Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Come Back at the Fenway Park, Julio Lugo, Julio Lugo
2007-05-14 09:12
by Mike Carminati

The Red Sox came back from an 0-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to win, 6-5, yesterday at Fenway for a Mother's Day special. The rally started with one out and then O's catcher Ramon Hernandez dropped a Coco Crisp popup for an error. Six runs, three hits (including two doubles), three walks (one intentional), one out, two pitchers, and one additional error later, Boston won.

It was just the ninth time in baseball history that a team trailing in the ninth by at least five runs came back to win the game. The last time it happened was April 29, 1979, when the visiting Cubs scored six runs in the top of the ninth to defeat the Braves, 6-5. The Cubs got their first two men on (Dave Kingman singled and Steve Ontiveros walked) but were then on the ropes after two straight fly balls to second baseman Glenn Hubbard by Jerry Martin and Gene Klines. A walk to Ted Sizemore to load the bases brought the hook for Braves starter Larry McWilliams. Gene Garber, the man the greatest delivery in baseball history, gave up to straight singles (to Tim Blackwell and Larry Biitner) to run the score to 5-3 and then served up a homer to Bobby Murcer to put the Cubs ahead to stay, 6-5.

The last time a home team overcame a five-run deficit in the ninth was July 24, 1978 when the Astros beat the Expos, 6-5 with all their runs coming in the ninth. The Expos were leading 4-0 at the start of the ninth when Ken Forsch replaced Mark Lemongello to mop up the last inning. Forsch, the eventual winning pitcher, allowed a Tony Perez single, hit Larry Parrish with a pitch, walked Gary Carter intentional after a groundout to load the bases, and finally a Chris Speier single to plate the fifth Montreal run. The 'Stros led off the bottom of the ninth with a Rafael Landestoy walk—take that Speier!—, a Terry Puhl single, and an Enos Cabell double to score their first run. Darold Knowles replaced Mike Garman and allowed a run on a sac fly by pinch-hitter Jesus Alou. After Bob Watson walked and Art Howe struck out, the Astros came within one run of Montreal after two straight singles. Knowles was lifted for Gerry Pirtle (who?) after the Expos failed to get an out on a Bruce Bochy fielder's choice, the bases were loaded. Landestoy then singled home the tying and winning runs—Die Speier!—for a 6-5 two-out victory.

The only time a larger deficit was overcome in the ninth (with no runs for the home team) was August 22, 1947 when the Tigers beat the Senators 7-6 on seven ninth-inning runs.

Here are the greatest ninth-inning comebacks from a previously scoreless home team. The Red Sox's was just the sixth comeback of five or more :

DateVisiting teamHome teamVT runsHT runsLead Overcome
19470822Washington SenatorsDetroit Tigers676
20070513Baltimore OriolesBoston Red Sox565
19780724Montreal ExposHouston Astros565
19600417Cincinnati RedsPittsburgh Pirates565
19310530Philadelphia AthleticsBoston Red Sox565
19110601Cincinnati RedsSt. Louis Cardinals565
20050819San Francisco GiantsSt. Louis Cardinals454
20040928Colorado RockiesLos Angeles Dodgers454
19990523Philadelphia PhilliesNew York Mets454
19990417Chicago CubsMilwaukee Brewers454
19930611Los Angeles DodgersSan Diego Padres454
19900424Chicago White SoxTexas Rangers454
19790829Seattle MarinersCleveland Indians454
19790506Kansas City RoyalsCleveland Indians454
19740428Philadelphia PhilliesSan Diego Padres454
19580919New York YankeesBaltimore Orioles454
19570704Chicago White SoxKansas City Athletics454
19550911Philadelphia PhilliesMilwaukee Braves454
19550422Pittsburgh PiratesPhiladelphia Phillies454
19410822Washington SenatorsDetroit Tigers454
19410722Brooklyn DodgersCincinnati Reds454
19100609St. Louis CardinalsNew York Giants454

There were two other ninth-inning deficits of six runs overcome by a team with no runs, but the other two were visiting clubs. Here are the previous comebacks of five or more runs:

DateVisiting teamHome teamPrev LeadVT runsHT runs

Now, before anyone points out that the Dodgers beat the Padres 6-5 April 30 of last year after trailing 5-0 in the ninth, but the Dodgers took two innings to do it. They tied the game in the ninth and won it in the tenth. The Reds had a five-run comeback in the ninth last year as well (July 6) but ended up losing to the Braves in the tenth. The Twins also had an eighth-inning comeback of five runs to tie the M's last June 7 but lost in eleven.

Finally, the greatest ninth-inning comeback by a home team was on April 25, 1901 (opening day) when the Tigers beat the old Milwaukee Brewers (now the Orioles) 14-13 after entering the bottom of the ninth trailing 13-4. The Tigers ended up sweeping four games from the Brewers by a combined score of 45 to 38. The Brewers ended up 48-89 and moved to St. Louis the next year. Here are the comebacks by a home team of at least five runs:

DateVisiting teamHome teamVT runsHT runsVT Mid 9thHT Mid 9thLead Mid 9thLead End 9th9th Inning R
2007-05-14 10:30:55
1.   Humma Kavula
Sadly, it was the Padres that beat the Dodgers last year on April 30.

If memory serves, it was this game that was just about the final nail in the coffin for Lance Carter's Dodger career. He hadn't been pitching well to this point, and this game did him in. He'd pitch in a couple more games before the true end, but the idea that he couldn't hold a 5-run lead for one inning was infuriating.

Looking back at the game log, it also appears that this game was not the beginning of the end for Danny Baez as a Dodger, but perhaps it was the end of the beginning. He'd pitched well to this point (tho I seem to recall DT regulars being skeptical that he could keep it up). Baez would get worse and worse, lose his job as closer, and then get traded.

2007-05-15 08:44:11
2.   Jim Rice
I think you missed the 1998 Red Sox home opener in which the Sox scored 7 in the 9th, capped off by a Vaugh grand slam, to win 9-7. I couldn't find it any of those tables, anyway.

Good stuff, though, and great win.

2007-05-16 07:51:33
3.   stephanie
July 2, 1995, Orioles scored 7 in the top of the 9th against the Jays to win 9-7. The memory of that made up for the pain of Sunday a little bit for me, not much though.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.