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Around The Bases

Posted: June 15, 2012 - 12:07am
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A Mariners runner is safe at second base against the Phillies on Thursday.
A Mariners runner is safe at second base against the Phillies on Thursday.

Did You Know???

“Bandbox” is a small ballpark that favors hitters.

“Wheelhouse” is a hitter’s power zone. Usually a pitch waist-high and over the heart of the plate.

“Can of corn” is an easy catch by a fielder.

“Table setter” is a batter whose job is to get on base for other hitters to drive him in. Usually a leadoff or No. 2 hitter.

“Meatball” is an easy pitch to hit, usually right down the middle of the plate.

“Hitting the interstate” is any batter hitting below .200, as in .184, as in I-84.

“Chin music” is a high, inside pitch used to “brush back” the batter from “crowding” the plate. It’s also called high heat and a purpose pitch, the purpose of which is to move the batter off the plate. Both pitcher and batter claim ownership of the plate. The batter stands at a comfortable distance from the plate, close enough to hit an outside pitch. Some batters stand closer to the plate, enabling them to reach the outside corner of the plate with the “meat of the bat.”

“Spikes Up” is a term from back in the day when metal spikes were worn on the bottom of players’ shoes, runners stealing second or sliding into third would sometimes come at the bag “spikes up.” The intent was to actually hurt the fielder covering the bag. It’s an aggressive form of base running. However, pitchers learn to protect their own. So the runner who comes in “spikes up” may hear a little “chin music” his next time at bat. Pitchers reclaim ownership of the plate by throwing a little chin music.

Yogi Berra said: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

“You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”

This Date In Baseball, June 15:

1902 — Corsicana defeated Texarkana 51-3 in a Texas League game. Nig Clark of Corsicana took advantage of the small park and hit eight homers. Some telegraph operators, thinking there was a mistake, reported the score as 5-3.

1925 — The Philadelphia Athletics went into the last half of the eighth inning trailing 15-4 and scored 13 runs to defeat Cleveland 17-15.

1938 — Four days after no-hitting the Boston Braves, Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds pitched his second straight no-hit game, defeating the Dodgers 6-0 in the first night game played in Brooklyn.

1952 — The St. Louis Cardinals, down 11-0 entering the fifth inning, came back for a 14-12 triumph over the New York Giants in the first game of a doubleheader and set a National League record for best comeback.

1963 — San Francisco’s Juan Marichal pitched a no-hitter against the Houston Colts for a 1-0 victory, the first Giants no-hitter since Carl Hubbell’s in 1929.

1976 — The Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros were “rained in” at the Houston Astrodome as 10 inches of rain fell on the city. Only members of both teams were able to make it to the stadium. Umpires, fans and stadium personnel were unable to make it through the water.

1980 — Cleveland Indian Jorge Orta collected six hits, a double and five singles, and scored four times in a 14-5 triumph over the Minnesota Twins. Toby Harrah had seven RBIs.

1992 — Jeff Reardon broke Rollie Fingers’ career save mark of 341 when he preserved a 1-0 victory for the Boston Red Sox with one scoreless inning against the New York Yankees.

2002 — A double in the fifth inning of Texas’ 4-0 loss to Houston gave Rafael Palmeiro 1,000 career extra-base hits. He became the 25th major leaguer to reach that mark.

2011 — Josh Beckett pitched a one-hitter, allowing only an infield single in the third inning by Reid Brignac, and led the Boston Red Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Beckett struck out six, walked none and retired the last 19 batters. 2011 — Mark Teixeira hit two-run homers from each side of the plate and the New York Yankees connected five times, romping past the Texas Rangers 12-4. Teixeira tied Chili Davis and Eddie Murray for most times homering from both sides of the plate all-time with 11. Today’s birthdays: Josh Lindblom 25; Trevor Plouffe 26; Tim Lincecum 28; Cliff Pennington 28.

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