Random Game Story
Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies, Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, PA
August 27, 1929


Introduction

After being stuck for a bit in the 1980s, my series of random game stories moves back for the earliest game thus far in the series, to 1929. The Roaring 20's. The economy was soaring. Flapper dresses; jazz; bootleg moonshine. Good times all around! And baseball was booming! Perhaps nowhere more than in Philadelphia where Connie Mack had put the finishing touches on his second great dynasty. The 1929 Philadelphia Athletics would win 104 regular season games and the World Series.

Alas, while this story takes place in Philadelphia in 1929, it does not involve the A's, but instead involves the other Philadelphia baseball team. The 1929 Philadelphia Phillies did not win 104 games. Not to spoil things too much, but the Phillies entered play on Tuesday, August 27, 1929 in seventh place in the National League with a record of 50-69 (with one tie). Their opponent that day, the Pittsburgh Pirates entered play with a record of 67-50 (and one tie), in second place - but 13-1/2 games behind the eventual NL pennant winning Chicago Cubs.

This was the era where you couldn't shake a stick without hitting a Hall of Famer - not all of whom look like great selections in retrospect - and this game was no exception. Four Hall-of-Famers played in this game. The Pirates batted Hall-of-Famers 2-3-4 in their lineup: center fielder Lloyd Waner, in right field, his brother Paul, and batting cleanup, third baseman Pie Traynor. The Phillies had only one Hall-of-Famer in their regular lineup, cleanup hitter and right fielder Chuck Klein.

The pitching matchup for August 27th was second-year right-hander Erv Brame for the Pirates, who entered play with a record of 12-8 with a 4.76 ERA (the league ERA for the 1929 National League was 4.71), versus rookie left-hander Harry Smythe, who entered play with a record of 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA in eight relief outings. This was the first start of Smythe's major-league career.

First Inning
Dick Bartell got things started for the Pirates with a single to left field. Lloyd Waner hit into a force play and big brother Paul flied out. But Pie Traynor shot a single to center field putting Little Poison on third base. Smythe should have gotten out of the inning, however, as he got Adam Comorosky to hit a ground ball to second baseman Fresco Thompson. But Thompson booted the ball, and Lloyd Waner scored the first (unearned) run of the game.

Thompson tried to atone for the error by leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single. But he got no farther than first base.

Second - Fourth Innings
Neither offense did much over the next three innings and both Smythe and Brame pitched well: Smythe allowed two singles while Brame allowed a single, a double, and a walk.

Fifth Inning
Smythe continued his dominance for the first two batters of the fifth inning. With two outs, Lloyd Waner hit a tough ground ball that was coralled by second baseman Thompson. But he threw the ball away in his haste to try to get Waner and Waner reached second base. The play was scored a single and Thompson's second error of the game (Thompson led NL second basemen in errors in both 1928 and 1929). Paul Waner blooped a fly ball into shallow right field for a hit and Lloyd scored the second (unearned) run of the game.

Meanwhile, Erv Brame continued his strong outing with a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth inning.

Sixth Inning
The top of the sixth inning looked uncomfortably like the top of the fifth: two quick outs, but then a two-out single and the batter found his way to second base - in this case, Sparky Adams stole second base. As in the fifth, the next batter - Roland Hemsley in this case - also got a hit, but shortstop Tommy Thevenow was able to knock the ball down and keep Adams from scoring. Smythe then got Erv Brame to hit a ground ball to Fresco Thompson and unlike in the first and fifth innings, Thompson handled this one cleanly and the inning was over.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lefty O'Doul singled with one out (he would lead the National League in 1929 in hits - 254, batting average - .398, and on-base percentage - .465), but could get no farther.

Seventh Inning
Harry Smythe pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning. Through 6-1/2 innings, neither starting pitcher had allowed an earned run, but the Pirates led 2-0 thanks to Fresco Thompson's two errors.

Erv Brame's fine work continued in the bottom of the seventh inning as the first two batters were retired on infield pop-ups.

But so far, both runs in the game had scored via two-out rallies by the Pirates. Could the Phillies mount their own two-out rally?

And the Phillies led 7-2.

Eighth Inning
Pie Traynor led off the top of the eighth winning with a single to right field. Adam Comorosky hit a fly ball to center field. Phillies center fielder Bernie Friberg dropped the ball. Traynor scored from first base with the Pirates' third (unearned) run with Comorosky ending up on second base.

But Smythe bore down and struck out the next two batters before ending the inning by getting Roland Hemsley to ground out to third base.

Despite having allowed seven runs the previous inning, Erv Brame came out to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. The complete game was still the goal of every pitcher every time out - Brame completed 19 of his 28 starts in 1929 and 62 of his 91 career starts. Brame seemed none the worse for wear, working a scoreless inning, allowing only a two-out walk to Friberg.

Ninth Inning
Speaking of complete games, Harry Smythe came out for the top of the ninth inning hoping to complete his first major-league start.

It looked a bit sketchy as pinch hitter Ira Flagstead opened the inning with a booming triple to left field. Still, the Phillies led 7-3. Flagstead scored as Dick Bartell grounded out - the first earned run allowed by Smythe - a tradeoff the Phillies were happy to make. Lloyd Waner flew to center field. Paul Waner flew to left field. Game over.

Game Summary

And so, one hour and fifty minutes after the game started (yes, games were really played that quickly in the days before television and stadium lights), the Phillies had a 7-4 win.

Harry Smythe earned the first win of his major-league career. He would go on to add only four more, three of them later in the 1929 season. Despite his relatively solid performance in this game, he ended up with only 12 career starts in MLB and this was one of only two complete games in his career. The win pushed the Phillies into sixth place, one-half game ahead of the Cincinnati Reds, with a record of 51-69. This was the Phillies third consecutive win. That win streak grew to an eight-game winning streak. The Phillies also put together a seven-game winning streak later in the season and improved to a final record of 71-82, good for fifth place, the Phillies' best finish since 1917.

The Pirates, meanwhile, who had been in first place in the National League as recently as July 23rd, bounced back from their loss here to win their next four games (all against the first-place Cubs). They finished the season relatively strongly, finishing in second place at 88-65, although that still left them 10-1/2 games behind the Cubs.

Details of the game are shown below. First, I show Player won-lost records for all of the players who participated in the game. Baseball Player won-lost records are constructed so that the players on the winning team earn two pWins and one pLoss in the game while the players on the losing team earn one pWin and two pLosses. I also show expected wins and losses, eWins and eLosses, which are context-neutral. Full play by play details of the game are shown below the won-lost tables. My Player won-lost records are described in more detail in this article and throughout my website.

Retrosheet Box Score and Play-by-Play


Runs by Inning

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Pittsburgh Pirates1000100114
Philadelphia Phillies00000070x7


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ira Flagstead0.020.00
0.01
0.060.000.06
Pie Traynor0.040.08
-0.04
0.090.090.00
Adam Comorosky0.120.16
-0.05
0.140.120.01
Rollie Hemsley0.040.12
-0.08
0.050.10-0.05
George Grantham0.040.12
-0.09
0.060.10-0.04
Sparky Adams0.080.17
-0.10
0.120.19-0.07
Lloyd Waner0.100.21
-0.11
0.130.17-0.04
Dick Bartell0.040.18
-0.14
0.060.14-0.08
Paul Waner0.140.29
-0.15
0.170.19-0.02
Erv Brame0.400.65
-0.25
0.440.44-0.00
Team Totals12
-1
1.321.54-0.23
   
   
Philadelphia Phillies
Harry Smythe0.680.21
0.47
0.610.310.30
Lefty O'Doul0.420.08
0.34
0.120.14-0.01
Fresco Thompson0.300.13
0.17
0.180.21-0.02
Pinky Whitney0.140.08
0.06
0.150.080.07
Walt Lerian0.090.05
0.04
0.090.070.02
Chuck Klein0.160.13
0.04
0.100.13-0.03
Bernie Friberg0.090.11
-0.02
0.150.130.02
Tommy Thevenow0.070.10
-0.03
0.080.14-0.06
Don Hurst0.050.11
-0.06
0.050.11-0.06
Team Totals21
1
1.541.320.23


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Detail

Player Won-Lost Records: Batting
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ira Flagstead0.020.00
0.01
0.060.000.06
Paul Waner0.080.09
-0.01
0.090.10-0.01
Adam Comorosky0.090.11
-0.02
0.100.080.01
Pie Traynor0.040.06
-0.02
0.080.060.02
George Grantham0.030.09
-0.06
0.040.08-0.04
Rollie Hemsley0.030.10
-0.07
0.040.09-0.05
Lloyd Waner0.030.11
-0.07
0.060.12-0.06
Sparky Adams0.010.09
-0.07
0.040.08-0.04
Dick Bartell0.030.11
-0.08
0.040.11-0.07
Erv Brame0.000.11
-0.11
0.000.07-0.07
Team Totals0.350.87
-0.52
0.550.80-0.26
   
   
Philadelphia Phillies
Lefty O'Doul0.380.06
0.32
0.090.080.01
Fresco Thompson0.190.06
0.13
0.090.12-0.03
Chuck Klein0.110.08
0.04
0.060.08-0.02
Walt Lerian0.070.04
0.03
0.070.050.02
Pinky Whitney0.090.06
0.02
0.090.060.03
Harry Smythe0.050.07
-0.02
0.050.08-0.03
Bernie Friberg0.040.07
-0.03
0.100.060.04
Tommy Thevenow0.020.06
-0.04
0.050.07-0.03
Don Hurst0.050.10
-0.05
0.040.08-0.03
Team Totals0.990.59
0.40
0.640.69-0.05


Player Won-Lost Records: Baserunning
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Lloyd Waner0.010.00
0.01
0.020.000.01
George Grantham0.010.00
0.01
0.010.000.01
Pie Traynor0.000.00
0.00
0.010.010.01
Sparky Adams0.010.01
0.00
0.020.010.01
Rollie Hemsley0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Dick Bartell0.000.00
0.00
0.010.000.00
Adam Comorosky0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Paul Waner0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Team Totals0.040.02
0.02
0.060.020.04
   
   
Philadelphia Phillies
Lefty O'Doul0.030.00
0.02
0.010.000.01
Fresco Thompson0.020.00
0.02
0.010.000.00
Walt Lerian0.020.00
0.02
0.020.000.02
Harry Smythe0.020.00
0.01
0.010.000.01
Bernie Friberg0.010.00
0.01
0.010.000.01
Pinky Whitney0.010.01
0.00
0.020.000.02
Tommy Thevenow0.000.00
0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Don Hurst0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.01-0.01
Chuck Klein0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.01-0.00
Team Totals0.120.02
0.10
0.140.040.10


Player Won-Lost Records: Pitching
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Erv Brame0.400.53
-0.14
0.440.360.07
Team Totals0.400.53
-0.14
0.580.410.17
   
   
Philadelphia Phillies
Harry Smythe0.620.14
0.48
0.550.230.32
Team Totals0.620.14
0.48
0.550.230.32


Player Won-Lost Records: Fielding
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Rollie Hemsley0.010.02
-0.01
0.010.02-0.00
Pie Traynor0.000.02
-0.02
0.000.02-0.02
Sparky Adams0.050.07
-0.02
0.060.10-0.03
Adam Comorosky0.030.06
-0.03
0.040.040.00
George Grantham0.010.03
-0.03
0.010.01-0.00
Lloyd Waner0.050.10
-0.05
0.060.050.00
Dick Bartell0.010.07
-0.06
0.020.03-0.01
Paul Waner0.060.20
-0.14
0.080.09-0.01
Team Totals0.210.57
-0.36
0.270.36-0.08
   
   
Philadelphia Phillies
Pinky Whitney0.040.01
0.03
0.040.020.03
Fresco Thompson0.090.07
0.02
0.090.080.00
Tommy Thevenow0.050.05
0.01
0.030.06-0.03
Chuck Klein0.050.05
0.00
0.050.05-0.00
Lefty O'Doul0.010.01
-0.00
0.020.05-0.03
Bernie Friberg0.040.05
-0.01
0.040.08-0.04
Walt Lerian0.000.01
-0.01
0.000.01-0.01
Don Hurst0.000.01
-0.01
0.000.02-0.02
Team Totals0.280.25
0.02
0.270.38-0.11




Play-by-Play Summary

Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 1st Inning
S7/7Sbartd101smyth101000.03000.00570.03660.0064
46(1)/FOwanel101smyth101bartd101010.01750.05980.02290.0415
8wanep101smyth101wanel101120.00100.03130.00120.0264
S8.1-3trayp101smyth101wanel101220.02480.00560.05480.0029
E4/G.3-H(NR)(UR);1-2comoa101smyth101trayp101wanel101220.05520.02620.04480.0155
43grang102smyth101comoa101trayp101230.00010.03020.00080.0253
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Bottom of 1st Inning
S7thomf106brame101000.04570.00400.03660.0064
9fribb101brame101thomf106010.00170.03210.00150.0276
9odoul101brame101thomf106120.00180.02340.00180.0276
4/Pkleic101brame101thomf106230.00040.01420.00060.0225
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 2nd Inning
8adams101smyth101010.00000.02880.00000.0250
53hemsr101smyth101120.00000.01630.00000.0272
8brame101smyth101230.00000.01120.00000.0250
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 2nd Inning
D9whitp103brame101000.06290.00000.05040.0000
8hursd101brame101whitp103010.00730.04370.00140.0267
63.2-3thevt101brame101whitp103120.00120.02510.00460.0175
Wleriw101brame101whitp103220.03630.00030.03350.0002
8smyth101brame101leriw101whitp103230.00430.04300.00580.0253
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 3rd Inning
13bartd101smyth101010.00000.02980.00000.0229
43wanel101smyth101120.00000.01710.00000.0250
S7wanep101smyth101220.01140.00350.03660.0064
9trayp101smyth101wanep101230.00020.02730.00120.0267
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 3rd Inning
7/F7Dthomf106brame101010.00000.02540.00000.0269
S8fribb101brame101110.03640.00250.03250.0036
2/FLodoul101brame101fribb101120.00150.02140.00120.0227
3/Gkleic101brame101fribb101230.00040.01990.00120.0270
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 4th Inning
53comoa101smyth101010.00000.03710.00000.0272
S/3grang102smyth101110.02620.00560.04020.0106
13.1-2adams101smyth101grang102120.00960.03700.01170.0319
63hemsr101smyth101grang102230.00020.04370.00060.0253
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 4th Inning
63whitp103brame101010.00000.02800.00000.0251
8hursd101brame101120.00000.01590.00000.0250
8thevt101brame101230.00000.01030.00000.0250
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 5th Inning
8brame101smyth101010.00000.03460.00000.0250
63bartd101smyth101120.00000.01970.00000.0251
S4.B-2(E4/TH1)wanel101smyth101220.02050.00200.03930.0031
S9/F9S.2-H(UR)wanep101smyth101wanel101220.06950.03850.05860.0190
9trayp101smyth101wanep101230.00020.02610.00110.0267
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Bottom of 5th Inning
9leriw101brame101010.00000.03090.00000.0266
7smyth101brame101120.00000.01780.00000.0269
63thomf106brame101230.00000.01150.00000.0251
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 6th Inning
9comoa101smyth101010.00000.02980.00000.0266
9grang102smyth101120.00000.01760.00000.0266
S9adams101smyth101220.01050.00390.03620.0060
SB2hemsr101smyth101adams101220.01220.00000.01360.0001
S/6.2-3hemsr101smyth101adams101220.03150.03170.03690.0124
43brame101smyth101hemsr101adams101230.00290.06780.00380.0253
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 6th Inning
8fribb101brame101010.00000.03350.00000.0250
S9odoul101brame101110.05300.00420.03620.0060
9kleic101brame101odoul101120.00300.03780.00240.0276
64(1)/FOwhitp103brame101odoul101230.00080.02580.00090.0252
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 7th Inning
43bartd101smyth101010.00000.02820.00000.0250
13wanel101smyth101120.00000.01460.00000.0229
43wanep101smyth101230.00000.01210.00000.0250
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 7th Inning
2/FLhursd101brame101010.00000.03620.00000.0218
4/Pthevt101brame101120.00000.01990.00000.0224
S7leriw101brame101220.02980.00340.03660.0064
S7.1-3smyth101brame101leriw101220.06550.00860.06040.0052
S9.3-H;1-3;B-2(TH)thomf106brame101smyth101leriw101220.16020.01520.06600.0388
Wfribb101brame101thomf106smyth101220.00080.00140.03350.0010
S9/9D.3-H;2-H;1-3odoul101brame101fribb101thomf106smyth101220.35690.01400.06830.0058
D8.3-H;1-Hkleic101brame101odoul101fribb101220.13860.00540.06580.0003
S/G6S.2-3whitp103brame101kleic101220.02310.01190.04220.0169
S/G6.3-H;1-3hursd101brame101whitp103kleic101220.05040.00620.05870.0068
S8/4M.3-H;1-2thevt101brame101hursd101whitp103220.02090.00370.04430.0172
2/FLleriw101brame101thevt101hursd101230.00000.00290.00120.0221
Total Runs Scored:7
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 8th Inning
S9trayp101smyth101000.01530.00100.03620.0060
E8/F.1-H(NR)(UR);B-2comoa101smyth101trayp101000.03860.01890.06400.0194
Kgrang102smyth101comoa101010.00030.03670.00030.0224
Kadams101smyth101comoa101120.00010.02020.00020.0224
53hemsr101smyth101comoa101230.00010.01940.00020.0273
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Bottom of 8th Inning
7smyth101brame101010.00000.00230.00000.0269
63thomf106brame101120.00000.00130.00000.0251
Wfribb101brame101220.00200.00000.03350.0000
43odoul101brame101fribb101230.00000.00180.00030.0252
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 9th Inning
T7/7Dflagi101smyth101000.01690.00320.06190.0000
43.3-Hbartd101smyth101flagi101010.00000.03070.00010.0315
8wanel101smyth101120.00000.01640.00000.0250
7wanep101smyth101230.00000.00560.00000.0269
Total Runs Scored:1
 

Traditional Box Score and Play-by-Play

Article last updated: March 22, 2020



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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