittsburgh to a 10 – 8 victory. The Pirates are fined $100 for violating the curfew and Kiner will end up tying Johnny Mize with 40 home runs.
The Indians sweep a pair at Fenway Park, beating the Red Sox, 4 – 1, in 10 innings, and 9 – 5. A Ted Williams homer in the opener is the only Sox score, while Ken Keltner belts a pair of homers. They both add another in the nitecap, but Larry Doby clouts a monstrous two-run shot to dead center for the Tribe.
Athletics C Wilmer (Billy) Shantz, brother of P Bobby Shantz, hits a grand slam, the first homer of his professional career. It comes off former A’s pitcher Harry Byrd, now with the Yanks. Shantz will hit just one more major league home run. Wilmer’s slam is all the offense for the A’s as the Yankees win, 7 – 4. The nitecap ends 1 – 1 after nine innings.
Roberto Clemente’s defensive gem and Ted Kluszewski’s leadoff, walk-off, 12th-inning blast over Forbes Field’s right field screen give Pittsburgh’s Ron Kline a complete-game, 1 – 0 victory over Philly ace, and future Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts. Neither Kline’s nor Klu’s heroics, however, could have come to pass without Clemente’s 4th-inning-ending eye-popper which turns what appears to be a sacrifice fly off the bat of Chico Fernandez into a double play. Clemente catches the ball and fires a perfect on-the-fly strike to the plate to nail a sliding Granny Hamner.
The Pirates’ most dangerous hitter, Roberto Clemente, leads his team to a 9 – 6 decision over San Francisco, going 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBI, but his scariest shot comes before the game and travels about 60 feet. Les Biederman of The Sporting News reports: “Gino Cimoli can attest that Roberto Clemente hits the ball as hard as any batter in the league. Cimoli was pitching the final turn in batting practice before the night game with the Giants at Forbes Field when Clemente hit the last pitch before the Giants stepped into the cage. It was a liner that caught Cimoli on the left side below the heart and he went down in a heap. The Pirates outfielder walked off under his own steam. X-rays failed to reveal a fracture although Cimoli had a badly bruised side from the terrific impact of the ball.”
At San Francisco, the Braves and Giants split a pair. After the Giants win the opener, 5 – 2, the Braves take the nitecap, 6 – 5, in 11 innings. Orlando Cepeda connects for a grand slam and solo homer for Atlanta, while Willie McCovey has a three-run home run for San Francisco. The Braves win it in the 10th when Ralph Garr scores after collecting his fourth hit.
Career triple No. 160 for Roberto Clemente puts Pittsburgh up, 1 – 0, on Atlanta and the Bucs never look back. Clemente comes home on Richie Hebner’s single and solo home runs from Willie Stargell and Dave Cashprovide Pittsburgh’s next two runs. Cash’s 8th-inning RBI double supplies additional insurance and reliever Bruce Kison responds with a perfect 8th and 9th to nail down the 5 – 2 win for starter Dock Ellis.
Louisville OF Bernard Gilkey sets an American Association record by collecting three hits – two singles and a home run – in the Redbirds’ 16-run 3rd inning against the Nashville Sounds. 21 players collect 14 hits in the frame. The Redbirds win, 18 – 4, after losing to the Sounds the previous day, 17 – 5.
The Cleveland Indians tie a major league record by scoring eight runs in the 1st inning before making an out. Seven of the runs score as the results of home runs, including Kenny Lofton’s leadoff round-tripper, Paul Sorrento’s grand slam and Carlos Baerga’s two-run blast. Cleveland goes on to a 10 – 0 victory behind Orel Hershiser and Paul Assenmacher.
Against the Royals in the 6th inning, the Yankees catch Jay Bell in a rundown when Bell is suddenly called out by umpire Dale Ford, who thinks he passed the preceding baserunner, Jose Offerman. Offerman, however, had been forced out at third base. Royals’ manager Bob Boone argues until the umps agree and put runners back at second and third and call for a resumption of play. Chili Davis then lines a two-run single off Kenny Rogers to tie the score. The Royals win, 7 – 5, in 12 innings, with the victory going to Randy Veres. The Yanks protest that the rundown play should not have been reversed. Gene Budig will dismiss the protest, stating that with the rundown there were several scenarios where Bell could have escaped a tag.
After starting with a single, Marshall McDougall hits six consecutive home runs and drives in 16 runs in a 26 – 2 rout of Maryland. The Florida State junior second baseman, who will briefly play in the majors with the Texas Rangers, breaks existing NCAA records for runs batted in and homers in a single game. His mark breaks the home run record set by Henry Rochelle of Campbell University, who hit five homers in a game in 1985. The RBI mark was held by Jim LaFountain of Louisville who drove in 14 against Western Kentucky University in 1976.
Red Sox 2B Chris Stynes, who had three hits in the previous day’s win, suffers two fractures in his left cheekbone when he is hit by an Aaron Sele pitch in the 2nd inning. He will miss six weeks. Seattle breaks a 5 – 5 tie in the 8th on John Olerud’s double to win, 10 – 5. David Bell has four RBI for the M’s, while Trot Nixon homers and Manny Ramirez and Troy O’Leary go back-to-back in the 4th.
The LG Twins top the Samsung Lions, 5 – 1. Samsung veteran Joon-hyuk Yang hits a solo homer off Taek-hyun Ryu for his 341st career homer, breaking Jong-hoon Jang’s all-time Korea Baseball Organization record. Yang has never led the KBO in home runs in a season, though he has finished second three times. This gives him the all-time KBO records for hits, homers, walks, runs, RBI, doubles and total bases.
Dallas Braden pitches the 19th perfect game in major league history as the Oakland A’s defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, owners of the best record and best offense in the majors coming into the game, 4 – 0. Braden’s is the second perfect game in franchise history, following that of Catfish Hunter on May 8, 1968; it also comes less than ten months after Mark Buehrle pitched the last perfecto, also against the Rays, on July 23, 2009.
With their offense out of gas, the Mariners fire hitting coach Alan Cockrell and replace him with AAA hitting instructor Alonzo Powell. Seattle is hitting only .225 and has been outhomered as a team by Paul Konerko of the White Sox. The M’s respond to the change with an 8 – 1 win over the Angels as Michael Saunders hits his first major league homer and Josh Wilson also goes deep. Jason Vargas is the beneficiary of the offensive outburst.
The Pirates beat the Dodgers, 4 – 1, at PNC Park, to move their record to 18-17, the first time they have had a winning record this late in the season since 2004. The game turns in the 8th inning; with the score tied, 1 – 1, Pirates LF Jose Tabata dives to catch a line drive off the bat of Jose Uribe, and then doubles Matt Kemp off first base. Uribe and manager Don Mattingly both argue that the ball was trapped, not caught, as television replays confirm, but are ejected by umpire Mike DiMuro for pressing their case too vehemently. In the bottom of the frame, Neil Walker drives in pinch-runner Xavier Paul with a double off Chad Billingsley to break the tie, then Lyle Overbay and Ryan Doumit follow with doubles of their own to put the game away.
The Yankees find out what it’s like not to have the greatest closer in history available to pitch for them, as David Robertson blows a 1 – 0, 9th-inning lead against the Rays. He loads the bases quickly, then gives up a game-tying sacrifice fly to B.J. Upton and a three-run homer to Matt Joyce as Tampa Bay wins, 4 – 1. These are the first runs given up by Robertson this year; he had been successful in his first opportunity to close in place of the injured Mariano Rivera on May 8th.
The Angels defeat the Astros, 6 – 5, in a game played under protest. Angels manager Mike Scioscia objects when home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth allows Houston manager Bo Porter to replace reliever Wesley Wrightwith Hector Ambriz before Wright has faced a single batter in the top of the 7th. This is in apparent contradiction to rule 3.05 (b), that explicitly states that “the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at-bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury.” The Angels, who trail 5 – 3 at the time of the controversial call, drop the protest as they win the game on Mark Trumbo’s two-run homer and Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly; for his part, Culbreth refuses to give an explanation for his errant call but the Commissioner’s office will suspend him for two days for his egregious misinterpretation of the rule.
Yu Darvish comes within one out of throwing a no-hitter as the Rangers’ ace allows a single to David Ortiz with two outs in the 9th. Darvish then comes out and Alexi Ogando retires Mike Napoli to end the game with Texas winning, 8 – 0, over the Red Sox. Ortiz had broken up Darvish’s bid for a perfect game two innings earlier when his pop fly to shallow right dropped between 2B Rougned Odor and RF Alex Rios in the 7th; Rios was charged with an error on that play, however, and Darvish allowed a couple of walks before facing Ortiz again. It’s a case of déjà vu for Darvish, as he has previously come within an out of a perfect game on April 2, 2013. On May 14th, Major League Baseball will overturn official scorer Steve Weller’s ruling on Ortiz’s 7th-inning blooper, calling it a hit as well.
Bryce Harper continues his insanely hot streak, as he connects for a two-run walk-off homer against Cody Martin to give the Nationals an 8 – 6 win over the Braves. This comes a day after he became the youngest player ever to hit five homers in two days; he is also the first player in ten years to have hit 6 homers in 3 games, since Hee-Seop Choi in 2005.
The Pirates become the first team in major league history to turn a 4-5-4 triple play in their 7 – 5 win over the Cardinals. With runners on second and third base in the 2nd inning, Yadier Molina lines out to 2B Neil Walker, who throws to 3B Jung Ho Kang to double off Jhonny Peralta; Kang then throws back to Walker who gets to second base ahead of Jason Heyward, who freezes between second and third base.
5/9/2016: In the bottom of the second inning, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto’s fly to CF just cleared the fence. Marcell Ozuna returned to 1B in case the ball was caught as Realmuto rounded the 1B bag. No call was made on the play and Realmuto continued around the bases behind Ozuna, Crew chief Brian Gorman requested a review, which overturned the call to passing a runner. Realmuto was called out and Ozuna scored. Realmuto was credited with an RBI single.
The Yankees take sole possession of first place in the AL East with a 9 – 6 win over the Red Sox, their 17th win in their last 18 games. Boston has a 6 – 5 lead going into the bottom of the 8th, but relievers Matt Barnesand Craig Kimbrel get tagged for four runs, on a two-run triple by Brett Gardner and a homer by Aaron Judge. Gardner, who was hitting just .198 coming into the game, adds a pair of doubles and scores three runs.
In a game in Cincinnati, the Mets gave a lineup card to the home plate umpire that was not the same as the one they posted in the dugout. The official one had Astrubal Cabrera hitting second and Wilmer Flores third, but the one in the dugout had them in the reverse order. In the top of the first, Brandon Nimmo led off and struck out. Flores came up next, out of order, and also fanned. Naturally, the Reds did not object. Cabrera then hit a ground rule double. When Jay Bruce, the #4 hitter on both lineup cards came up, the Reds pointed out that Bruce should have hit after Flores because an accepted out of turn play resets the position in the lineup, and Bruce followed Flores on the umpire’s card. Bruce, the correct batter was called out, and Cabrera’s double was eliminated effectively meaning that Cabrera did not bat in the first inning. Adrian Gonzalez, the #5 hitter, correctly led off in the top of the second and singled. The Reds asked about it, and the umpire ruled properly that the single stood. For the rest of the game, Cabrera batted in the #2 slot as he should have in the first.
With a solo homer in the 3rd inning in a 13 – 0 win against the Tigers, Albert Pujols of the Angels becomes the fifth player in major league history to collect 2,000 RBIs. Many articles say he is just the third player to reach the milestone, but that is discounting the 224 RBIs collected by Babe Ruth before the statistic became official in 1920, placing him above the threshold, and the entire career of 19th century great Cap Anson.
2007 – Woody Williams, a Houston native signed at age 40 as a free agent, gets his first win as an Astro in eight starts. The righthander gets the gamewinning hit as well, a bloop single to right for a 3-2 victory in Cincinnati. Lance Berkman supplies the other two runs with a homer in the third. Criag Biggio leads off the game with a double, the 646th of his career to tie Carl Yastrzemski for seventh all time. It’s his 2,963rd career hit.
1983 – Phil Garner scores the winning run while ex-Astro Danny Heep argues the call of first base ump Terry Tata in a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets. Tata had ruled that Jose Cruz beat Heep to the bag on a roller to first. Nobody calls for time and Garner alertly speeds home. Garner’s double off the third base bag had scored Omar Moreno and Dickie Thon to set up the go-ahead moment.