Monday, June 20, 2022


A QUESTION we will ask but not answer...because it is hard to research without assistance from the wizards at Retrosheet, and because it is actually rather trivial...but--how many games proceed along through eight or more innings with the run-scoring sequence for each team being exactly the same?

In case that's not clear, here's what we're driving at: in the 6/20/62 game between the Cardinals and the Dodgers, both teams have the identical scoring sequence in each inning, which is:

000 100 210 0

000 100 210 0

So the teams are literally playing tit-for-tat, with the Cards going ahead 1-0 in the top of the third and the Dodgers tying them in the bottom half of the same inning; the Cards then go ahead 3-1 in the top of the sixth, only to have the Dodgers tie the game with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. And both teams score a single run in the eighth as well. 

Of course, the two teams had done something very similar on the 18th, in the superb pitchers' duel between Gibson and Koufax--

000 000 00

000 000 00

--with the Dodgers breaking that up in the bottom of the ninth.

How many such games are there in baseball history? It's like trying to guess the number of jelly beans in that proverbial big jar in Ye Olde Candy Store window.

So we don't know the answer (nor do we know how many beans there are in the jar pictured above...) but we do know that the Cards' Bobby Shantz had a "heroic lengthy relief appearance" (we could call 'em HLRAs--pronounced "hel-ras" for short--or not...) in this game, beginning in the eighth inning when the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no out and were threatening to break up this "tit-for-tat" scoring pattern. (He did walk in the tying run, which was the Dodgers' pattern-sustainer, but he struck out pinch-hitter Doug Camilli and got Maury Wills to pop out to end the threat.)

In the eleventh inning, Dodgers' lefty relief ace Ron Perranoski was working on his third inning in relief. After getting the first out, he gave up three straight singles (Ken Boyer, Jimmie Schaffer, Bill White) to surrender the go-ahead run. Shantz gave up a one-out single to Jim Gilliam in the bottom of the inning, but then induced Lee Walls to hit into a game-ending double play. Hel-ra! Hel-ra, already! Final score; Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4

UP in San Francisco, the Colts' Dean Stone pitched 5 2/3 IP of relief to bail out starter Bob Bruce, stopping the Giants' first-inning rally at just two runs. Norm Larker's grand slam off Juan Marichal in the second put the Colts ahead 5-2, but Stone frittered that away (two-run homer to Tom Haller in the fourth, a squeeze bunt single by Harvey Kuenn in the sixth) before the Colts staged a decisive rally in the seventh, anchored by Pidge Browne's pinch-hit, bases-loaded double. (As we're still in the Giants' "swoon" period, you'd be right if you suspected another poor outing from Stu Miller: two innings, three hits, four walks, four runs.) Final score: Colts 9, Giants 5.