Monday, June 24, 2013

Every Dog Has His Day - Ed Brinkman

Though I am skeptical of my ability to sustain any regular feature here, given my "real life" obligations, I need give it a try.  I've basically slipped into a mode where any posts are half-assed and, consequently, I have limited readership.  Not that I am looking to challenge for the Blog of the Year or anything, but I feel like I've taken more from the community than I have given and need to work on what I contribute.

So, here is how it is going to work. I will periodically grab a random card from my collection and find the best single game performance in that player's career, as measured by Baseball Reference's Win Probability Added statistic.

I'll start with Ed Brinkman.

This card is from the very first sheet of my 1973 set.  I won't be proceeding through this linearly, in case you are wondering. I mainly chose this card because Ed is striking the pose of a particularly ineffective hitter, what with choking up and crouching in that odd way. And, indeed Brinkman had a .228/.280/.300 slash line over a 15 year career.  He was mainly known as a good glove man.  Over his career, he notched up a dWAR of 20.3 versus an oWAR of 5.3 and managed the mind boggling feat of three seasons with dWARs higher than 3.0

Ed's career day was May 23, 1970 when his then team, the Washington Senators, squared off against the Tigers in Detroit.  Overall, Ed went 4 for 5 with 1 run scored and 3 RBIs in a 6-5 Washington victory.  His contributions were as follows:

  • Leading off the game against Tiger hurler Mike Kilkenny, he flew out to right fielder Jim Northrup. 
  • He closed out the bottom of the first, by throwing out Al Kaline at first.
  • He also ended the bottom of the second, by forcing out Mike Kilkenny at second on a Mickey Stanley groundball. However, Detroit managed to put three on the board by virtue of an Ike Brown homerun.
  • Coming to bat with in the top of the third with with one out and Tim Cullen on second, Brinkman put Washington on the board wen he laced a double to right field, scoring Cullen.  Ed was stranded there two batters later.
  • He ended his third consecutive inning with another forceout at second, this time Willie Horton.
  • He didn't factor in the game again until the top of the sixth, by which time Detroit had opened up a 5-1 lead, when he opened the frame with a double to left field;later scoring on a Frank Howard homerun.  That tater by the Capital Punisher brought the score to 5-3 in favor of the Tigers.
  • He came to bat again in the seventh with two on and two out.  A single to left field scored Ed Stroud to close the Senators to within one. An inning later, Washington tied the score on a solo shot by Rick Reichardt.
  • Ed came to bat again in the top of the ninth with John Roseboro on second and two outs.  He singled to center, scoring Roseboro and putting Washington up 6-5.
  • He threw out Ike Brown for the first out in the bottom of the ninth and then almost blew the game, one out later, when he committed an error, allowing Micky Stanley to reach base and keep Detroit alive. Luckily, the next batter, Cesar Guitierrez flew out to end the game.
I enjoyed researching this post, although I struggled with writing it.  Hopefully, I'll find my voice if I keep at this.

Coming up next: an unexpected addition to a PC.

What I am listening to: Baby Please Don't Go by Lightnin Hopkins

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