Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 21-27, 2015 Pitchers with 20+ wins and only 3 losses in the same season

Q.         Who was the most recent pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a single season?
Hint:     He is the only of those ever to win a Cy Young Award.
Hint:     He was a Tiger before he was a Tiger.
Twint:    His MLB debut was the longest in modern big league history by a pitcher who retired every batter he faced.
-  No-hitters in 2015:  20-Jun & 03-Oct.  The other pitchers with 2 no-no’s in one season:
(N.B. Roy Halladay pitched 2 no-hitters in 2010, the 1st, a perfect game on 26‑May; the 2nd was in the postseason, 06-Oct.  Halladay won CYA 2 X, in 2003 w/TOR and 2010 w/PHI.)
-  Attended the University of Missouri (Tigers) 2003-06; DET 2010-14
-  Debut 29-Apr-2008; 13 BF/13 straight outs
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah, GA
Incorrect answers:  Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, Virgil Trucks

Q.         Who is the only pitcher to finish in the top 3 of Cy Young Award voting recipients for 5 consecutive seasons?
Hint:     He finished in the top three in ERA in the majors over that same five-year span.
Hint:     He is the only BLTL NL MVP since Ryan Howard in 2006.
Twint:    He has founded a charity whose goal in 2015 was to, “…provide a better quality of life and give opportunities to vulnerable, underprivileged children”.
-  In CYA voting from 2011 to 2015 finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 3rd
-  In MLB ERA, finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 3rd
FCR -    Richard Marston, Manhattan, KS
Incorrect answers:  Greg Maddux, Zack Greinke, Randy Johnson

Q.         What pitcher won the American League pitching Triple Crown after over 50 years of no pitcher being able to do it?
Hint:     It was accomplished 5 times in the National League in that interim.
Hint:     It was his first year with that team.
Hint:     He won it again the next year.
Hint:     Those were the only two years he played on that team.
Twint:    The only right-hander with more career strikeouts is Nolan Ryan.
Twint:    He once played a character named “Skidmark” in a movie.
Hal Newhouser won the TP in 1945, Clemens in 1997, 98
-  Played on TOR only those years
-  4,672 K’s to Ryan’s 5,714
-  Played Skidmark in the 1996 movie “Kingpin
FCR -    Ron Kaufman, Thornhill, ON
Incorrect answers:  Pedro Martinez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Palmer

Q.         What hurler is the subject of Roger Angell’s 2008 book, “A Pitcher’s Story”?
Hint:     Three times he went back to a team he had already played for.
Hint:     He represented his league during the most recent MLB work stoppage.
Twint:    He didn’t lead the league in a single significant category in the year he won a Cy Young Award.
Twint:    In other seasons in his 17-year career, however, he did lead his league variously in win/loss percentage, innings pitched, strikeouts, victories, wild pitches, batters faced, and others.
Twint:    Showing remarkable consistency, during one stretch, he had exactly 3 at-bats for four straight seasons for a sometimes World Series championship team.
A.         DAVID CONE
-  Cy Young 1994, strike season
-  3 AB 1998-2001
FCR -    Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Tom Glavine, Jim Brosnan

Q.         Who is the only Cleveland Indians hurler to win 20 games in the past 40 years?
Hint:     He is the most recent pitcher to win the AL Cy Young Award with fewer than 200 strike outs.
Hint:     In his first World Series game he defeated a former teammate in the first ever World Series match-up of Indians Cy Young winners.
Hint:     He went 2-0 that series, providing the only two wins his team could muster.
Hint:     In his only other World Series, he went 0-2 and is still in search of his first WS ring.
Twint:    His namesake had four successful seasons with the Phillies and also played with the Indians.
Twint:    He is only the second Cy Young Award winner with only 3 letters in his last name.
A.         CLIFF LEE
-  22 W in 2008; Gaylord Perry won 21 in 1974.
-  170 K in 2008; Bartolo Colon took the 2005 AL CYA with 157 K
-  G 1, 2009 WS 28-Oct-2009 defeated CC Sabathia, 2007 CYA winner
NYY won 2009 WS 4-2 over PHI
2010 WS SFG 4-1 over TEX
FCR -    Leanne Rohrbach, Minneapolis, MN
Incorrect answers:  Cory Kluber, Jaret Wright, CC Sabathia, Len Barker, John Denny, Dennis Eckersley, Gaylord Perry, Bartolo Colon, Luis Tiant, Bob Lemon

Q.         Who, among pitchers, scored the most career runs without a single plate appearance?
Hint:     No other Yankee pitcher has ever struck out more batters in a single game.
Hint:     He has won more Gold Gloves than any other Yankee pitcher.
Twint:    The only World Series home run he yielded was to Davey Lopes.
Twint:    He still won the game throwing 9 complete innings, the Lopes 2-run shot being the only run he yielded.
A.         RON GUIDRY
-  4 career R, all as a PR; Never came to bat:  03-Jul-1977, 28-Jul-1977, 01-Oct-1977 &
14-Jun-1978.  The only other players at any position with 4 or more R and 0 PA’s are 2 pinch-runners, Herb Washington and Eddie Phillips.
-  18 K, 17-Jun-1978, NYY 4 – CAL 0
-  Won 5 consecutive GG 1982-86 (Mike Mussina earned 7 Gold Gloves over his 18-season MLB career, but the first 4 of those were when he was an Oriole.)
Game 4, 1977 WSLopes’s 2-run homer came in the bottom of the 3rd
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO
Incorrect answers:  Mike Mussina, David Cone, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens

Q.         Who was the first Dodger to throw a World Series complete game shut-out against the Yankees?
Hint:     He only gave up two walk-off home runs in his 12-year career, including the only one Alvin Dark ever hit.
Hint:     Of his own talent he said: "I got three pitches:  My change, my change off my change, and my change off my change off my change." 
Twint:    Contrary to the honesty implied by his nickname, he later confessed to relying on a far more slippery pitch.
-  1949 WS, Game 2, 1-0 Brooklyn win.
-  Dark HR: 03-Jul-1950, b 11 walk-off, a solo shot for a 3-2 NYG victory over BRO (The only other walk-off HR Roe surrendered was 18-May-1953 to Ted Kluszewski, one of six he had.)
-  Quote from various sources
- After he retired he admitted using a spitter in a Sports Illustrated article issued 04‑Jun‑1956 entitled, “The Outlawed Spitball Was My Money Pitch”.
FCR -    Larry Hayes, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Podres, Don Drysdale, Joe Hatten, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine

Q.         Which starter on the 1961 NL-Champion Reds had the team’s best ERA?
Hint:     That and his team lead in additional categories throughout his career helped propel him eventually to a place in the Reds Hall of Fame.
Hint:     He was selected as the National League’s starting pitcher for the 1963 All-Star game.
Hint:     Johnny Bench said, “… He was to me the epitome of class any player has ever had”.
Hint:     For the AA Nashville Sounds in 1958, just before this call-up to the Reds, he posted a 20‑8 record, with a 2.44 ERA w/189 K.
Hint:     He also started the minor-league (AA) All-Star Game that season.
Twint:    In Ball Four, Jim Bouton references him when trying to explain the power of baseball and the power of *a* baseball on a player’s destiny.
A.         JIM O’TOOLE
-  1961: ERA 3.10, W-L% .679, 178 K, 252.2 IP
-  1961 19-9
1961 WS Game 1 and Game 4 losses to Whitey as the Yankees took the series 4-1.
Bench quote from web page announcing O’Toole’s passing away.
1963 ASG he faced 10 batters giving up 4 hits, one run, a HBP and one strikeout.
Bouton quote:  “Jim O’Toole and I started out even in the spring. He wound up with the Ross Eversoles and I with a new lease on life. And as I daydreamed of being fireman of the year in 1970 I wondered what the dreams of Jim O’Toole are like these days. Then I thought, would I ever do that? When it’s over for me, would I be hanging on with Ross Eversoles? I went down deep and the answer I came up with was yes. Yes I would. You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around the whole time”.
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA
Incorrect answers:  Jim Maloney, Don Gullett, Bob Purkey, Joey Jay, Vern Ruhle, Ray Washburn

Q.         Who was the first player ever drafted by the Seattle Mariners after the formation of their franchise?
Hint:     His two-run home run in the 9th inning of game 5, TO ALLOW THE RED SOX, IN EXTRA INNINGS, TO beat the Angels 6-5 to keep the Red Sox alive in the 1986 ALCS.
Hint:     No need to put a spin on it—it was one of the most dramatic homers in televised postseason play.  (He put a spin on it anyway.)
Hint:     In the same postseason, he hit an extra-inning, go-ahead home run in a game that has been unfairly named for one of his teammates.
Hint:     Although not considered a “Bash Brother” himself, he was an important power hitter for the Oakland A’s.
Hint:     He had two home runs in the “Earthquake” World Series.
Twint:    His uncle Joe Henderson was a perfect regular-season 2-0 for the World Champion 1976 Cincinnati Reds.
-  26th pick in the first round of the 1977 draft
-  HR in G 5 1986 ALCS off Donnie Moore; sac fly in 11th to win
Hendu spun 360° before running the base paths.
-  Homered in the “Buckner Game”…25-Oct-1986; It would have been the winning homer had the Mets not rallied
-  With OAK 1988-94; Bash BrothersJose Canseco & Mark McGwire
FCR -    Scott Schleifer, Suffern, HY

Q.         Which former White Stockings pitcher claimed that it was he, and not William Arthur Cummings, who invented the curveball?
Hint:     In 1880 Cap Anson and Al Spalding brought him to the White Stockings along with Larry Corcoran and the team (67-17) ran away with the pennant finishing 15 games ahead of the 2nd place Providence Grays.
Hint:     He and Corcoran started every game and pitched all but 28.1 innings out of 775 for that season.
Hint:     As a result, many consider this the first true “rotation” in the big leagues.
Twint:    He died the same year that “Candy” was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    Unlike his counterpart, he is not in the Hall of Fame.
-  He literally clung to a questionable news article backing his claim up to the day of his
 death in 1939 – the year Cummings was inducted into the Hall.
1880 White Stockings record and stats:  Corcoran was 43-14 while Goldsmith went 21-3 accounting for all but three of the teams 67 wins, and all 17 of their losses.
FCR -    Larry Hayes, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Albert Spaulding

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with at least 20 wins and 3 or fewer losses in one season.

Clemens     2001   NYY   20 -  3
Cone           1988   NYM  20- 3
Goldsmith   1880* CHC   21 -  3
Guidry         1978   NYY   25 -  3
Kershaw     2014   LAD   21 -  3
Lee              2008   CLE   22 -  3
Roe             1951   BRO  22 -  3
Scherzer     2013   DET   21 -  3

*First full year in the majors

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Steve Schwartz, Chico, CA (after Cone)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed        -  Pitchers who won cy young in a season they won exactly 21 games and got in the top 12 in mvp voting

Thursday  -  Cy Young winners who started a postseason game in NYC
               -  Pitchers who have won the Cy Young Award and are from states that have a river as a border
               -  21st Century starting pitchers

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