Suds Sutherland

From BR Bullpen

Suds Sutherland newspaper.png

Harvey Scott Sutherland

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Suds Sutherland arrived in the major leagues at the age of 27 after two successful years pitching for the Pacific Coast League's Portland Beavers, including a 21-win season in 1920. Suds began with great success, pitching for manager Ty Cobb's Detroit Tigers, winning his first 5 decisions (3 starts and 2 in relief). When he took the mound at Navin Field to duel with Walter Johnson his ERA stood at 2.93, and he was 5 for 13 at the plate. In Sutherland's second at bat, Johnson hit Suds in his pitching arm. Sutherland quickly surrendered an 8-4 lead when he retook the mound.

In his next appearance he gave up 6 runs to the A's in 5 innings of relief (though only 1 was earned) and took his first loss. He rebounded to win in a start against the eviscerated White Sox, but then gave up a run and took the loss in 5 outs of relief in Washington.

But Suds' big league career effectively ended, in his next start on June 14, 1921, when Babe Ruth, who'd previously walked and struckout against Suds, hit a 3-0 pitch into the upper deck. Player-manager Ty Cobb ran in from center field and took his anger out on the rookie pitcher. Suds would not start another game for the Tigers or any one else in the majors for that matter.

Cobb sold Sutherland back to Portland after a relief appearance and a pinch-hit at-bat. Before leaving Detroit, however, Suds pitched in a semi-pro game in which a banned player appeared. Commissioner Landis placed Sutherland on the banned list, and Sutherland ended up in Ontario for the balance of the 1921 season.

Reinstated for 1922, Sutherland did return to the Beavers and won 29 games over the next two years. He then joined Seattle of the PCL for 3 seasons before retiring.

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