Uncategorized

Game 152

October 2, 1908 – Addie Joss Throws a Perfect Game in a Pennant Race

The Naps, White Sox, and Tigers were in a three-way pennant race going into the last week of the season. Cleveland was one game behind Detroit, and Chicago was half a game behind Cleveland. 

On Friday October 2nd, the White Sox traveled to Cleveland to kick off a weekend series at League Park. “Big Ed” Walsh took the mound for Chicago with an incredible 39 and 14 record for the season so far. However, Walsh had yet to win at League Park that season. Two of his three loses in Cleveland had come against Addie Joss, the “Human Hairpin” with the corkscrew delivery. 

Joss took the mound with a 23-11 record so far in 1908 and an incredible strikeout to walk ratio of 4.20. During the team warmups, Joss spotted Walsh on the White Sox bench. A local reporter snapped a photo of the two ace pitchers having a quiet conversation before one of the biggest matchups of the season. 

Both pitchers came out dealing. Joss sat down the first nine White Sox he faced. In the bottom of the third, Naps centerfielder Joe Birmingham led off with a single into right. Birmingham took a wide lead off first and Walsh made his pickoff move. Birmingham broke for second. The throw to second struck Birmingham in the back and bounced into center field and he reached third without a slide. 

After Freddy Parent grounded out to short and Joss struck out attempting to bunt, leadoff hitter Wilbur Good came to the plate. Walsh got Good to strike out swinging, but the third strike sailed out of catcher Osee Screcongost’s reach. Birmingham came home on the wild pitch and gave the Naps a 1-0 lead. 

Through the middle innings, both pitcher mowed through the opposing lineup. Ed Walsh was striking out two or more Naps an inning, but Joss was getting the White Sox out with ruthless efficiency. 

Around the bottom of the seventh, the crowd began to sense that history was on the line. The horns, cowbells, and other noisemakers that were customary at League Park feel silent as the tension was building. 

Joss faced three pinch hitters in the bottom of the ninth. Doc White grounded out to second. Lee Tannehill whiffed for Joss’ third strikeout of the day. John Anderson pinch hit for Ed Walsh with two outs. He smacked a line drive down the left field line that fell just foul–the nearest that Chicago came to a hit all day. Following the foul, Anderson grounded third for the 27th out. 

Joss had pitched just the second Perfect Game in baseball history, and he had done it using only 74 pitches. Two years later, Joss would become the first player to no-hit a team twice when he blanked the Sox in Game 5 of 1910. It would be another 73 years before the next Perfect Game in Cleveland, when Len Barker tossed his in Game 24 of 1971.

Among pitchers with over 1,000 innings in the books, Joss and Walsh have the lowest ERAs in baseball history. Walsh’s 1.82 over fourteen seasons edges out Joss’ 1.89 over nine years with Cleveland. Joss remains the all time leader in WHIP with a mark of 0.968.

Joss is the only player every to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with less than 10 years of play in MLB. Joss died of tuberculosis just before the 1911 season began. In 1978 the rule was waived to include Cleveland’s original pitching ace in Cooperstown. 

Retrosheet Box Score

Honorable Mention – October 2, 2014 – Carlos Carrasco Tosses a 12K Maddux

While not quite a 74-pitch Perfect Game, Carlos Carrasco’s 12-stikeout, two-hitter against the Astros in late 2014 deserves an honorable mention. It earned Cookie his eighth win and was shortly followed by a hefty contract extension. 

Baseball Reference Box Score

Standard
Uncategorized

Game 5

April 20, 1910 – Addie Joss No-Hits Same Team Twice

By most contemporary accounts, Addie Joss was an unusual athlete. Nicknamed “The Human Hairpin” for his extremely long arms and unusual delivery style, Joss had a corkscrew delivery and turned his back entirely to the plate before using a sidearm motion. Despite this dramatic delivery and high leg-kick, he did not fall off the mound in the way that some corkscrew pitchers do. He completed his motion and was ready to field anything that came back up the middle.  

Joss’ fielding was a crucial factor in his 1910 no-hitter. He recorded assists on 10 of the 27 outs, mostly on ground balls. Joss threw only two strikeouts in the entire no-hit performance. The day was not without controversy, however. In the second inning,  White Sox shortstop Parent hit a weak topper to third base. Bill Bradley. Bradley juggled the ball and the throw to first was late. The play was initially ruled a base hit, but the scorer later changed it to a fielding error on Bradley.

Second basemen Terry Turner had the Naps’ lone RBI on the day with the double in the top of the 6th which scored Art Kruger. Having already thrown a perfect game against the White Sox in Game 152 of the 1908 season, Joss became the first pitcher to ever no-hit the same team twice. This record would stand for 104 years, until Tim Lincecum no-hit the San Diego Padres for the second time in 2014.

Joss played for only nine seasons, before he lost his life in April 1911 to tuberculosis meningitis. In 1977, the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors voted to waive the 10-year tenure rule in Joss’ case and make him eligible to the Hall of Fame. He was inducted by the Veterans Committee in 1978.

Standard