Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Great Moments, Revisited

.....or Herp-a-Derp, Rederp.

While driving in to work yesterday morning I had an idea. I liked the idea of finding derpy cards in my collection, but felt it wasn't a fully formed concept yet. After all, you can find derpy cards just as well as I can. So, I had the notion to look back a the players career and find their derpiest performance. It wasn't enough, though, that the players performance on that day was bad, it also needed to have some impact on the games outcome. So, let's give it a try.

So, revisiting Clay Carroll, I was surprised to learn he actually had a solid career as a relief pitcher, compiling a 96-73 record with 143 saves, and a 2.94 ERA, across 731 appearances. On top of that, he was really consistent, rarely having more than one or two horrendous outings a season.

So, it was a tough choice, but I would say his derpiest performance as on May 24, 1970 in a game against the Houston Astros. With Cincinnati leading 7-3, Houston came to bat in the bottom of the 8th against starter Gary Nolan.  Astro shortstop Dennis Menke tagged Nolan for a single to left and Carroll came on in relief.  The first batter Clay fasted, Joe Pepitone laced a triple to centerfield, scoring Menke. Carroll got Doug Rader out on a popfly to second, but then Marty Martinez reached on an error by Reds shortstop Dave Concepcion, scoring Pepitone and narrowing the score to 7-5.  Catcher Johnny Edwards singled to left to put men on 1st and 2nd with one out and Jim Wynn "The Toy Cannon" coming to bat. Carroll must have lost the plate at this point.  After a passed ball advanced the runners, he walked Wynn to load the bases.

Carroll was relieved by Wayne Granger, but after a single by Jesus Alou and a throwing error on the resulting play by Reds CF Bobby Tolan, the game was tied, with Alou on 2nd. Norm Miller was walked to set up the double play, but Tommy Davis foiled the plan by singling in Alou with the winning run.  The Astros tacked on a couple more runs to go up 10-7 before the inning mercifully ended.  A quick top of the 9th, punctuated only by a wasted single by Tony Perez, and the game was over with Carroll taking the loss.
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