A couple of weeks ago, James D, noting that Julio scored twice in one inning, asked how often pitchers had achieved that feat. https://bravesjournal.us/2019/05/18/atlanta-12-milwaukee-8/#comment-2288195. Using BRef, I was able to answer a related question: how many times have pitchers scored twice in a game, and provided the recent list to James D, who laboriously figured out that the most recent earlier pitcher to accomplish this feat was Edwin Jackson on 4/11/2010.
People occasionally ask me (and by “people” I predominantly mean my wife) “Hey! You retired 16 months ago. What the heck are you doing with yourself?” My answer is that when something itches, I scratch. My inability to answer James D’s question really bugged me. So over last weekend (it can take a couple of weeks for the itch to become unbearable) I dumped every Retrosheet event from 1921-2018 (all 12.8 million of them) into a database that I can now query to answer almost any question like this. James D was correct, but I can now tell you that this feat has only occurred 45 times from 1921-2018. And I can further demonstrate that Julio’s feat is the third time this has happened in Braves franchise history. George Stone scored twice in the 2nd inning against Houston on 9/20/1972 and Johnny Sain did the same for the Boston Braves against Pittsburgh in the top of the 9th on 5/3/1950. Anyway, I can now answer lots of stupid questions like this, so ask away. This doesn’t entirely satisfy my wife’s criteria for a meaningful existence, but we’ll just have to wait for that itch to get unbearable, I guess.
As you all know, my retirement is actually only six days a week, because Wednesdays are devoted to you folks. And there was added pressure for two reasons: first, Roger finally came through with a Tuesday win; second, there was a phantom two hour rain delay that interfered with my normal game time inebriation schedule… the last few innings might be a little dicey.
City Limits Riley (or the Human Cheat Sheet, if you prefer) started the scoring in the second with a solid single knocking in the oddly underrated but appropriately paid Donaldson – by holding him to a single, Pittsburgh saved a run.
The lead didn’t last long. Gausman (how did I get him two weeks in a row?) ceded a two-run homer to someone called Elias Diaz. It was an unfortunate sign of my ethanol-affected state that when I looked him up, I mistakenly found the records for Einar Diaz who is now a coach at Gwinnett. I couldn’t figure out why Pittsburgh had a 46 year old catcher, though I wasn’t surprised that Gausman would give up a homer to a 46 year old catcher, or indeed, after an out, to the next five batters, all of whom hit safely, including pitcher Joe Musgrove. The Braves finally got out of the inning when Starling Marte foolishly tried to score from first on a Josh Bell double. He could have just waited his turn a hitter like everyone else did.
The first two pitches in the third were two more Pirates doubles. At this point Gausman had given up hits to seven straight batters. Einar (oops… Elias) then grounded out to break the streak. Wow… Seven straight hits. Isn’t that the worst effort by a starting pitcher… wait a minute! I have a database! It is not. In the bottom of the 4th inning on September 29, 1999. Greg Maddux gave up 8 straight hits to the Mets (at which point he was pulled for Kevin McGlinchy.) There are a few more examples in franchise history, but none in Atlanta. (Bob Forsch of Houston gave up 9 in a row in 1989.) So, to channel Chip, this outing by Gausman was historic, and the only Atlanta comparator is in the Hall of Fame. Prepare the plaque now.
So we got to the 9th and the Braves hadn’t stirred since the 2nd. Then they stirred. Acuna and Dansby hit meaningless 9th inning homers (well, Dansby’s had meaning for Joe because it was hit to right-center) and Markakis hit a run-scoring double, but Joe Musgrove is apparently going into the Hall of Fame as well if he can just figure out a way to face the Braves in every start.
Sorry for letting you down, Roger.