Monday, July 21, 2014

#255 Orel Hershiser

About the Front: Orel Hershiser is wearing a patch commemorating the 30th anniversary of Dodger Stadium. See it in greater detail here.

About the Back: 15 complete games in 1988. In 2013, Adam Wainwright led the major leagues with five.

Triple Play:

1. Orel pitched out of his damn mind in capturing the 1988 Cy Young Award, NLCS MVP, and World Series MVP. In addition to all of the gaudy numbers you see on the card back above, he ended the regular season with 59 and one-third straight scoreless innings, totaling 30 hits allowed, nine walks, and 34 strikeouts in that span. He had eight straight complete games from August 19 through September 23, and left his final start on September 28 after tossing 10 shutout innings (the Dodgers ultimately fell to the Padres, 2-1, in 16 innings).

2. His career spanned 18 big league seasons, including three years with the Indians and a season each with the Giants and the Mets before returning to Los Angeles for a rough 10-game stint in 2000. Hershiser totaled 204 wins and 150 losses with a 3.48 ERA.

3. He spent four seasons as the Rangers' pitching coach before becoming a TV analyst for ESPN's baseball coverage in 2006. He stayed with the network until 2014, when he returned to the Dodgers as a TV analyst for road games.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Hershiser batted .356 (26-for-73) in 1993; his average had peaked at .424 entering September, but he endured a 1-for-14 slump to end the year. I swear that I remember hearing a facetious report that the Dodgers were going to start giving him time at third base to get his bat in the lineup on days that he wasn't pitching.

Bill James Said: "A ground-ball pitcher; over the past four years he is 2-11 on artificial turf."

On This Date in 1993: July 21. Tony Phillips goes 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Detroit's 7-2 loss vs. the Twins. This is the only time in a 101-game stretch spanning from May 26-September 26 that Phillips fails to reach base at least once. Kevin Tapani gets the win and Carl Willis the save for Minnesota.

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