Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hardin My Heart: Saturday, September 16th, 1967


BAL 3, BOS 0 W-Hardin 19-11 L-Morehead 9-9  HARDIN NO-HITTER.

CAL 6, KC 1 W-Hamilton 5-7 L-Sanford 12-10 HR-Reichardt(24)

MIN 3, CHI 1 W-Kaat 12-13 L-John 12-6 HR-Killebrew(36) Berry(7)

DET 1, WAS 0 W-Marshall 8-6 L-Pascual 6-18 S-Gladding(29)

CLE 7, NY 4 W-Tiant 13-18 L-Downing 10-13 HR-Maye(10)ISP Azcue(14) Alvis(12)  

Jim Hardin, partying like it's 1968.
Jim Hardin of the Orioles tossed the season's third no-hitter Saturday at Fenway Park! The O's scored three in the top of the first and that's all he needed to cruise to the no-hit victory. In the last of the ninth, Reggie Smith fanned leading off. Then Jerry Adair hit for Mike Ryan and drew a walk, one of three given up by Hardin, along with 6 strikeouts. Hawk Harrelson hit for the pitcher and flied to left for the second out. That left it up to Mike Andrews, who scorched a screamer down to third base, but that's where Brooks Robinson sets up his office. Brooksie made the pick and tossed over to Curt Blefary for the final out. Hardin faced just one batter over the minimum, thanks to two double plays.

Oddly, both the other no-hitters of the season were thrown by White Sox pitchers, at Comiskey Park, against the Yankees, with Bill "The French Trader" Monbouquette taking the loss both times. Joel Horlen tossed his in April, Tommy John in July. 

Ed "Creeper" Stroud: "I know it's out here someplace!"
The Tigers' bats continue to be deep frozen, but one fluky run was enough to down the punchless Nats, who managed only two singles in a scenario that has become much too familiar. It was the Senators' 29th whitewash of the season. The Tigers scored when Trixie Tracewski singled; then Don Wert laced a single to right which baffled Nat's flyhawk Ed Stroud enough that Trixie streaked all the way home from first, with Wert taking second on the throw. No error, just a strange play. Weirdly, Stroud is the only adequate-fielding picket the Nats have, but he just couldn't seem to track the ball down this time. And if the Trixie/Wert combo sounds familiar, they combined to produce the only run in a recent 1-0 win over Baltimore. In fact, the Tigers have scored just 5 runs in their last 3 games, but have won them all.

Additional note: (APBA nerd stuff.) After posting this last night, I wandered over to The APBA Blog, where I was reading about the new boards. "You'll get better results" the article said, so I pulled out my new boards, purchased a few weeks ago and which I had hardly glanced at. The tie-in with the above post is that the Tigers' fluky rally would not have happened on the new boards. Wert's hit would have been a simple fly out to right. 

I started out with the huge clunky heavy-duty boards that came with my first game in 1980; I still have them some place in the house, but Goddess knows where. They are undoubtedly with my 1979 cards, inside the old gorgeous Hank Aaron game box which is missing in action as well. I would never have thrown them away. Anyway, since some time in the 90s I have been using the thinner "radio" boards, which I like for their color-coding and for their "radio" descriptions. In any event, I am so familiar with 98% of the results, that I don't have to consult them much, though I did on Wert's hit. Well, now I'll have some learning to do, if I switch to the new boards on my next replay.

Result 12, which was always a grounder to first, is now a grounder to third. 12 seems to have swapped out with 29 to some degree, which accommodates pitcher-started double plays, which I like. The old reliable 35, a pop foul to the catcher all these years, is now the grounder to first. But the big change on the regular boards is result 8 with a runner on first. Except for slow runners, everybody went first to third on a single, unless the pitcher's grade made it an out. I always felt there was too much first-to-thirding. But now everybody stops at second. I'm not so sure I'm happy with that, either. I think I might let fast (F) runners go to third, and everybody else stop at second. The old boards create too many easy runs, but the new boards seem like they would really stifle scoring, particularly in a pitching-dominated year such as the one I am playing now.

Another change is that Z pitchers allow two balls in base situations where it used to be one. In other words, with a runner on first, it took four 14's to walk a batter; now it will only take two. I can't tell you how many times that would come into play. I like it. But the biggest change is the sacrifice and hit and run boards (or booklet, as it used to be.) I was so stoked when i found my old brown sacrifice booklet in an old desk drawer recently. I love the tabs that take you right to the chart you need. But it was flawed. I had already changed a couple of things, including the walk on 14 when sacrificing. I made it ball one. But the thing that really changed dramatically is the hit and run. Now 13 is a strike and the runner is out stealing. It used to be that a runner with an 11 on his card stole successfully, and so I have long used the hit and run as a way to goose runners into going, since the basic game doesn't have a provision for calling a steal. Used this way, a batter who strikes out a lot is ideal, whereas he wouldn't be in an actual hit and run play. On a straight steal, batters often take a pitch to let the runner have the chance to go, but on a true hit and run, contact is the thing. I think I might do this: use the old chart when my real aim is to steal, and the new chart when I really mean hit and run. Another difference is that the power results are reduced on the new hit and run, which makes sense.

Anyway, I will finish the last 65 games of this replay as i have been doing, with the radio boards and the old sacrifice booklet. Then, we'll see.    


highland518 said...

Congratulations on the no hitter!

Fireblossom said...

Thanks, highland!

Casey said...

My poor Sox :(

Fireblossom said...

Take heart, Casey. The Red Sox play the Tigers head-to-head Monday and Tuesday; if they sweep, it's a real dogfight.