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How’d They Do That?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 23, 2009

One of the fun things to do with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index is to just look for crazy things and see how many games or seasons or careers fit that bill.  Today, I wondered:  Has a team ever allowed 15 walks or more, in a game of 9 innings or less, and won?  Well, thanks to B-R.com PI's Team Pitching Game Finder, we can see the answer:

From 1954 to 2009, Only 9-inning games, Team Won, (requiring BB>=15), sorted by greatest BB in a game

  Cnt Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt  IP   H  R ER **BB** SO HR Pit Str IR IS  BF  AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk Ptchrs   ERA
+----+-------------+---+----+-------+----+--+--+--+------+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+------+------+
    1 1992-05-07    CHW  BOS W  7-6   9    6  6  4   15    9  0 206 105  4  1  47  32  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  2  0      5   4.00
    2 1959-07-31    BOS  DET W  6-5   9    5  5  5   15    4  3          7  0  47  29  0  0   1   0  2  1   0  0  0  1      5   5.00

Games found: 2.

So, since 1954, it's only happened twice - once in 1959 and once in 1992.  How cool is that?  And, it's interesting that both games involved the Boston Red Sox.  And, to the question "How's they do that?," the answer is simple:  Don't allow a lot of hits and get the other team to run up their LOB totals...and then maybe the walks won't kill ya...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 at 9:42 pm and is filed under Home Runs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “How’d They Do That?”

  1. Well, all of the Red Sox runs were walked home in 1992, thanks to Hough and Alvarez. So it DID kill them, but in a concentrated setting. And they soon calmed down, a bit.

  2. It also helps to score lots of runs. I would have thought you'd need to get some doubleplays but they both did it without turning any.

  3. Footnote to history: On April 10, 1991 the Phillies beat the Mets 8-7 in 10 innings; the Phillies allowed 15 walks in the first nine innings of that game.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN199104100.shtml

    I remember listening to that one on the radio. Time of the game was 4:51; had it ended in 9 innings, it would have been the longest nine-inning game in history up to that point. (I think the Red Sox and Yankees have played a longer one since then.)

  4. An interesting lesson from that 1992 game. Strikeouts, as mentioned in a recent post, keep runners rooted to their bases. A walk is often as good as a hit, but not when combined with Ks, because that is interrupted station-to-station baseball. So if you're a team that's walking 15 guys, if you can combine that with few hits, 9 Ks and 2 guys caught stealing, you've got a chance.

  5. [...] I didn’t realize until this week (thank you, ChuckDickens) that the incomparable Baseball-Reference.com has a blog. On it, they point out little statistical quirks and interesting tidbits. One particular anomaly I enjoyed was the number of teams who walked fifteen batters in a game and still managed to win the game. [...]