Thursday, September 4, 2014
#274 Rick Sutcliffe
About the Back: And those would be the last two shutouts of Sut's long and fruitful career.
1. Rick was the 1979 National League Rookie of the Year, easily outpacing Jeffrey Leonard. He won the 1984 National League Cy Young Award despite not arriving in Chicago until mid-June; he allowed seven fewer runs with the Cubs than he did with the Indians, despite pitching 56 more innings after the trade than he had in Cleveland. That's a good way to help yourself to a 16-1 record! At least the Tribe got Mel Hall and Joe Carter out of the deal.
2. Barry Bonds was homerless in his 51 plate appearances against Sutcliffe, with a batting line of .239/.280/.326 and just two RBI. That's the most times Bonds faced any pitcher without taking him deep.
3. He has spent his post-retirement days as a TV analyst for ESPN and the Padres. In 2006, he famously dropped into the Padres' TV booth after an evening of conviviality with Bill Murray and had a brief but entertaining dialogue with Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant about golf, San Diego, and George Clooney.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Sutcliffe may have been a steadying veteran presence for the Orioles in 1992, when he won Comeback Player of the Year honors, but I tuned in to the O's a year later, when he was a lead weight in the rotation.
Bill James Said: "His batting average allowed, .314, was also the highest in the majors, and his slugging percentage also, .496, and his on-base average allowed (.385)." That's an .881 OPS, which equals Cubs rookie slugger Javier Baez's career minor league mark.
On This Day in 1993: September 4. Herve Villechaize, the 3'11" French actor best known as "Tattoo" from Fantasy Island, fatally shoots himself at his North Hollywood home. In a suicide note, he cites depression stemming from years of poor health.