Comments on: Winning the Game with the Pitcher at the Plate This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Arthur Robinson Mon, 15 Aug 2011 21:46:52 +0000 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!

By: Johnny Twisto Sun, 14 Aug 2011 00:06:09 +0000 Kahuna, quicker than that would be checking his batting numbers by position:

By: Charles Sat, 13 Aug 2011 14:50:49 +0000 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.

By: Kahuna Tuna Sat, 13 Aug 2011 00:32:41 +0000 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).

By: Neil L. Fri, 12 Aug 2011 19:54:06 +0000 @41
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.

By: nightfly Fri, 12 Aug 2011 19:06:35 +0000 @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.

By: Kahuna Tuna Fri, 12 Aug 2011 18:40:24 +0000 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.

By: Cabriael Fri, 12 Aug 2011 13:34:29 +0000 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.

By: Charles Fri, 12 Aug 2011 13:22:12 +0000 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.

By: Raphy Fri, 12 Aug 2011 09:14:43 +0000 @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.