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More Than Just A Pinch

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 26, 2010

Since 1954, how many teams have used 8+ pinch-hitters in a game? Here's the answer via's Play Index Team Batting Game Finder:

Rk Tm Opp Date #Matching  
1 OAK CHW 1972-09-19 10  
2 STL CIN 1997-09-25 9  
3 SFG LAD 1986-09-28 9  
4 MON PIT 1975-09-05 (2) 9  
5 LAD STL 1982-09-01 9  
6 LAD STL 1959-09-22 9  
7 LAD NYM 1985-09-08 9  
8 ATL MON 1993-09-21 9  
9 WSH NYY 1960-09-20 8  
10 STL LAD 1959-04-16 8  
11 SFG ARI 2000-09-23 (1) 8  
12 SFG ATL 1987-10-02 8  
13 SDP SFG 1986-09-16 8  
14 PIT MON 1990-09-09 8  
15 PHI CHC 1991-10-01 8  
16 PHI NYM 1975-09-26 (2) 8  
17 PHI PIT 1985-06-21 8  
18 NYM STL 1992-09-16 8  
19 NYM ATL 1996-09-14 8  
20 NYM HOU 1998-09-14 8  
21 MIN SEA 1996-09-13 8  
22 LAD SFG 1981-09-09 8  
23 LAD SFG 1983-09-18 8  
24 HOU ATL 1989-09-20 8  
25 CLE KCA 1966-09-13 8  
26 CIN HOU 1984-09-28 8  
27 CHC COL 2006-09-30 8  
28 CHC MON 1978-09-04 (2) 8  
29 BAL CHW 1954-05-28 (1) 8  
30 BAL NYY 1984-09-25 8  
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2010.


Figures that the record holder here would be a pre-DH and post-September 1st extra inning affair. That was some game for the A's huh? They sent everyone up to the plate in that one with the exception of Pinchy and Mr. Krabs.

9 Responses to “More Than Just A Pinch”

  1. Smed Says:

    Late in the game in the Oakland dugout. Larry Haney just pinch hit for Joe Horlen and grounded out. Dick Williams approaches Haney, the 30th player Williams has used tonight.

    "Haney, you're staying in the game."
    "Right, Skip. I'll get my gear on."
    "Not so fast, grab a mitt from Maxvill or Cullen or Kubiak."
    "You're playing second."
    "Wait, you have Geno playing second. He's at least started a game in the infield before."
    "I have to move Tenace to the outfield."
    "Why can't I play outfield, Skip?"
    "Larry, I've seen you run. I could hit a double to the corner against you even if you were just five feet off the line. And Duncan's slower than you. So get in there."
    "Ok, coach. Dal, can I have your mitt?"
    "Oh, and Larry."
    "Stay out of Campy's way. I don't want HIM to get hurt out there."

  2. SJBlonger Says:

    What hit me right away was the ERAs. Of the 14 pitchers used in a September game, Rich Gossage had the highest ERA: 3.58.

    No doubt I fell asleep listening to this game on my transistor radio.

  3. SJBlonger Says:

    Sometimes you wish you had time machine and could go back and relive some of these games. I picked out the 1959 game between the Cardinals and Dodgers because it took place in April and was only nine innings. The Cards used 8 PH in that game. And here's what we see:

    Solly Hemus pinch-hit for his pitchers five times in game in which the nine slot had only 4 PA. But the real curiosity is in the second inning. Down 3-1 in the top of the second, Hemus decided not to bat his starter, Ernie Broglio, and instead inserted Bobby Smith, at which point Walt Altson pulled his starter, Sandy Koufax (not yet in HOF form), in favor of Art Fowler, which prompted a second pinch-hitter, Irv Noren. The game had barely started, but both teams were already in the bullpen and Hemus had burned two of his bench players. Curious.

    Also interesting: The 23-year-old Koufax lasted no more than 3.2 innings in his first four starts of 1959, then went to the pen, appears to have fought an injury in July, before finishing out a mediocre 8-6 season.

  4. Djibouti Says:

    I don't get the lobsters reference.

    As for the game itself, what's the story behind this? Was there a slew of injuries or did Dick Williams just get all PH-happy?

    I'm also confused about what happened between the 14th and 15th innings. Catfish Hunter pinch hit for the RF, then later Larry Haney pinch hit for the P. Before the 15th it says "Gary Waslewski replaces Catfish Hunter (PH) pitching and batting 5th". I assume this means that they brought Waslewski in to pitch and put him in the 5 spot since Haney stayed in the game in the 9 spot. What I don't get is how Waslewski was replacing Hunter as the pitcher when Hunter never pitched nor pinch hit for the pitcher. I'm assuming this is just how box score notation works and I've never come across it before (or noticed it). I feel like it would make more sense to say "Gary Waslewski replaces Joe Horlen pitching and Catfish Hunter (PH) batting 5th" although that's a bit more wordy.

  5. Bryan Mueller Says:

    Hey fellas, what does the number in parentheses mean after the date of the game?

  6. Bryan Mueller Says:

    Nevermind, I answered my own question.

  7. Smed Says:

    During that time of the season Charlie O. Finley told Dick Williams pinch hit for the 2B every time they went up to bat, no matter what. So no matter who started Dal Maxvill, Ted Kubiak, Tim Cullen and Dick Green never saw the plate.

  8. SJBlonger Says:

    Why is the first White Sox in the 13th unearned? There are no errors or passed balls in the inning.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    With runners on the corners, it shows that the first out was made on a grounder on which the batter was retired but the runner went from first to second. The only thing I can think of is that the SS might have muffed the ball a bit so he couldn't retire the lead runner, but had time to get the batter. Since an out was recorded no error was charged, but the scorer thought the runner should have been forced at second, and that runner would have not have subsequently scored. Not sure if that's correct scoring or if I've ever seen something like that before.