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Monday, March 14, 2016

Babe Ruth, the pitcher, pinch hit in his first World Series appearance.

Here are some interesting facts about and surrounding Babe Ruth from early in his career as a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

Babe Ruth pitching in 1916 allowed ZERO home runs in 323 innings. Davis and Herrera in 2014: zero HR. Friday, March 11, 2016

Babe Ruth led the American League in 1916:
ERA 1.75
Starts 40
Shutouts 9
ERA+ 159
H9 6.4
HR9 0 (that's how I noticed) ...

Pitching for the Red Sox the Babe did, however, allow an inside the park home run in the first inning of game two of the 1916 World Series to center fielder Hi Meyers of the Brooklyn Dodgers in Braves Field in Boston before 47,373 fans. Ruth went all the way and won 2-1 in 14 innings ...
File:Babe Ruth pitching.jpg
Boston Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth
Cominsky Park, Chicago 1914
Born: February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, MD
High School: St. Mary's HS (Baltimore, MD)
Debut: July 11, 1914 Age 19

Ruth pitched 23 innings in four games in 1914 at age 19. The Red Sox were 91-62 for manager Bill Carrigan but finished second.

In 1915 Carrigan's Red Sox won the first of two consecutive American League pennants. The starting pitchers:

1SPRube Foster27198.7042.11373322151255.1217836038682101510101323.051.1877.
2SPErnie Shore24198.7041.64383231740247.020775453661024149781702.591.1057.
3SPBabe Ruth*20188.6922.44322831610217.216680593851126198741142.811.1536.
4SPDutch Leonard*23157.6822.36322171020183.1130574836711614127051192.681.0756.
5SPSmoky Joe Wood25155.7501.49251681032157.11203226144631036001882.551.0426.

Ruth played no position other than pitching. The Red Sox won the 1915 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1. The Red Sox used three pitchers.

Playoff Series StatsRegular Season Stats
Rube Foster222.00200218.012542130.77837332.111981255.121786821.187
Dutch Leonard111.0010019.0311060.33332212.361570183.1130671161.075
Ernie Shore222.12110217.01244861.17638321.641980247.0207661021.105
They pitched complete games in this order: Shore (L), Foster, Leonard, Shore, Foster.

Game one
Friday, October 8, 1915, Baker Bowl
Attendance: 19,343, Time of Game: 1:58
Phillies 3, Red Sox 1

Top of the 9th, Red Sox Batting, Behind 1-3, Phillies' Pete Alexander facing 7-8-9
one out, one on
Babe Ruth pinch hits for Ernie Shore (P) batting 9th
Groundout: 1B unassisted; Henriksen to 2B

Presumably, had the Red Sox tied the game such as on a dramatic home run by Ruth he would have stayed in the game and pitched the tenth inning. That ground out was the only appearance by the 20 year old starting pitcher.

But why have Ruth pinch hit? Not that they tracked such things but in 1915 Ruth had OPS+ 188, i.e., 88% above league average. And in 92 at bats (AB) Ruth had hit four home runs, tied with six others for ninth most; Braggo Roth led the AL with 7. Roth hit three (2 IPHR) for the White Sox and four for the Indians (one off Shore), all on the road.

In 1918, Boston's last World Series winning year until 2004, Ruth started 19 games as a pitcher: 166 innings, 13-7, 2.22 ERA. But that season Ruth played more as a non-pitcher and tied with Tillie Walker of the Philadelphia As for most home runs with 11 in 317 AB; Walker in 414 AB had one homer that bounced over the fence under the old rule that prevailed through 1930. Ruth never had a bouncing home run in his career. Ruth's home run log through 1918:

1915 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRoBRBIBOPPosWPAbWENotesPlay Description
11111915-05-06BOS@NYYJack Warhopt 30---191
22211915-06-02BOS@NYYJack Warhopt 22---291
33311915-06-25BOSNYYRay Caldwellb 2---31
44411915-07-21BOS@SLBBill Jamest 3---11
1916 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRoBRBIBOPPosWPAbWENotesPlay Description
55111916-06-09BOS@DETJean Dubuct 3---11
66211916-06-12BOS@SLBJim Parkt 72---3PH
77311916-06-13BOS@SLBDave Davenportt 3---11
1917 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRoBRBIBOPPosWPAbWENotesPlay Description
88111917-08-10 (1)BOSDETBill Jamesb 5---11
99211917-09-15BOS@NYYEd Monroet 9---291
1918 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRoBRBIBOPPosWPAbWENotesPlay Description
1010111918-05-04BOS@NYYAllen Russellbehind 1-4t 7---291
1111211918-05-06BOS@NYYGeorge Mogridget 4---263
1212311918-05-07BOS@WSHWalter Johnsont 6---243
1313411918-06-02BOS@DETEric Ericksonbehind 0-4t 6---191
1414511918-06-03BOS@DETHooks Dausst 1---18
1515611918-06-04BOS@DETBill Jamest 6---238
1616711918-06-05BOS@CLEJohnny Enzmannt 6---238
1717811918-06-15BOS@SLBTom Rogerst 72---347
1818911918-06-25BOS@NYYAllen Russellt 12---248
19191011918-06-28BOS@WSHHarry Harpert 7---148
20201111918-06-30BOS@WSHWalter Johnsont 102---238
All eleven in 1918 were on the road. In 1919, Ruth's last with the Red Sox, he set a new season home run record with 29, 20 on the road.

Babe Ruth pinch hit for pitcher Ernie Shore in that 1915 WS opening game. They had been teammates on the minor league Baltimore Orioles and then were "sold" to the Red Sox in 1914. They combined for a no-hitter for which Shore was ultimately credited. Ruth walked the first batter and was ejected for arguing. Shore relieved, the runner was thrown out trying to steal and Shore retired 26 on his own.

Saturday, June 23, 1917, Fenway Park
Attendance: 16,158, Time of Game: 1:40
First game of doubleheader
Red Sox 4, Senators 0

Babe Ruth00001002.35149
Ernie Shore, W (7-4)90000201.7626
Team Totals90001200.002749
Data from baseball-reference.com

1 comment:

Kenneth Matinale said...

From a reader:

Ruth was a piker-
Red Ruffing pinch-hit four times in World Series play, including twice in 1942. But the record holders are Doc Crandall and Jack Bentley with five times each.

CC pinch-hit in game 4 of the 2008 NLDS:

Most recently, in the 2011 MBL finals, two pitchers pinch-hit in the same plate appearance:

Cliff Blau