by John Burgeson
First -- last month's puzzle. The puzzle was this: The Rockies and the Astros play a game in which the Rockies win, 18-17. Greg Maddux is the winning pitcher, giving up no hits, no walks, no errors. Greg is also the losing pitcher! And -- he gets credit for a save.
How could this be?
When the game begins, Maddux is pitching for the Astros against the Rockies in the bottom of the first inning at Coors Field in early April. The score is 0-0. Greg hits the first batter who takes first. A long rain delay (maybe snow, because it is Denver) intervenes before the game resumes. Due to the long delay, another pitcher takes Greg's place on the mound. Batter #2 hits a home run; the Rockies lead, 2-0.
The game progresses through 5 innings. The Rockies are never behind, but the pitching on both sides is abysmal. At the end of the 5th, it is 18-17 Rockies. In the top of the 6th, the Astros load the bases. Again, rain. The game is finally postponed.
At mid season, Maddux is traded to the Rockies. The postponed game resumes at the end of the season. Maddux goes in for the Rockies; with three still on base, he strikes out the side. He then pitches a perfect 7th and 8th innings. With one out in the 9th, he hits Biggio and then hits Berkman. The next batter is one who has "owned" Maddux over the years. The Rockies' manager moves Maddux to third base and brings in a new pitcher who gets the second out. Maddux then regains the mound and strikes out the last batter to get the victory. Becaause Maddux was the only Rockies' pitcher to do well, he is awarded the win. But he is also (obviously) awarded the loss! And the save.
Perhaps you were at the Cubs-Phillies game on Friday, August 25, 1922. Probably not though, unless you are a lot older than most people! Had you attended, you would have seen the Cubs prevail (yea!) 26 to 23! There were 51 hits in the game, 26 by the Phillies. The 49 run total is a record; the 51 hits a record for a nine inning game.
The Cubs led at one point 25-6. Surely an insurmountable lead! But the Phillies scored 17 more times, and the game ended with three on base in the ninth! The Cubs' Cliff Heathcote reached base seven times. Their right fielder Marty Callaghan batted three times (twice getting a hit) in one inning.
Now for puzzle #2
Rusty Carson came up as a rookie in 1939. On the last day of the season he was called upon to pitch in relief in the 9th inning. He threw just one pitch, which the batter hit over the center field wall. The manager pulled him immediately. He never pitched in the majors again.
His Major League record stands at 1 win, no losses.
How can this be? See ANSWER
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