Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Some Guys are Just CLUTCH. In Orange and Black it's spelled: B-U-S-T-E-R.

August 26th, 2014 at AT&T Park, in a game between the Colorado Rockies and SF Giants and its scoreless after 5 innings.

Not a whole lot different from many of the Giants' games but one thing had to pique one's interest was that MadBum was perfect. In baseball terminology, that meant 15 men up and 15 men down.

Then Buster Posey, Bum's battery-mate, rips one over the wall, and it's Orange and Black-2 Purple-0.

When Justin Morneau got the double to break up the perfect game you realized the score was only 2-0, with the leadoff batter on second base, in scoring position. How many times had a perfect game turned into defeat when a pitcher was pitching a gem of a ball game?

Ask Bob Hendley, of the Chicago Cubs, the night Sandy Koufax threw his perfecto. (Charles Robert (Bobby) Hendley was born on April 30, 1939 in Macon, Georgia, where he still lives today. He attended Lanier High School (now called Central High School) and led his team to the Georgia State High School Championship. Hendley was also a standout athlete on the school’s basketball and track teams.

Hendley received a scholarship to the University of Georgia; however he elected to forego college to sign with the Milwaukee Braves after being drafted by them in 1958.

Drafted out of high school, Bobby Hendley made his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Braves on June 23, 1961.

After the 1963 season, Hendley was traded from Milwaukee to the San Francisco Giants in a six-player deal. On May 28, 1965, he and Harvey Kuenn were traded by the Giants to the Chicago Cubs. Although they didn’t know it at the time, both Hendley and Kuenn would become immortalized in baseball history a short four months later.)

The fact that the Koufax’s perfect game ended with a score of 1-0, although remarkable, is not what sets the game apart from any of the other (now) 23 perfect games ever pitched; in fact there have been seven perfect games with a 1-0 final score. No, what puts the Koufax perfect game into a class of its own is that while no Cubs player managed to get a hit or reached base safely, the Dodgers themselves managed to get only one hit and had only two base runners during the entire game. If you really want to get technical, there was actually only one Dodger player to reach base safely during the game when you consider that it was Dodgers left fielder “Sweet” Lou Johnson who reached base both times – once on a 5th-inning walk and the other on a bloop double behind Cubs Hall of Fame first baseman Ernie Banks in the 7th inning.

Obviously the fact that Koufax faced the minimum of 27 batters without allowing a base runner is the big story here, but the fact that Cubs left-hander Bobby Hendley allowed only one hit himself is what makes this epic pitcher’s dual the greatest game ever played.

What makes this game even more incredible it that it wasn’t even Sweet Lou’s bloop double that accounted for the only run scored in the game – in fact, Johnson was left stranded on second base. It was the leadoff walk to Johnson in the bottom of the 5th inning on a 3-2 pitch (that could have been called either way) that led to the only run of the game. That questionable 3-2 pitch was the difference between a 1-0 shutout and a double no-hitter through 8 1/2 innings.

Then Buster hits another bomb and the score is 3-0. The catcher helps the pitcher and the Giants win 3-0.

It's now officially "Put a Fork In It Time." Because now, and only now is there hope of something special happening.
Like hitting rock bottom, not until then is there reason to believe things will change.

Kevin J. Marquez

(thanks to this website for the Bobby Hendley info: http://www.thinkbluela.com/index.php/2012/12/04/the-other-guy-2/)