Tag: Tom Glavine

New York Mets: Pitchers Who Have Come Closest to the Team’s First No-Hitter

The Mets reached a dubious milestone on Friday night against the Miami Marlins. A first-inning triple by Jose Reyes thwarted the possibility of a no-hitter for the 8,000th time in Mets history.

The no no-no’s streak is surprising not just for its 50-year span. The Mets have had any number of pitchers capable of blanking an opponent for nine innings.

In fact, seven pitchers have thrown no-hitters after leaving the Mets, according to NoNoHitters.com, a website that keeps a running update of the Mets’ futility. Another 10 came to the Mets with no-hitters under their belts.

Nolan Ryan, of course, posted seven no-hitters in his post-Mets career. Tom Seaver threw one for the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, the season following his departure from New York. Dwight Gooden and David Cone added further insult by pitching no-hitters for the Yankees.

Hideo Nomo and Mike Scott also chalked up no-hitters after leaving the Mets. The most recent Mets alum on the list is Philip Humber, who pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history for the Chicago White Sox last month.

The Mets have come close to breaking into the no-hit club. There have been 35 one-hitters in team history. In some of them, an early inning hit was followed by pitching perfection.

Many others were denied in the late innings. Here are six that were stopped in the eighth and ninth innings.

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Atlanta Braves History: Greatest Players of the 1990s

The 1990s were the start of greatness for the Atlanta Braves.

It was the start of 14-straight division titles, where the staple for the Braves was pitching.

Throughout the decade, the Braves won a total of 925 games.

After a dismal 1990 season where they went 65-97, the Braves went worst-to-first in 1991, making it all the way to the World Series where they lost to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

The next year, the Braves saw the same kind of success in the National League, again making it to the World Series. However, the Braves fell again, this time to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games.

Many players made their mark on the Braves throughout the 90s. Here’s a look at the 10 best.

Note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on the best Braves of each decade.

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MLB Power Rankings: The Top 10 Brother Talent Gaps in Baseball History

The Seattle Mariners recently signed Moises Hernandez to a minor league contract. Not a huge deal, right? Well, he’s the brother of reigning AL Cy Young Felix Hernandez.

I’ll get into more specifics on that later in the next slide.

I started to think, though. How many other brother combinations have there been, and often did the shared genes translated to shared talent? The best duo was Lloyd and Paul Waner, who are both hall of famers.

After that, there were some combos who both played in the major leagues, but it became apparent that sharing the same parents is about all most of these guys had in common.

This list will be solely for brothers who had large disparities in baseball talent. For a related piece, check out Asher Chancey‘s top 50 list that looks at all sports and relatives.

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MLB Hall Of Fame: Why Curt Schilling Should Not Make It In 2013 Or Ever

I realize that Curt Schilling will not be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2013, if I have done my math correctly. I don’t feel it is too early to discuss his probability of making it to Cooperstown without a ticket.

I have heard some announcers call him (while he was still pitching) a future Hall of Famer. That irks me to no end. It did then and it does now.

Some people are locks for enshrinement. Randy Johnson is one and Tom Glavine is another. Curt Schilling is not.

Am I saying he won’t get in? No, but I don’t think he should. I don’t see him jumping over the bar in any particular category.

I can see all of you young guns snarling and getting ready to rebut me with a volley of SABRmetrics. Save it, I am old school and I don’t subscribe to much of that. If I wanted to learn more math I would have stayed in school longer.

Look at his career for a moment if you will. What did he do?

Okay, he was a 20-game winner three times. That is impressive, but so did Tommy John and it didn’t do him any good. Not even with 288 wins and 46 shutouts.

Schilling won 216 games with only 20 shutouts.  That is hardly impressive, I don’t care who you are.

Milt Pappas pitched 43 shutouts.  Jim Kaat pitched 31 of them and won 283, he still has to buy a ticket if he wants in.

His 3.46 ERA is mediocre at best. Kaat beat him there as well, albeit by only one-hundredth of a point.

Billy Pierce also had numbers which are compatible with Schilling’s. He won 211 games and tossed 38 shutouts with a decent ERA of 3.27.

How about awards, did Schilling win any Cy Young Awards? No, the best he ever did was finish runner-up. John did that as well, twice.

How about All-Star squads? Schilling was on six AS squads in a 15-year career while Pierce was on seven.

Schilling was very good in ringing batters up. He had over 300 K’s three different seasons, and led the league in two of them. I certainly hope that is not what supposedly separates him from the riffraff.

His WHIP ranks 46th on the all time list, giving him honor where it is due.

How about World Series experience? Not playoffs, did you say playoffs? I am not talking about playoffs; playoffs didn’t exist until the late sixties. Let’s talk World Series.

He is 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA, very good indeed. Pierce was 1-1 with a 1.89 Earnie.

A pitcher can get away with fewer than 250 wins, only if he is Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Schilling was never the dominant pitcher either Koufax or Gibson was.

Schilling, in my view should be relegated to the Hall of Very Good with Tommy John, Billy Pierce and Jim Kaat.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tim Lincecum and The 10 Greatest World Series-Clinching Pitching Gems

In his young career, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants has accomplished some pretty special things on a pitching mound. Already owning two Cy Young awards, he has now added a World Series title, in which he out-pitched Cliff Lee in the clinching game to earn the Giants their first title since moving out west from New York.

Lincecum and his merry band of outsiders, otherwise known as the 2010 San Francisco Giants, out-pitched, outhit, and outclassed the Texas Rangers in every facet of the game, earning themselves baseball’s most coveted prize, the title of World Series Champions.

Facing an offensive powerhouse, led by leading American League MVP candidate, Josh Hamilton, as well a pitching staff headed by modern postseason legend, Cliff Lee, the San Francisco Giants weren’t expected to have much of a chance against the Texas Rangers. Relishing the underdog nature of their title challenge, the Giants went to work, with several dominant pitching performances and a rotating cast of characters providing heroics each night.

The resulting five game World Series victory is the Giants’ first championship since 1954, and the lone title they have won since relocating to San Francisco prior to the 1958 season.

Led by their own pitching phenom, Tim Lincecum, the Giants proved that strong pitching is the key to baseball postseason success. Lincecum’s stellar effort, coming five days after an uneven Game 1 start, would be enough to stifle the powerful Rangers and claim the championship.

San Francisco’s unorthodox right-hander already authored a classic postseason start in his personal playoff debut during the NLDS, but his World Series clinching Game 5 performance will stand as one of the greatest clinching performances baseball has seen.

Let’s see where Lincecum’s gem ranks among the greatest World Series clinching, starting pitching performances of all time.

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Bobby Cox and the Atlanta Braves: Celebrating a Great Manager’s Career

Whatifsports.com presents Bobby Cox and the Braves. From a World Series title to holding the record for most ejections, Atlanta Braves skipper Bobby Cox has blessed Braves nation with memories to last a lifetime. To celebrate his impending retirement, we have created this 16-team tournament of Bobby’s best Braves ballclubs.

Each best-of-seven series was played out using our “MLB Simulation Engine.” Final win/loss tallies for each series are provided in the main bracket. Below the main bracket is a summary of Bobby and the Braves championship series.

You can simulate any game in the tournament yourself by clicking on the underlined team name in the main bracket. In addition, you can create your own “Atlanta Braves Dream Team” by drafting past and present players. It’s all free!

Bobby Cox‘s career as a major league third basemen lasted two seasons with the New York Yankees. His 29 seasons as manager of the Atlanta Braves will last the test of time.

Much like you and I wake to see the sun in the sky, Braves nation expects to see Bobby in the dugout. His bench is a throne to which he sits and remains humble until an umpire ignites a fire in his belly. His players, sandlot samurais, are happy to do the dirty work on the field. Eric Hinske recently told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Cox is like a mob boss. People fetch him things whether it be a chair, coffee, or water.

That’s respect.

In turn, Whatifsports.com and Fox Sports South have partnered up to honor Bobby Cox in his final season with the Atlanta Braves. We have created Bobby and the Braves: A 16-team Tournament featuring some of Cox’s best rosters.

As you can see in the bracket above, we’ve whittled the field down to two. The 1997 Braves versus the 1993 Braves in the championship series is no big surprise. The two ball clubs combined for 205 wins. In both seasons though, neither captured the National League pennant.

The ’93 Braves featured a starting rotation that caused many owners to drool. Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Steve Avery won 75 games for the Braves that season. The pitching staff as a whole possessed the lowest ERA in the majors at 3.14. Atlanta also had a little pop to their bat leading the NL in home runs that season with 169 led by David Justice‘s 40 dingers.

Fast forward four seasons to 1997. Gone was Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium as the Braves moved across the street to Turner Field. But constants remained within the organization. Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, and Denny Neagle anchored the rotation and once again the Braves led the majors in ERA at 3.18.

The other constant was Bobby Cox. The skipper was 52 and 56 years old, respectively, when he led these two teams to 100+ wins and deep into the postseason.

As you may have guessed, this series took seven games to crown a champion. But in the end it came down to, of all things, pitching. So, cliche.


Game 1 Summary

Greg Maddux threw a complete game two-hitter for the 1993 Braves and drove in two runs on a RBI double en route to a rout 9-0. Ron Gant and Jeff Blauser chipped in two ribbies apiece. The 1993 Braves led the series 1-0.

Game 2 Summary

This time it was Tom Glavine for the 1997 Braves handcuffing hitters. The southpaw threw seven scoreless innings while his Atlanta teammates built him a five-run cushion. Michael Tucker provided the offense, beating up John Smoltz and driving in four runs on the night. The 1997 Braves win 5-1.


Game 3 Summary

OK, 1997 Glavine good, but 1993 Glavine bad. Tommy Boy didn’t make it out of the fifth inning of Game 3, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Andruw Jones led the way on offense for the ’97 Braves (4 RBIs) and Denny Neagle did some work on the mound, only giving up three hits in his seven innings of work. The 1997 Braves take a 2-1 series lead, winning 9-1.


Game 4 Summary

It’s a good thing the Braves traded for Kenny Lofton before the 1997 season because they really benefited from his services in Game 4. The speedy leadoff hitter smacked four base hits and drove in two runs. Greg Maddux 1997 matched his Game 1 counterpart by locking down the 1993 Braves for seven innings. He struck out six, walked none, and scattered six hits. Ron Gant crushed his second homer of the series for the 1993 Braves, but in a losing effort. The ’97 Braves need one more win to win the best-of-seven series, winning 6-2. 


Game 5 Summary

In a must-win Game 5, the 1993 Braves dealt with an early deficit, but rallied to send the game into extra innings tied at five. In the top of the 12th, Rafael Belliard smoked a double to the gap in right. Ron Gant scored, but Sid Bream was gunned down at the plate. Clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom half of the 12th, the 1997 Braves moved the tying run into scoring position. Mark Lemke had a chance to be the hero, but ended up a zero. He flew out to end the ball game. The 1993 Braves force a Game 6, winning 6-5 in 12 innings.


Game 6 Summary

If the 1993 Atlanta Braves truly wanted to win the Bobby and the Braves tournament, they had a funny way of proving it. In their second win or go home elimination game, the ’93 Braves fell behind 4-0 though five innings. But they did not panic and rallied back in the top of the seventh, behind a three-run burst, all with two outs in the inning.

Once again these two ball clubs would need extra innings to decide a winner. Tied at four in the top of the 10th, and again with two outs, the 1993 Braves come up clutch. Otis Nixon hit a single back up the box and into center plating Bill Pecota.

Then with the bases loaded, Ron Gant was hit by a pitch. The 1997 Braves needed two runs in the bottom of the 10th to further the game, trailing 6-4, but their bats fell silent. The 1993 Braves were one win away from the improbable. The series was all square at three games apiece.


Game 7 Summary

>>Game 7 Boxscore

Two harmless solo home runs in the first two innings of an epic pitching duel ended up being the difference in Game 7. Jeff Blauser‘s first inning dinger barely cleared the wall and David Justice hit a long ball to center the following inning for the 1993 Braves.

Denny Neagle did all he could to keep his 1997 Braves in the ball game. Besides the two home runs, he only rendered two more hits in his seven innings of work.

Tom Glavine just happened to be in the zone on this night. He pitched 8.2 innings of scoreless baseball, making way for Mike Stanton to close the door on the game and complete an incredible comeback in the best-of-seven series.

The 1993 Braves win Game 7, 2-0.

The 1993 Atlanta Braves rally back to win the title and Bobby Cox exits baseball’s grand stage the way he should: a winner.

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Tom Glavine: A Look Back at an Atlanta Braves Icon

On Friday, August 6, the Atlanta Braves will retire number 47, the number that Tom Glavine wore while pitching the majority of his career in Atlanta.

Drafted in the second round back in 1984, Glavine decided passed up a chance at a hockey career (he was a fourth-round pick in the NHL’s draft) to pitch for the Atlanta Braves.

After pitching well in AAA for the majority of the 1987 season, Glavine was called up to Atlanta and made his MLB debut on August 17 . In his first start, he allowed six runs in just 3.2 innings. Overall, his 1987 major league campaign was forgettable.

1988 was better (ERA-wise) but Glavine led the league in losses. By 1989, Glavine started to figure things out, going 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA.

After a solid (but unspectacular) 1990 season, Glavine (and the Braves) started creating their legacy in 1991.

The 1991 edition of the Atlanta Braves went from worst to first, in large part thanks to Tom Glavine. With a league leading 20 wins and a sparkling 2.55 ERA, Glavine won his first Cy Young award and led the league in ERA+. Although the Braves eventually lost in the World Series, their dynasty had started.

Glavine picked up where he left off in 1992, winning 20 games for the second year in a row, and finishing second in Cy Young voting.

The Braves dynasty started a new era in 1993. The Braves signed free agent Greg Maddux, who, along with Glavine and John Smoltz, became the “Big Three” in Atlanta. Although Maddux won the 1993 Cy Young, Glavine led the team in wins with 22.

To say the least, 1995 was a special year for Glavine and the Braves. After the strike-shortened 1994 season, the Braves won the NL East for the third straight year, and eventually made it back to the World Series.

With the Braves leading the series 3-2, Glavine got the ball in game six. Glavine was at his finest, shutting down the Cleveland lineup for eight innings. Although the Braves managed to push just one run across, Glavine made it stand up. He allowed just one hit while striking out eight before giving way to Mark Wohlers.

When Wohlers recorded the final out, the Braves were World Series Champions and Glavine was named Series MVP.  Although Glavine went on to pitch seven more seasons for the Braves before departing to the Mets, the World Series win was his signature moment with the Braves.

In 2007, Glavine won his 300th game while with the Mets, essentially guaranteeing himself a spot in Cooperstown.

Glavine returned to Atlanta for the 2008 (and 2009) season, but was a shade of his former self, and retired from baseball after the Braves released him.

Glavine finished his career with 305 wins and a 3.54 ERA. He won 20 or more games five different times. Glavine appeared on 10 All-Star teams, and won two Cy Young Awards and four Silver Sluggers.

But Glavine’s legacy to the Braves goes deeper than the jaw-dropping numbers. He was a member of possibly the greatest pitching three-some of all time. He, along with Maddux and Smoltz defined a Braves team that won an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles.

Just about every Braves home game, it seems that the television cameras found the picture of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. To say the least, the three are all Atlanta icons. Three aces on one team, a feat which may never again be accomplished.

Glavine even wrote a book about his time with the Braves (and their World Series win): None but the Braves: A Pitcher, A Team, A Champion.

But Glavine has something that neither Smoltz nor Maddux have: a World Series MVP. Glavine’s masterpiece was probably the most memorable game that the Braves have played during their time in Atlanta.

Glavine was part of an iconic pitching staff, and will be inducted into the Braves Hall-of-Fame on Friday. Without a doubt, this will just be practice for Glavine’s eventual call to Cooperstown.

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CC Sabathia vs. Tim Lincecum: Which Pitcher Is More At Risk for Injury?

Two pitchers with heavily decorated resumes.

The first, CC Sabathia, has more of a track record and is completing his 10th full season in the Majors.

The second, Tim Lincecum, affectionately known as “The Freak,” is in his fourth season, and has two Cy Young Awards.

However, both are known as workhorses, the proverbial baseball term that gives revered status to those pitchers who miss very few starts to injury and normally throw 200-plus innings per season.

Based upon their sizes, both Sabathia and Lincecum are on the opposite ends of the spectrum of pitchers you would consider workhorses.

CC is a hulky 6’7″ 290-pound behemoth, while Lincecum stands 5’11” and 170 pounds. Yes, even though Tiny Tim appears more slight, he is listed at 170.

Both have thrown a lot of innings in their careers. Sabathia has averaged 31 starts and 210 innings during his first nine full seasons, while Lincecum has averaged 32 starts and 226 innings in his only two full seasons.

In today’s game, those are huge amounts of innings…but somewhere Steve Carlton is laughing.

Both pitchers are headed for similar (if not higher) numbers this year. CC has made 20 starts and Lincecum 19, with both having double-digit wins once again.

Interestingly enough, Sabathia is the only active MLB pitcher who has double-digit wins and a winning record in each season of his career.

But with the similarities between the two pitchers (team workhorse aces) and their differences (body type), which hurler is the more likely pitcher to eventually break down?

I don’t think either one will break down anytime soon. Both have pretty good pitching mechanics. Their arm actions are great, putting less stress on their elbows and shoulders.

But history does provide a glimpse of those types of pitchers who have long careers, and they are not usually the slight of build guys.

There have been 70 pitchers in baseball history who have thrown 3500-plus innings. The leader, of course, is Cy Young, with a ridiculous 7,356 innings. It doesn’t matter what era you are pitching in, that is a preposterous amount of innings.

So, of all these 70 pitchers, only eight are of the recent era. They are Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, Dennis Martinez, Jack Morris, and Mike Mussina.

All of the other 62 pitchers played the bulk of their careers before the 1980s.

Almost all of these 70 pitchers were six feet tall or bigger. Ten were under six feet tall, and all but one played before the 20th century, when pitchers threw with less velocity but more often during a season.

The only pitcher under six feet tall who pitched in the modern era was Whitey Ford, who tipped the scales at a robust 5’10”, 178 pounds.

But Ford was a soft-tossing left-handed pitcher who would pepper the corners with moderate fastballs, change ups, and cut pitches (literally). Similar to Glavine, minus the cut balls.

There are not many smallish built pitchers who throw many innings, especially hard-throwing slight of build pitchers like Lincecum. Even Pedro Martinez and his lengthy career, has thrown only 2,827 innings, and he is similar in size to Lincecum with the same velocity.

Martinez, who had tremendous pitching mechanics, ended up having rotator cuff surgery in 2006. His rotator cuff issues began back in 2001 (at age 29) when he missed a good chunk of that year to the injured shoulder.

Lincecum is now 26 years old, but at the same age, Pedro had thrown about 300 more innings than Lincecum will throw this season.  

Sabathia, as of this writing, has thrown 2,027 innings. That is good for 404th place all time. At his current rate, CC will move into the 360th-place range.

He has a workhorse frame, and even with the seven postseason series (and 61 more innings), Sabathia looks as strong as the day he broke into the Majors.

With his slight build, Lincecum should not compile as long a Major League career as Sabathia. He may not break down for major arm surgery like Pedro, but I would not bet against it.

History shows us smaller guys do not last as long or throw as many innings as bigger guys.

But both smaller and bigger guys end up getting surgery. That is the nature of the beast with pitchers.

They say pitchers’ careers are made with their legs, and the arms are just along for the ride. When the legs get tired, the arm gets tired, and that is when injuries occur.

That is why a Major League pitcher who is throwing around 120 pitches can still throw more if his legs are strong, but a guy can be wiped out after 90 if his legs are weak.

From the looks of both pitchers, it appears Sabathia’s legs have a bunch more strength than Lincecum’s.

For that reason, his size, and the longer history of sustained work with no ill effects, I believe CC Sabathia will have the longer career, logging many more innings than “The Freak.”

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Glavine’s Turbo Tanking and the Dawn of the Phillies Dynasty

On September 30, 2007, the New York Mets took the field needing a win and a Phillies loss to win the National League East and stave off one of the worst collapses in baseball history.

The Mets had been up on the Phils by seven games on September 12th, with 17 games to play.  Going into the final game, they’d improbably blown 11 of 16 games and went into the final game in a dead tie.

The Mets sent future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine to the mound that day to face off against a 70-91 Florida Marlins team playing for little more than pride at the end of a disappointing season.

What happened, of course, is part of baseball lore: Glavine gave up seven earned runs on five hits and two walks while retiring only one batter, the Mets’ season was over, and a Philadelphia dynasty was born.

In the biggest game of the year, needing one victory for a chance at the playoffs, Tom Glavine got Turbo Tanked.

What Does It Mean To Get Turbo Tanked?

Everyone knows what it means when a pitcher gets “tanked”—it means he gave up lots of runs.  It is a subjective standard, but generally speaking we’re talking about enough runs to lose the game, and usually enough runs to keep him from going five innings. Give up five runs in six innings of play, and you had a bad outing; give up six runs in three innings, and you got tanked.

But a Turbo Tanking has a far more specific definition.

A Turbo Tanking occurs any time a pitcher pitches so poorly that he can’t even get out of the first inning.  Whenever you see a number less than one in the innings pitched column and a big number in the runs column, it means the pitcher got Turbo Tanked.

We can only imagine what went through Dave Bush’s head when he took the mound against the Minnesota Twins on May 21st.  Perhaps he was feeling good.  Perhaps he was thinking he needed to pitch the whole game because Trevor Hoffman has been as reliable as the Postal Service.  I’d be willing to bet he was not thinking that he would be leaving the mound before his team even got a chance to bat, but that is exactly what happened.

Bush got Turbo Tanked.

How Bad Can a Turbo Tanking Get?

Glavine’s Turbo Tanking may have been one of the highest profile Turbo Tankings of all time, but it was certainly not the worst.  The title of “Worst Turbo Tanking of All Time” probably belongs to the Florida Marlins, in what was actually a team effort.

On June 27, 2003, the Marlins were in Boston for an interleague matchup featuring Carl Pavano and Byung-Hyun Kim.  Pavano had pitched well the game before against Tampa Bay, and by the time Pavano took the mound the Marlins had already staked him to a 1-0 lead.

The lead did not last.

Pavano faced six batters and got absolutely tagged—the Sox went double-single-double-home run-double-single and chased Pavano from the game after scoring five runs.  They brought Michael Tejera to the mound for the Marlins to pitch in relief of Pavano.  Except, Tejera came in and the Red Sox promptly went single-walk-single-triple-single off of him, tacking on five more runs and chasing him from the game.

The Marlins had used two pitchers and hadn’t recorded an out.

It wasn’t until Allen Levrault came into the game that the Marlins finally recorded their first out, and then a mere four runs later the inning was over, but not before Johnny Damon had come the plate for the third time.

At the end of the day, Pavano and Tejera had combined for the incredibly rare “Two-Man Turbo Tanking.” And, because neither Pavano and Tejera had not recorded a single out, it was also what we call a “Pure” Turbo Tanking.

Famous Turbo Tankings

The nice thing about a Turbo Tanking is that there is always the next game.  But that isn’t always a good thing.  We all know about Johnny Vander Meer’s consecutive no-hitters in 1938, but in 1933 Sad Sam Jones had back-to-back Turbo Tankings against the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics.

And for some Turbo Tankers, there is no tomorrow; the saddest Turbo Tanking is the Turbo Tanking that ends a player’s career.  There are none more famous than Nolan Ryan.

Ryan took the mound for the final time on September 22, 1993, against the Seattle Mariners.  Pitching to Ivan Rodriguez, Ryan gave up a leadoff single to Omar Vizquel, walked Rich Amaral and Ken Griffey, Jr., and then walked Jay Buhner to bring in the first run of the game.  The next batter hit a 1-2 pitch for a grand slam and Nolan Ryan left his final game without recording an out.

Charlie Hough would end his career in similar fashion the following year for the Marlins against the Phillies, giving up an HBP, three singles, a double, and a walk before being pulled from the game for the final time.

Nolan Ryan’s old teammate with the 1969 Mets, Jerry Koosman, also failed to finish the first inning in his final start on August 21, 1985.

How Does Knowing about Turbo Tankings Help Us?

We call it “taking one for the team,” when a pitcher stays in a game to give up tons of runs in a clearly lost game, thereby preserving the arms of the relief pitchers for another day.

But for a starting pitcher, taking a Turbo Tanking might also be considered “taking one for the team” in the sense that, if a manager can yank a struggling pitcher early enough it gives the pitcher’s team a chance to get back into the game.

This doesn’t happen as often as one might think, but just last season it happened to the Detroit Tigers; Armando Galarraga got Turbo Tanked, giving up five earned runs on four hits and three walks, but Jim Leyland got him out of there and the Tigers managed an 11-7 come-from-behind win.

Sometimes a Turbo Tanking can save a championship.  In Game Seven of the 1925 World Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Vic Aldridge a quick yank after he gave up four runs on two hits and three walks, and ended up winning the game, 9-7, and the Series against none other than Walter Johnson himself.

So What’s the Point of all This?

Baseball is all about happenings. We love it when a pitcher has a no-hitter going, when a batter is hitting for the cycle, when a fielder has an errorless streak, or when Bobby Cox is about to get tossed again to extend his Major League record.

Rarely is the average baseball fan aware, however, that when the starting pitcher fails to get out of the first inning, that too is a happening.

So, next time you are reminiscing about the Dawn of the Phillies Dynasty, you don’t have to say:

Remember that time the Mets sent Glavine to the mound with the season on the line and he gave up some many hits, walks, and runs that they had to take him out of the game before he could finish the first inning?

Instead, you can say:

“Hey, remember Glavine’s Turbo Tanking?”

We’ll all know what you mean.

Truly, it was one of the great moments in Phillies’ history.


Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia and is a co-founder of BaseballEvolution.com.

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