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Winning the Game with the Pitcher at the Plate

Posted by Raphy on August 11, 2011

When Jerry Meals called Julio Lugo safe at home in the 19th inning on July 27th, not only did it provide the Braves with a controversial win, it gave pitcher Scott Proctor a walk-off RBI. Proctor's was the first walk-off RBI by a player in the game as a pitcher since Randy Keisler in 2005 and only the second since 1994.  Since 1974,  8  pitchers have done better than Proctor  and ended a game with a walk-off hit. The PI database also shows 32 game ending hits for pitchers between 1950-1973 (1043 games from that time span are not included in the search; see here.)  As you would expect, a single is the most common of these. However, due to managerial strategies, the home run easily surpasses the double for second place. Here are the plays:

26 Singles

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1950-06-08 Mickey Harris WSH CLE Gene Bearden tied 6-6 b9 12- 1 1 0.29 4.28 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Ostrowski Scores; Evans to 2B
2 1 1951-07-04 (1) Preacher Roe BRO NYG George Spencer tied 5-5 b11 1-3 1 3 (1-1) 1 0.18 5.20 *ENDED GAME*:Single to 3B/Bunt; Robinson Scores/unER; Hodges to 2B
3 1 1952-08-31 (1) Virgil Jester BSN PHI Steve Ridzik tied 0-0 b9 123 2 1 0.35 6.37 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Mathews Scores; Sisti to 3B; Dittmer to 2B
4 1 1953-06-28 (2) Carl Scheib PHA SLB Satchel Paige tied 1-1 b9 --3 2 1 0.37 4.67 *ENDED GAME*:Single to CF; Astroth Scores
5 1 1953-07-16 (1) Billy Pierce CHW WSH Jerry Lane tied 5-5 b10 12- 2 1 0.39 4.39 *ENDED GAME*:Single to CF; Rivera Scores; Carrasquel to 2B
6 1 1954-06-18 Vern Law PIT MLN Warren Spahn tied 1-1 b9 123 2 1 0.34 6.39 *ENDED GAME*:Single; Marquez Scores; Roberts to 3B; Hall to 2B
7 1 1956-05-27 (1) Jim Wilson CHW CLE Cal McLish tied 4-4 b15 12- 2 1 0.39 4.40 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Fox to 2B; Minoso Scores
8 1 1956-08-31 (2) Dick Donovan CHW CLE Early Wynn tied 0-0 b10 12- 1 1 0.29 4.29 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Aparicio to 2B; Phillips Scores
9 1 1960-07-08 (1) Turk Farrell PHI PIT Fred Green tied 5-5 b10 -2- 1 1 0.31 3.18 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Amaro Scores
10 1 1964-05-16 Dick Radatz BOS MIN Jim Perry tied 5-5 b10 123 2 1 0.34 6.38 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Clinton Scores; Conigliaro to 3B; Tillman to 2B
11 1 1964-07-26 (1) Eddie Fisher CHW MIN Al Worthington tied 4-4 b12 123 2 1 0.35 6.37 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Skowron Scores/unER; Hansen to 3B; Martin to 2B
12 1 1965-05-11 Dick Hall BAL CLE Dick Donovan tied 2-2 b11 12- 1 1 0.30 4.33 *ENDED GAME*:Single (CF-RF); Siebern to 2B; Brown Scores
13 1 1965-07-20 Sandy Koufax LAD HOU Ron Taylor tied 2-2 b9 12- 2 1 0.40 4.23 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Lefebvre Scores; Gilliam to 2B
14 1 1966-08-26 Mike McCormick WSA CLE Steve Hargan tied 0-0 b9 -2- 1 1 0.31 3.19 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Casanova Scores/unER
15 1 1967-05-03 Juan Pizarro PIT LAD Bill Singer tied 5-5 b15 123 0 1 0.07 2.74 *ENDED GAME*:Single to SS; Clendenon Scores; Alley to 3B; Pagliaroni to 2B
16 1 1967-09-08 Ray Sadecki SFG CHC Joe Niekro tied 3-3 b9 1-3 2 1 0.37 4.84 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Schroder to 2B; Davenport Scores/unER
17 1 1968-05-18 Stan Williams CLE BAL Tom Phoebus tied 0-0 b10 -2- 1 1 0.32 3.20 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Nelson Scores
18 1 1969-06-08 Larry Dierker HOU STL Joe Hoerner tied 1-1 b11 12- 1 1 0.30 4.33 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Gotay Scores; Edwards to 2B
19 1 1970-05-17 (2) Don Gullett CIN ATL Gary Neibauer tied 6-6 b15 12- 1 1 0.29 4.29 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Concepcion Scores; Rose to 2B
20 1 1971-09-18 Rick Wise PHI CHC Phil Regan tied 3-3 b12 123 1 1 (0-0) 1 0.17 5.91 *ENDED GAME*:Single to RF; Montanez Scores; Money to 3B; Stone to 2B
21 1 1980-08-23 Joe Niekro HOU CHC George Riley tied 0-0 b17 1-3 2 1 0.37 4.82 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF; Cabell Scores; Walling to 2B
22 1 1992-04-25 Bob Tewksbury STL MON Mel Rojas tied 1-1 b17 --3 2 2 (1-0) 1 0.38 4.52 *ENDED GAME*:Single (Line Drive to Short LF-CF); Hudler Scores
23 1 1993-07-02 (2) Mitch Williams PHI SDP Trevor Hoffman tied 5-5 b10 12- 1 2 (0-1) 1 0.29 4.30 *ENDED GAME*:Single (Line Drive to Short LF-CF); Incaviglia Scores; Eisenreich to 2B
24 1 1993-08-26 Richie Lewis FLA HOU Doug Jones tied 4-4 b13 12- 2 2 (0-1) 1 0.39 4.40 *ENDED GAME*:Single to LF (Line Drive to Short LF Line); Renteria Scores; Destrade to 2B
25 1 1994-05-10 Mike Stanton ATL PHI Andy Carter tied 8-8 b15 1-3 2 4 (2-1) 1 0.36 4.99 *ENDED GAME*:Single to SS (Bunt to SS-3B Hole); Sanders Scores; Gallagher to 2B
26 1 2005-05-24 Randy Keisler CIN WSN Luis Ayala tied 3-3 b14 -23 1 2 (0-1) 1 0.16 4.09 *ENDED GAME*:Single to CF (Line Drive); LaRue Scores; Lopez to 3B
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2011.

4 Doubles

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1954-05-23 (2) Art Houtteman CLE BAL Bob Turley tied 1-1 b12 1-- 2 1 0.44 2.26 *ENDED GAME*:Double to LF; Strickland Scores
2 1 1960-06-01 Sam Jones SFG CHC Dick Ellsworth tied 1-1 b9 1-- 2 1 0.44 2.20 *ENDED GAME*:Double to LF; Schmidt Scores
3 1 1973-04-10 Jim Crawford HOU LAD George Culver tied 3-3 b12 1-- 2 1 0.44 2.21 *ENDED GAME*:Double to CF; Edwards Scores
4 1 1989-07-20 Les Lancaster CHC SFG Randy McCament tied 3-3 b11 1-- 2 4 (1-2) 1 0.44 2.25 *ENDED GAME*:Double to LF (Line Drive to Short LF Line); Wilkerson Scores
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2011.

10 Home Runs

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1957-05-30 (1) Lou Sleater DET KCA Wally Burnette tied 5-5 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.24 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
2 1 1957-09-05 Bob Grim NYY BOS Willard Nixon tied 2-2 b9 12- 2 3 0.39 4.31 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run; Lumpe Scores; Slaughter Scores
3 1 1957-09-06 Dixie Howell CHW KCA Wally Burnette tied 3-3 b9 --- 1 1 0.42 1.75 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
4 1 1958-05-26 Murry Dickson KCA BAL Arnie Portocarrero tied 4-4 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.23 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run (Deep LF)
5 1 1960-08-25 Glen Hobbie CHC PIT Vinegar Bend Mizell tied 1-1 b9 --- 2 1 0.47 1.33 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run (Deep LF)
6 1 1963-06-06 Lindy McDaniel CHC SFG Billy Pierce tied 2-2 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.21 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
7 1 1966-09-21 Juan Marichal SFG PIT Roy Face tied 5-5 b9 --- 1 1 0.42 1.75 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
8 1 1967-06-19 (1) Steve Hargan CLE KCA Chuck Dobson tied 2-2 b9 1-- 2 2 0.44 2.13 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run; Brown Scores
9 1 1969-05-10 Jim Hardin BAL KCR Moe Drabowsky tied 5-5 b9 --- 1 1 0.43 1.72 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
10 1 1986-04-25 Craig Lefferts SDP SFG Greg Minton tied 8-8 b12 --- 1 1 0.43 1.71 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2011.

3 Walks

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1954-05-31 (2) Johnny Sain NYY WSH Spec Shea tied 6-6 b10 123 2 1 0.35 6.37 *ENDED GAME*:Walk; Slaughter Scores/unER; Woodling to 3B; Berra to 2B
2 1 1968-07-13 Jim Roland MIN DET John Wyatt tied 6-6 b14 123 2 1 0.35 6.40 *ENDED GAME*:Walk; Allison Scores; Kostro to 3B; Roseboro to 2B
3 1 1991-06-28 (1) Kent Mercker ATL LAD Jim Gott tied 2-2 b10 123 2 6 (3-2) 1 0.34 6.38 *ENDED GAME*:Walk; Gant Scores; Blauser to 3B; Belliard to 2B
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2011.

1 Hit By Pitch

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1971-07-29 Fred Scherman DET KCR Tom Burgmeier tied 9-9 b9 123 2 1 0.35 6.37 *ENDED GAME*:Hit By Pitch; Cash Scores; Northrup to 3B; McAuliffe to 2B
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2011.

3 Sacrifice Flies

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1954-09-18 Chuck Stobbs WSH BOS Hal Brown tied 7-7 Out b15 -23 0 1 0.08 2.24 *ENDED GAME*:Flyball: LF/Sacrifice Fly; Vernon Scores
2 1 1963-05-30 Camilo Pascual MIN WSA Tom Cheney tied 2-2 Out b9 123 1 1 0.17 5.80 *ENDED GAME*:Flyball: CF/Sacrifice Fly; Goryl Scores
3 1 1989-06-04 Mike Scott HOU LAD Alejandro Pena tied 6-6 Out b13 123 1 1 0.17 5.95 *ENDED GAME*:Flyball: CF/Sacrifice Fly; Ramirez Scores
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/11/2011.

Other Walk Off Plate Appearances

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1950-05-30 (1) Preacher Roe BRO PHI Jim Konstanty tied 6-6 RoE b10 12- 2 6 (2-2) 0 0.38 4.42 *ENDED GAME*:Reached on E6 (Ground Ball); Morgan Scores/No RBI/unER; Campanella to 2B
2 1 1955-09-05 (1) Jim Wilson BAL NYY Don Larsen tied 5-5 RoE b11 12- 0 0 0.19 3.35 *ENDED GAME*:Reached on E1 (throw to 3B)/Bunt; Diering Scores/Adv on E5/No RBI/unER; Hale to 2B; Wilson to 1B
3 1 1970-04-11 Gaylord Perry SFG CIN Clay Carroll tied 1-1 Out b9 123 1 1 0.17 5.63 *ENDED GAME*:Groundout: SS-2B-1B; Burda to 2B; Hunt to 3B; Henderson Scores
4 1 1985-04-20 Mario Soto CIN SFG Frank Williams tied 1-1 RoE b9 -2- 0 0 0.19 2.63 *ENDED GAME*:Reached on E1/Sacrifice Bunt; Milner Scores/No RBI/unER
5 1 1993-08-04 Pedro Martinez SDP SFG Bryan Hickerson tied 10-10 FC b12 123 1 2 (1-0) 1 0.17 5.59 *ENDED GAME*:Fielder's Choice P/Sacrifice Bunt; Gutierrez Scores; Gwynn to 3B; Plantier to 2B; Martinez to 1B
6 1 2011-07-26 Scott Proctor ATL PIT Daniel McCutchen tied 3-3 FC b19 -23 1 3 (0-2) 1 0.16 0.79 4.23 *ENDED GAME*:Fielder's Choice 3B; Lugo Scores; Schafer to 3B
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/11/2011.

46 Responses to “Winning the Game with the Pitcher at the Plate”

  1. Anon Says:

    How about the Gaylord Perry walkoff in 1990? By the description, the Reds tried to turn 2 and the 2B either missed the bag or was pulled off the bag.

    He also was hitting for himself with the bases loaded and 1 out in the bottom of the 9th inning despite generally being a terrible hitter even for a pitcher - actually there are a lot of those on this list. Different game then. . . . .

  2. Brian Says:

    Greg Minton! ol' "fake face" based on his 1978 Topps "artist's rendering" card.

  3. Neil L. Says:

    Raphy, what an exhaustive list of pitcher game-ending plate appearances. Thank you.

    Do your lists mean that a pitcher NEVER brought his team from behind to a walk-off win with a single or double since 1950 or did you just limit your search to one-RBI, game-ending plate appearances?

  4. Dan Says:

    Re: Mitch Williams' hit. How the heck did Pete Incaviglia score from second base on a ball hit to the shallow outfield?

  5. alvin115 Says:

    @4 That's because all the OFs were asleep at 4 in the morning.

  6. Jim Says:

    @4 Dan:

    Pete probably wanted to go home, as did the rest of the Phillies, Padres, and the few remaining fans that stayed at the Vet for this game. The game was the second half of a doubleheader. The first game was delayed 3 times due to rain. The second game started at 1:28 AM, ended at 4:40 AM. Both times are records for both latest start time, and latest end time. Needless to say, 12 hours after the first pitch was thrown in game one, big Pete probably put some extra hustle in.

  7. Dan Says:

    Oh wait a minute! This is the 4:40 AM game? For some reason I thought it was further into extras than the 10th. That explains it all.

    True story. I was at this game. I brought a friend of mine who was visiting from Finland, which as you might expect isn't much of a baseball country. So when it was getting later and later, and I knew he wasn't going to make it, I decided we would head on home. I mean, I saw a lot of games in person that year, so it wasn't the end of the world for me, and I could see that he was beat and not as into it as the rest of us, anyway.

    I think it's the only game I ever left early. Never again! Harry's legendary "Mitchie-poo" call still rings in my ears.

  8. Neil L. Says:

    Dan, they should have given away free tickets to an upcoming game at a kiosk inside the stadium to any fans still left.

    I am trying to picture how many stadium staff would have been left by 4:40 AM. I'm sure last beer call was considerably before the end!

    And who knew what was ahead for poor Mitch Williams in the post-season.

    Dan, good observation on Pete Incaviglia. Fleet of foot he was not. And give a little love to the Phillies third base coach, whoever he was, who was waving his right arm like a windmill as Incaviglia thundered around third.

  9. Richard Chester Says:

    Between 1901 and 1949 there have been 18 walk-off HRs by pitchers. Wes Ferrell and Kirby Higbe each did it twice.

  10. Neil L. Says:

    The diminishing offensive role of the pitcher is clearly evident in the list. Fifty three plates appearances, two since 2000 and six since 1990. The pinch hitter has become almost automatic for pitchers late in a close game.

    One wouldn't pinch hit for Dontrelle Willis in a game-winning situation like these, would one?

    I am replaying an old tape here, but why can't pitchers be expected to hit like everyone else?

  11. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Poor Wally Burnette. Acquired by the A's in mid-1956 in a trade for Tom Lasorda, pitched a shutout in his first start (IP ≥ 9 and R = 0 in first career game), but in 1957 gave up two walk-off homers to pitchers.

  12. Andy Says:

    And Proctor was released yesterday...

  13. Raphy Says:

    "Do your lists mean that a pitcher NEVER brought his team from behind to a walk-off win with a single or double since 1950"


  14. Johnny Twisto Says:

    why can't pitchers be expected to hit like everyone else?

    If you can find a competent pitcher who can hit like everyone else, I'm sure a MLB team would be happy to sign him.

  15. Charles Says:

    Pizarro entered the game as a PH before taking over on the mound. He hit 0.259 that year 5 for 11 when batting as a relief pitcher.

    He was 0 for 7 with 2 SO's as a PH over his career.
    He was 6 for 20 with 14 RBI's with bases loaded

  16. John Autin Says:

    @10, Neil -- In Dontrelle's latest outing -- in which he plated the game's first run with a triple -- he was lifted for a PH in the bottom of the 8th with 2 out and the tying run on 1st base.

    I was shocked at first, but ultimately I had to concede that even though Dontrelle is one of the best-hitting pitchers in years, Yonder Alonso probably had a better chance of driving in the runner from 1st. (Plus, you can't pass up a chance to get the name Yonder Alonso on people's lips.)

  17. Brian Says:

    Now you guys have me thinking -- how often has anyone ever pinch hit for the pitcher, and then the team batted around after that, so that the same guy is basically still in the pitcher's spot and gets to pinch-hit twice in the inning?

  18. statboy Says:

    "why can't pitchers be expected to hit like everyone else?"

    Because they made it to MLB solely for their pitching. Now, what are the odds that they can ALSO hit as well (or almost as well) as the guys that made it to MLB for their hitting? Not very good.

  19. Neil L. Says:

    Johnny T., you may have been one of the people who reigned me in when I went over the top about this topic in the past. I think I recall being told by others that a pitcher is too valuable an asset to have pull a muscle swinging hard or to injure himself running the bases aggressively.

    Maybe it's the fact that a DH is used in the minors or in some college leagues that creates the expectation of pitchers not being able to hit. The difference in DH between the leagues certaintly is a factor.

    I'm repeating myself from before, but cause and effect are hard to unravel, in my opinion. Pitchers don't take full batting practice from the start of their minor league careers. Batting instructors don't give them the same amount of attention as other position players. So they become bunters and flailers.

    Is it because, like a young catcher, we don't want to distract from their number one task, catching or pitching?

    I understand that a pitcher is drafted to throw but why should their batting order spot be a permanent offensive black hole? Why shouldn't a pitcher be able to add to his overall WAR with his bat? In fact, does a pitcher's WAR include anything he does with the bat?

    Maybe my issue is with the inconsistency of pitcher role between the leagues Certainly if there was no DH my argument would be strengthened. Is there any evidence that putting emphasis on a pitcher's batting detracts from his ERA? It just seems to me like such a huge blind spot in the collective thinking of NL baseball teams.

  20. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    how often has anyone ever pinch hit for the pitcher, and then the team batted around after that, so that the same guy is basically still in the pitcher's spot and gets to pinch-hit twice in the inning?

    It happens from time to time. According to a PI search I ran, the all-time leader is John Cangelosi, with six. (My search did not include players who stayed in the game after their pinch-hitting appearances.)

  21. Neil L. Says:

    JA, thank you for that very relevant game involving the Train and Yonder Alonso. With hindsight, Alonso didn't get the job done. They could have left Dontrelle in to hit and then have replaced him on the mound for the next inning. Not saying the result would have been any different.

    Statboy, thanks for the reply. Do you think major league scouts even look at the batting line (if there is one) for pitchers when preparing their reports? In non-DH leagues, pitchers face just as many pitches at the plate as other position players, unless they are lifted for pinch hitters, so they have just as much opportunity to develop a good batting eye.

    It's a bit of a vicious circle that concedes the pitcher's batting order spot as an automatic out.

    I'm not trying to be a loose cannon, garnering attention with a bizarre post, but this a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Let's either poop or get off the can with respect to the DH. If it is adopted in both leagues, then, fine, pitchers will never be at the plate and the point is moot. But in the meantime ......

    In the most extreme example of a good-hitting pitcher in baseball history, I guess, they relieved him of his pitching duties so he could concentrate on hitting.

  22. Larry R. Says:


    Just 2 of Ferrell's 38 HRs...the record for pitchers. I believe Spahn is second with 35.

  23. Richard Chester Says:


    Spahn is tied for 4th with Earl Wilson. Bob Lemon is 2nd
    with 37 and Red Ruffing is 3rd with 36.


    In a situation where the team is behind it is very unlikely that a manager would let the pitcher hit. An out means his team loses. In a tie game the game merely proceeds to the next inning.


    Burnette seems to be a bad name for giving up walk-off homers to pitchers. Good thing for AJ that there is a DH.

  24. Johnny Twisto Says:

    There are a few issues involved. Most importantly, as Statboy said, pitchers are selected for their ability to pitch, and their ability to hit is given essentially zero consideration. It's like evolution. If they don't need the trait to survive in the wild, it withers away.

    Some (most?) pitchers were very good hitters as amateurs. Why don't those skills translate to professional ball? I'd guess a lot of them don't have the inherent ability to hit at higher levels. As a result of being great athletes with a lot of experience, they can hit against lesser competition, but they don't have the bat speed or technique or whatever to succeed against better competition. This is something scouts should be able to identify. And if they're scouting someone as a pitcher, it likely wouldn't bother them.

    Some of these good-hitting pitchers do have the ability to hit in the pros, at least into the low minors and then who knows how much further. I think two things happen here. One is the lack of reps. Even if a pitcher is focused on being a great hitter, and his team supports him and wants him to give 100% effort, I don't know how well he can succeed if he gets 2-3 PA every 5 days. It's been shown that players do not hit as well when pinch hitting. Anecdotally, it seems like a lot of players don't perform as well with sporadic playing time. NL pitchers just don't get enough exposure to MLB-quality pitching to succeed at it. And that's after coming up through the minors, when they may not have hit at all (I think pitchers only hit when an NL affiliate plays another NL affiliate). Even a great 18-year-old can't hit in the majors, he needs time to develop his skills. Now how is he going to hit in the majors 4-5 years later when he hasn't had the chance to do it, and wasn't the best hitting 18-year-old to begin with?

    The other is Neil's point about the culture of low expectations. I don't like it, but it makes some sense. If you have a group of hitters who aren't here for their ability to hit and haven't had much opportunity to do it, what benefit is there to having them spend time in the cage every day and study tape and whatever else the position players do? To improve their BA from .125 to .150? And at what potential cost?

    I'm against the DH, and I would like players to take some more pride in being well-rounded athletes. I was disgusted when Steinbrenner complained about Wang being forced to run the bases when he hurt his foot a few years ago. I think it's sort of embarrassing for the sport when you see teammates laughing after a pitcher "manages" to get a hit. But I accept that pitchers simply aren't going to hit that well, and I can't get too upset if they don't go 100% on that side of the ball, since they have a more important job to do.

  25. Neil L. Says:

    Johnny T., an impeccable and reasoned post, as usual. (by the way, do you ever make a typo? 🙂 )

    I accept the characterization of my position as a "culture of low expectations". Thank you for capturing my thought processes so accurately with that phrase.

    Your point (and to a lesser degree Statboy's), in the first paragraph about baseball natural selection causing a trait to disappear is a good one. Darwin would have been proud.

    JT, I think the most salient point is found in your third paragraph. I had honestly never thought about a college or minor-league pitcher only facing live pitching every fourth or fifth day.

    It's too much to expect a pitcher to play a defensive low-spectrum position like first base during his off-days just to get his licks in, I think.

    Even as an American-League watcher, I would gladly do away with the DH in order to have uniformity across baseball. Then there would not be a need to list pitching and hitting statistics separately by league as much as we do now. With a common rule about the using pitchers at the plate, the importance of developing pitchers who can rake, even a little, is emphasized.

    In the meantime, with all ML teams looking for the smallest competitive advantage, why ignore a batting order spot as a source of at least a little offense?

  26. Doug Says:

    @17 @20.

    "how often has anyone ever pinch hit for the pitcher, and then the team batted around after that, so that the same guy is basically still in the pitcher's spot and gets to pinch-hit twice in the inning?"

    To elaborate on Kahuna's response @20, PI says this has happened 356 times since 1919 for all pinch-hitters (not just those pinch-hitting for pitchers) who did not remain in the game. Of these, 273 were when batting 9th (although a pitcher, of course, may be pinch-hit for in another batting position).

    So far in 2011, it's happened six times, include twice on Apr 19, and three times in a week in May. Eric Hinske did well with it (2 for 2, HR, 3 RBI) in the Apr 19 game below.

  27. nightfly Says:

    @24, 25 - you indirectly get at another reason why there aren't so many pitchers who "hit like everyone else" - basically, if they CAN hit like everyone else, they will be moved off the mound and into the field. A guy like Dontrelle Willis or Carlos Zambrano is just good enough, but not so good that a team is willing to lose their pitching skills. A 275/360/450 guy is too valuable to only use for 35 games a year unless he's a bona-fide ace as well. And beyond a certain point, you move them anyway. Babe Ruth wasn't just some schlub on the mound.

    Then there's injuries, as Neil mentioned above. Stan Musial is a good example - he was originally a pitcher, but his manager at the time, Dickie Kerr, recognized that the Man had a serious bat as well, and played him in the outfield on his off days. He hurt his throwing shoulder making a tumbling catch, and that was the end of his pitching. It worked out in the end, but there must have been some serious second-guessing along the way.

  28. Neil L. Says:

    Nightfly, do you have any sense of what the triple slash line might be for a pticher to be moved off the mound? Would more emphasis be placed on the latent SLG or BA?

    Rick Ankiel is not a good example, is he, because his position change was due to an injury on the mound?

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Good point Nightfly. I thought about that. I don't know if it's necessarily a given that top batters are worth more than top pitchers, at least when pitchers threw more IP, but it seems that teams have always pushed their possible 2-way threats to the hitting side. Maybe just because of the reduced injury risk.

  30. SJBlonger Says:

    At least one post-1950 pitcher did have a come-from-behind walk-off homer, he just wasn't in the game as a pitcher at the time:

    Gary Peters

  31. John Autin Says:

    I don't understand why Micah Owings doesn't get more PH opportunities. He's been up with the D-backs since late May, but has only pinch-hit once so far; meanwhile, AZ pinch-hitters are batting .219/.272/.325.

    Owings has a career line of .289/.316/.512, with 9 HRs & 35 RBI in 201 ABs. In the minors, he went .325/.353/.475, and in college he was a big-time hitter & 2-way player (check out his Bullpen page).

  32. Ken Says:

    Well, at least @30 has tried to return us to what this blog initially was about, pitchers winning the game at the plate. When I first saw the topic name, I thought surely Hudson of the Braves would be included after his 2-run homer won his game complete game effort, 2-0. But all the research seems to be on walk-off hits. So for anyone proficient enough in number-crunching, an interesting search that would put Hudson's efforts in perspective would be: the games in which the pitcher had a complete game, and was also responsible for all of the scoring. Anyone game?

  33. Timmy P Says:

    I don't think you can have a conversation about pitchers hitting without bringing up Carlos Zambrano, #38!

  34. Artie Z Says:

    @32 - Ken: Wes Ferrell drove in all 6 runs in a CG victory over the A's:

    That is the most RBI in a game that meets your criteria.

    Burleigh Grimes (9/8/1925, 2nd game) and Mark Thurmond (6/8/1986) each drove in 4 runs.

    The pitchers who drove in all 3 runs in CG victories are:

    Sonny Siebert 9/2/1971
    Bob Hooper 1951-07-15 (1)
    Ray Sadecki 1961-08-06 (1)
    Fred Hutchinson 8/1/1947
    Red Barrett 1943-05-16 (1)
    Burleigh Grimes 8/20/1926
    Joe Genewich 8/22/1923
    Jack Harshman 9/23/1958
    Joe Haynes 7/6/1946
    Pete Alexander 1922-06-17 (2)
    Art Nehf 5/10/1922
    Jimmy Ring 9/2/1920

    Bullet Joe Bush (9/27/1924) did this in a loss.

    Basically, I just looked for pitcher RBIs equal to each number (greater than or equal to 6, =5, =4) and for pitchers who played the whole game, then sorted by the result column to see if RBIs matched the team runs scored.

    I don't find any pitchers who hit 2 or more solo HRs and accounted for all of his teams runs and RBIs.

  35. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I don't find any pitchers who hit 2 or more solo HRs and accounted for all of his teams runs and RBIs.

    I thought Jim Tobin might have driven in all his team's runs in his 1942 three-homer game, but no. Tobin drove in four in Boston's 6-5 win.

  36. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    "Do your lists mean that a pitcher NEVER brought his team from behind to a walk-off win with a single or double since 1950"

    [Raphy:] yes

    To clarify this point, one game did end on a three-run double by a pitcher — Hal Brown, Red Sox, off the Yankees' Marlin Stuart in the top of the eighth inning on July 7, 1954. However, Brown's double merely reduced the Yanks' lead to 17-9, and rain ended the game at that point. Not really the definition of "walk-off" that most folks are looking for.

  37. Raphy Says:

    @36 As you mentioned I don't define walk-off as "game-ending". There too many rain-outs for that. I use "go-ahead", 9th or extra innings by the home team. I may miss the extremely rare road team batting last, but I find the rain-out game-enders to be cumbersome.

  38. Charles Says:

    May 1971 in Baseball Digest. Article titled "Why Good Hitting Pitchers Last Longer in the Major Leagues" You can get it on a google search. I still have the original magazine.

  39. Cabriael Says:

    Nope. The RBI should be awarded to Meals.

    I am sure the umpire-lovers will like the prospect that an umpire, one of their own, gets the RBI.

  40. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I understand, Raphy. If I were posting I'd probably use the same strategy, since "game-ending" always seems to bring up events that meet the strict criteria of the search but have little beyond curiosity value. Hal Brown's 7/7/54 game-ending three-run double is a good example of such a "shaggy dog."

    To add a small touch of symmetry, later that same season Brown became one of three pitchers in the PI Era to surrender a game-ending sacrifice fly to a pitcher, Washington's Chuck Stobbs. I guess that appealed to the triviameister in me too.

  41. nightfly Says:

    @Neil - sorry for the late reply.

    It'd be hard to answer your question. For me it would be the slugging more than the BA, especially if the player in question could work walks. An old-school sort of guy might feel differently. But then you look at a guy like Micah Owings, whom John Autin mentioned - he's got a career slash line (save perhaps the OBA) that a fair number of major-leaguers would be pleased to own. Further, he's not really all that great a pitcher. You'd think he'd have been converted sometime in the past few years.

    And then we'd be missing out on his 2011, which is simulatneously his best-pitching AND worst-hitting year of his career.

    @32, 34 - Rick Wise came ohsoclose to joining your list, hitting two homers in his no-hit of the Reds in 1971... but alas, he only drove in three of the four Phillie runs - and not even the game-winner, which scored on a groundout in the second.

    He hit six homers that year, and 15 in roughly one busy season's worth of plate appearances (741). 195/228/308 overall, though, won't quite pay the bills.

  42. Neil L. Says:

    Nightfly, you're keeping the thread alive. No problem.

    Poor pitcher hitting is a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, I think. But there are probably only a handful of players in ML history who began their careers as pitchers but were moved to another position because their bat was deemed more valuable.

    Nightfly, I agree with you about slugging probably being the most important component of the pitcher's batting line to consider ib bringing them to the plate more often.

    Another symptom of the disaappearing batting expectations of pitchers is their declining use as pinch hitters, on their off day, as the years have gone by.

    I can vaguely remember Rick Rhoden being used as a pich hitter at least two or three times in his career.

    Charles, @38, thank you, I'll go have a look for the article.

  43. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I can vaguely remember Rick Rhoden being used as a pinch hitter at least two or three times in his career.

    I did a quick-'n-dirty scan of Rhoden's batting game logs. They show Rhoden was used as a pinch hitter 13 times in his career, and as a DH once (for the Yankees in 1988).

  44. Charles Says:

    Rhoden was a 0.238 career hitter winning the Silver Slugger Award with the Pirates from 1984-6. In those 3 years, he was 1-11 as a pinch hitter, all losses. In 1986, he was 1-7. Pittsburgh was 3rd in the league in Plate Appearances by PH's that year, but 9 of 12 in Batting Average. In 1984, he had a hit in 11 consecutive starts, getting hits in 19 of his 33 starts.

  45. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Kahuna, quicker than that would be checking his batting numbers by position:

  46. Arthur Robinson Says:

    Pitchers Tim Leary (August 13, 1988) and Glendon Rusch (April 19, 2003) also had walk-off RBI singles:

    These didn’t show up because technically they weren’t pitchers at the time, they were pinch-hitters.

    Great list!