It's only been within the past few years that boxscore epicures have been treated to the "lo" statistic in certain newspapers, designating the number of runners left on base or not advanced by the batter. Game totals higher than eight for individuals are rarely seen, but more than 20 years ago the Cubs' Glenn Beckert established what might well be the all-time standard in this newly recognized category of futility. In an 18-5 blowout victory which included 16 Chicago hits and 15 walks, each Cub starter reached base at least three times or drove home at least three runs-each, that is, except Beckert. Amid his team's merrymaking, Glenn had a miserable day, being meekly retired in each of his six plate appearances. Twice he even made two outs in the same inning. In the final tally, Beckert failed to advance 12 Cub baserunners, nine of whom were in scoring position. His futility was imposed by five different Met hurlers.
Glenn's opportunities would leave RBI-men drooling. Twice he left the bases loaded; on two other occasions he failed with two mates aboard; another time he stranded a runner on second; and once a runner on first. It should be pointed out that although this is not yet a certified record category, it may one day be so considered. It always will be reserved for a dismal batting performance by an individual amidst an offensive festival by his teammates.
This was also a wretched day for Mets ace Tom Seaver, who failed to go the distance in his fifth straight start. The future Hall of Famer was pummeled for six hits and issued five free passes in only 2 1/3 innings. Tom realized it just wasn't his day when in the third inning, after walking the bases loaded, he served an 0-2 gopher ball to opposing moundsman Burt Hooton. It was Hooton's first major league round-tripper. Perhaps the 20-mile-per-hour south wind encouraged Chicago, for their 18 runs were also the most ever scored against the Mets in their 11-year history and the most scored in the National League thus far this year.
Chicago had at least two base runners in each of the eight frames in which they batted and a game total of 33. Thanks in part to Beckert, 15 of them were left stranded. The Cubs twice batted around, sending a game total of 57 batters to the plate, or an average of over seven per stanza. (The record is 66 over nine innings.) And, of the generous 15 total walks issued to the home club, Elrod Hendricks was the recipient of five (consecutive). Although Hendricks played only 17 of his 711 career games in the senior circuit, this one enabled him to tie the modern National League mark for walks in a nine-inning game. The major league record belongs to Jimmie Foxx with a half-dozen (see June 16, 1938).
This game also serves as an example of the sometimes ludicrous assignment of the "save" statistic. It should be noted that Bill Bonham was liberally bequeathed a "save" by virtue of the fact that he finished the game, pitched three or more effective innings, and preserved his team's lead. Lost within baseball's encyclopedic deluge of statistics is the fact that he entered this contest in the sixth frame with his club leading 13-3.
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in Different Cities on the Same Day
From Baseball Records Registry by Joseph J. Dittmar.
Copyright © 1997 by Joseph J. Dittmar. Reprinted with permission.