Comments on: Mailbag: Pitchers whose first PA of a game came before their first pitch This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Peter Mon, 25 Apr 2011 22:35:26 +0000 can you do the check to see if it was a player's debut? e.g. a pitcher who came up to bat even before he ever threw his first pitch in his career...

By: oneblankspace Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:24:31 +0000 I remember Gary Gaetti had a PH-P game for the Cardinals, where he hit for the pitcher and stayed in to pitch (July 24, 1998 at Colorado). His other pitching appearance for the Birds on the Bat came in the bottom of the 8th in a game he had started at 3B (20 Sept '97 at Pittsburgh). For Chicago, he pitched the entire 8th, entering behind 19-8, in a game in Philadelphia that he had started at 3B.

By: Brent Thu, 21 Apr 2011 15:08:31 +0000 #6

In the Catfish Hunter case, Billy Martin made the very unusual move of moving his DH into the field (Cesar Tovar started as the DH and then replaced Sandy Alomar Sr. at 2B in the 6th inning). Because of that, there was no longer a DH, so the Pitcher had to hit for himself from that point on. Since Tovar was still in the game, he continued to hit in the same spot and Hunter was inserted into the lineup in the batting position Alomar was previously hitting.

By: John Autin Wed, 20 Apr 2011 23:37:58 +0000 I forgot to add (@14) that Hoskins had a 0.582 WPA as a batter in that game, the highest for any substitute pitcher in the WPA era. (Second is 0.485 by Gene Conley in 1960.)

P.S. The 4th highest batting WPA for a substitute pitcher is .476 by the inimitable Satchel Paige on 6/3/1952, a 3-2 win for the Browns in 17 innings. Satchel came on in the 12th with 1 out and 2 aboard and got a GDP to end the inning. He pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way, earning a pitching WPA of 0.891. Meanwhile, as a batter, he singled in each of his 3 trips, the last one plating the go-ahead run from 2nd base with 2 out in the 17th. It was the only 3-hit game of his MLB career (he went just 12 for 124), and his only game with batting WPA above 0.078.

By: John Autin Wed, 20 Apr 2011 23:19:52 +0000 The following game missed Neil's cutoff by 50 years, but it's still worth a quick look:

On May 10, 1953, pitcher Dave Hoskins pinch-hit for Bob Feller in the top of the 7th with Cleveland down 3-0 and hit a double off Virgil Trucks. He finished the game with a batting line of 3-2-2-4 (including a 2-out, 3-run HR in the 8th that put Cleveland up 4-3) and a pitching line of 3 IP, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, and a win in his first MLB decision.

That was just the 3rd MLB game for Hoskins. The year before, in the class-AA Texas League, he had gone 22-10 with a 2.12 ERA in 280 IP -- in his first full season as a professional pitcher, after 3 years playing mostly OF. He also batted .328 in '52, with 7 doubles in 128 AB.

Not a bad showing for the first black player in Texas League history.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:50:58 +0000 Single Season, most games no PA, is surprisingly a NLer.
Pedro Feliciano, 92 games, 0 PA, 2010, NYM.
All time:
Buddy Groom, 786 G, 0 PA.
As a starter,
Mike Flanagan, who played in a perfect, post-DH/pre-interleague era.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:45:21 +0000 Sorry, Mo Rivera has 4 PAs and 3 ABs. I think, my train of thought, may have been, first HOFer with 0 hits.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:42:30 +0000 Just a side note:
Frankie "Father-in-Law-Fighter" Rodriguez just had his first plate appearance in over 530 + games.
I think Mariano Rivera has never had an AB. 900+ games and counting.
He may be the first, not counting non-players, HOF inductee to never have an AB.

By: Richard Chester Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:25:46 +0000 @7

The game you are referring to took place on June 13, 2000. Arroyo pinch-hit on June 12.

By: BSK Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:48:50 +0000 Thanks, Neil. I didn't think it would be quite that strong a factor. Seems like they probably would be one of the low teams if we were only looking at 9-hole pitchers.

FWIW, can we run a similar search for the AL to see how often the 9-hole hitter gets up in the 1st inning for the road team? Obviously, it doesn't have the same cache as a pitcher hitting before he pitches, but it'd give a sense of how often the general phenomenon of sending 9 or more batters to the plate in the top of the first and whether it is more common in one league than the other for any reason.