August 21 is a day full of exploits featuring arms, “stuff,” and managerial fits. Read on….
August 21, 1894: Well, this one isn’t so good, but the Cincinnati Reds and pitchers Chauncey Fisher, Tom Parrott, and Bill Whitrock allow a major league record 43 runs in a double header loss to the Boston Beaneaters. The Beaneaters score the 43 runs in only 14 innings as the second game is called after six innings due to darkness. According to the book “Redleg Journal,” Parrott (nicknamed “Tacky Tom”) was suspended for two weeks due to “indifferent play.”
The 1894 Reds gave up a team record 1108 runs, which is more 200 more than the second highest number of runs allowed (907 in 2004). The 1894 Reds also scored a team record 936 runs as this was the second year after the pitchers were moved back to 60’6″. Frank Dwyer was the Reds’ best pitcher (19-21, 5.07 ERA). Parrott finished 17-19 with a 5.60 ERA, Fisher was 2-8 with a 7.47 ERA, and Whitrock finished 2-6 with a 6.24 ERA. Bug Holliday had a huge season at the plate, batting .376 with 13 homers and 123 rbi. The Reds finished the season 10th of 12 teams with a 55-75 record in manager Charles Comiskey’s last season at the helm.
August 21, 1896: The Reds fall out of first place with a 10-9 loss to the Boston Beaneaters in Boston. The Reds, led by Hall of Famer Buck Ewing, spent 59 days in first place, leading by as much as five games, but started an 11-game losing streak on August 20th that cost them their chance at a championship.
According to “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:
“At the time, the first and second place teams in the National League competed in a postseason series for the Temple Cup, and in mid-August, the Reds seemed to be a lock for sone of the two spots. But the Reds collapsed, finishing third behind Cleveland by 2 1/2 games. Cleveland played Baltimore for the Cup.”
The 11-game losing streak offset an earlier 11-game win streak which saw the Reds move from third place to first place. Reds pitcher Frank Dwyer had a huge season, going 24-11 with 3.15 ERA. Red Ehret had a good year, too, going 18-14 with a 3.42 ERA. The Reds pitching, which had been so poor in 1894, allowed the fewest runs in the National League only two years later. They finished the season 77-50, their best record since the 1884 American Association Red Stockings days.
August 21, 1964: 19-year-old lefty rookie Billy McCool allows only one hit in 6 1/3 innings of relief in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. It was McCool’s longest outing to date and led to three starts later in the year.
This was Reds manager Fred Hutchinson’s last year with the team as he lost his battle with cancer. McCool’s performance kept the Reds in second place. Later in the season, the Reds pulled off a nine-game winning streak and closed the gap to 1/2 game before losing their last two games of the season. They finish the season 92-70, and one game out of first place.
McCool finished the year 6-5 with a 2.42 ERA and 87 K’s in 89 innings. He finished his career 32-42 with a 3.59 ERA pitching almost exclusively in relief.
August 21, 1967: Jim Maloney fired a two-hitter and walked only two as the Reds beat the San Francisco Giants in Candlestick Park, 2-0. The two Giants hits came in the first two innings as Maloney didn’t allow a hit through the last 7 1/3 innings of the game. This performance came five days after Maloney had a no-hitter through six 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates before hurting his ankle legging out a triple and having to leave the game. In those two games, Maloney pitches 13 1/3 innings of two hit baseball.
For the season Maloney finished 15-11 with a 3.25 ERA. The Reds spent 61 days in first place this season, the last day coming on June 18. They eventually finished 87-75, 14 1/2 games out of first place.
August 21, 1977: Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver makes a triumphant return to New York’s Shea Stadium, and pitches a complete game, allowing six hits and striking out 11 in a 5-1 Reds win. Seaver the hitter also collects a double and scores two runs in the game.
Seaver had been acquired from the Mets on June 15 for infielder Doug Flynn, pitcher Pat Zachry, and outfielders Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. For the remainder of the season (20 starts), Seaver goes 14-3 with a 2.34 ERA for the Reds, and throwing 14 complete games. For the season, Seaver was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and finished third in Cy Young Award voting. With the Reds for six seasons, Seaver goes 75-46 with a 3.18 ERA. For his career, Seaver finishes 311-205 with a 2.86 ERA. The Reds finished the season 88-74 , 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 21, 1990: Reds manager Lou Piniella provides television one of the greatest managerial argument moments ever as he tosses first base twice into right field after getting into an argument with umpire Dutch Rennert. The Reds won the game, 8-1, with Billy Hatcher tying a major league record with four doubles in the game.
The base tossing incident made instant headlines and led to local fun. From “Redleg Journal” discussing August 23rd:
“The Cincinnati Enquirer sponsors a lunchtime base-throwing contest to see if anyone could top Lou Piniella’s 35-foot toss during the game two nights earlier. Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken won the contest with a throw measuring 43 1/4 feet. Despite wearing high heels, Mary Krutko of WKRC-TV won the women’s division with a fling of 40 feet.”
Oh, in case you didn’t know, the 1990 Reds won the World Series title in four games over the Oakland Athletics. They led the division wire to wire, leading by as many as 10 games, before finishing the season 91-71 games with a five game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 21, 2002: From baseball-reference.com’s bullpen a non-Reds story that Louisville residents will remember:
In longest game ever played in Little League World Series history, Louisville, KY beats Fort Worth, TX in the US semifinal in 11 innings, 2 – 1. A record-setting with 49 strikeouts are recorded as Fort Worth’s Walker Kelly strikes out 21 in nine two-hit innings and Louisville’s Aaron Alvey fan 19 batters over nine no-hit innings.