Friends of the VORG often pass along interesting factoids for me to pursue. Such is the case with the strange event encountered by my friend Dan Wachtell (Met fan, Scrabble player and all-around good guy).
Wednesday afternoon, Dan e-mailed me:
so, check out this box score today. http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=320425223
has any team done this before – all 9 starters had one hit each, no more, no fewer? maybe with pinch hitters, teams have done more than 9?
What ensued was a hunt through the Baseball Reference Play Index. It turns out this was the 63rd instance since 1918 of a team having all nine starters get precisely one hit in a game. Here they are in reverse order:
Now, if you include subs, we DO have games which included more than 9 players on one team getting exactly one hit. There have been four games with a record 12 batters:
However, in each of these games, there were other members of the “one hit” team that happened to get more (or no) hits, ruining the “perfect 1-hitter” aspect of the game.
So, we have to set our sights between 9 and 12 to find any situation in which every player that garnered a plate appearance got exactly one hit:
We have at least one instance of a “10”: On May 3, 1990, the Mariners hosted the (then) California Angels, and the Halos had all nine starters collect one hit … AND their lone pinch-hitter/sub also got one hit.
But just like Spinal Tap, ours goes to 11. On September 27, 1930, the Detroit Tigers edged the White Sox 6-5. All nine Tigers starters got one hit. The first relief pitcher (Guy Cantrell) never got a plate appearance, one pinch-hitter/sub (John Stone) got one hit, and one other relief pitcher (Chief Hogsett) also got one hit.