Home  :  Contribute  :  Advanced Search  :  Site Statistics  :  Directory  
Onlybucs.net

Welcome to Onlybucs
Friday, August 12 2022 @ 06:59 pm UTC
1960 Revisited - April 14   
By Bobster

April 14, 1960-After opening the season in Milwaukee, the Pirates returned to Pittsburgh after just one game to host the Reds. Cal McLish, who was 19-8 the year before, was pounded by the Bucs and didnít make it through the third inning. It could be argued that McLish was knocked out faster than you could say his name. His given name on his birth certificate was Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish. Really. The Bucs scored 3 in the second inning on doubles by Clemente and Burgess and a HR by Mazeroski.

They knocked McLish out in the third inning when Groat doubled, Skinner was hit by a pitch and Clemente plated both runners with a double. Leading 5-0 in the fifth, the Bucs (1-1) struck for 6 more runs. Hoak led off with a walk and Groat and Skinner singled to make it 6-0. Stuart walked and Clementeís sac fly made it 7-0. Burgess walked and Cimoliís 2-run double made it 9-0. Former Pirate Bob Purkey relieved for the Reds, and Mazeroskiís double plated 2 more to make it 11-0.

After Whitey Lockman batted for Purkey in the top of the 6th, Paul Sanchez took over for the Reds and gave up a single to Groat leading off the bottom of the 6th. Sanchez then walked Skinner. Stuartís ground out advanced both runners, and Clementeís single scored them both to make it 13-0. Mazeroski finished with 4 RBIs. Clemente had 3 hits including 2 doubles and 5 RBIs. Groat had 3 hits. Vern Law (1-0) pitched a complete game 7-hit shutout.

Starting lineup:
Hoak 3B
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Law P.

So Mazeroski hit the first Pirate home run of the season. He would also hit the last.

4/15/60-Another day off in the first week of the season. Rookie Jim Umbricht would start the next game vs the Reds. Umbricht had pitched for the Piratesí AAA Salt Lake City team in 1959. He had a fine year there, going 14-8 with a 2.78 ERA. In 136 innings, he gave up only 115 hits and 43 walks, and he struck out 119. That earned him a September call up and one start for the í59 Bucs, in which he pitched 7 innings to no decision against the Reds. Umbricht, a righthander, was a 29-year old rookie when he made the Pirate team out of spring training in 1960. He had helped his chances of making the team on March 16, 1960 when he and Bennie Daniels combined to no-hit the Detroit Tigers in an exhibition game. The Sporting News made Umbright their pick to be the top rookie pitcher of 1960. But Umbricht would struggle in 1960 and eventually spend the second half of the season back in AAA until the rosters expanded in September.

Umbricht, Daniels and Gibbon were the Piratesí spot starters to begin the 1960 season. Spot starters were an integral part of any pitching rotation. The Pirates had played 19 doubleheaders in 1959. They would play 16 in 1960. Most were incorporated into the schedule as twilight doubleheaders beginning at 6 p.m. or on Sunday afternoons or holidays like Memorial Day, July Fourth, or Labor Day. In additions to the scheduled doubleheaders, rainouts were usually made up as part of a doubleheader. Although teams routinely used 4-man rotations, the need for an extra pitcher for so many doubleheader days, as well as giving a starter an occasional rest after many starts on three days rest, made spot-starters a necessity. In fact, adding up the total number of spot starts given to non-members of a 4-man rotation usually resulted in a quantity of starts comparable to those of the 4 rotational starters.

For instance, the 1959 Pirates got 35 starts from Friend, 33 from Law, 29 each from Haddix and Kline, and 29 other starts divided among 6 different pitchers with Witt and Daniels accounting for 23 of those other 29. By the end of the 1960 season, the Bucs would have 37 starts from Friend, 35 from Law, 28 from Haddix, 23 from Vinegar Bend Mizell (after being acquired in late May), and 32 other starts divided among Gibbon (9), Cheney (8), Daniels (6), Witt (6) and Umbricht (3). In essence, the 4-man rotation accounted for approximately four fifths of the games. But those 4 pitchers represented the best chance of winning and were kept on a routine schedule as much as possible. In 1960, Danny Murtaugh tried to pitch Friend and Law every 4th day as much as possible. Friend pitched with 3 days rest 17 times and 4 days rest 11 times. Law pitched with 3 days rest 17 times and 4 days rest 9 times. Haddix was referred to as a spot starter, not because he also pitched out of the bullpen, but because he was used more flexibly to try to get the most out of Friend and Law. Haddix pitched on 3 days rest just 6 times and 4 days rest 8 times. Mizell pitched on 3 days rest 9 times. The fifth pitcher could always be chosen from among several spot starters without trying to keep any one of them on a routine schedule and having all of them available in relief as much as possible. And since none of them were used every fifth turn, they could be inserted into the schedule as needed to vary the days between starts of the other four starters. Murtaugh could choose between Daniels, Umbricht, Gibbon and Witt for that role.

Saturday, 4/16/60-Rookie Jim Umbricht (0-1) started the third game of the season but gave up 6 ERs and 8 hits in 5.1 innings as the Reds prevailed 11-3 behind Jay hook (1-0). Umbricht began the game with 2 quick outs, but then gave up a triple to Gus Bell and a double to Frank Robinson in the first. The Pirates immediately tied it 1-1 in the first with a lead off triple by Hoak and a single by Groat. A double, a WP and sac fly gave the Reds a 2-1 lead in the second. Umbricht got out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the third with a Hoak, Mazeroski-Stuart DP. It remained 2-1 going into the 6th when the wheels came off the cart. Umbricht gave up a pair of 1-out singles to Lee Walls and catcher Ed Bailey (who had 5 hits on the day). An errant pick-off throw advanced the runners, a walk loaded the bases and a single plated one. Fred Green relieved Umbricht and allowed all 3 inherited runners to score on a single and sac fly. Former Heisman Trophy runner-up Paul Giel pitched 3 innings of relief for the Pirates (1-2) and was tagged for 2 runs in the 7th on 2 singles, a walk and an error by Groat, and a 3-run HR in the 8th.. Meanwhile, since the first inning, the Pirates had managed only a single by Stuart and a PH single by Schofield through the 8th inning against Redsí starter Jay Hook. The Pirates finally had a burst in the 9th after 2 were out. Trailing 11-1, Groat singled, Skinner tripled and Stuart singled to make the final 11-3. Groat and Stuart had 2 hits apiece.

Starting lineup:
Hoak LF
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Cimoli CF
Mazeroski 2B
Umbricht P

Story Options