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Power cheering: Why Fenway's crowd last night saw history

Posted by David Sabino  September 5, 2013 09:49 AM

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Middlebrooks.jpgWill Middlebrooks' grand slam was one of eight home runs for the Red Sox.
Did you happen to be in the crowd at Fenway Park for last night’s 20-4 shellacking of the Detroit Tigers? If so, you can say that you were part of a unique bunch of fans that saw something no others had in baseball history. Here’s more on that and other interesting facts from Boston’s commanding victory.

•The steroid-era ad campaign that said “Chicks dig the longball” was off a little. Dudes dig it too, and last night’s Red Sox certainly provided entertainment for everyone with a B on the front of their cap. Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Oritz (twice), Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Ryan Lavarnway, and Mike Napoli all went deep against the Tigers staff last night, tying the franchise record for most home runs in a game set on July 4, 1977 when George Scott (twice), Fred Lynn (twice), Butch Hobson, Bernie Carbo, Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski hit eight at Fenway against the expansion Toronto Blue Jays. Amazingly, the only non-solo blast of the bunch was Boomer Scott’s two-run shot off of Jerry Garvin to tie the game at two in the bottom of the fifth. Despite the onslaught of power, in the end the score was close as Boston eked out just a 9-6 win.

•David Ortiz's sixth-inning double in the was the 2,000th hit of his big league career. His two home runs accounted for hits no. 1,999 and 2,001.

•The last time any team in the majors cracked eight home runs in a game was on August 7, 2010 when the Argonauts topped the Buccaneers, er, Blue Jays beat the Rays 17-11.

•The eight home runs were the most ever against Detroit, dating back to the first days of the AL. The old mark of seven home runs allowed was achieved four times, the most recent coming on Sept. 11, 2007 against the Rangers. The Red Sox also shared in that record, hitting seven at Tiger Stadium on July 24, 1999 (three by Trot Nixon, two for Nomar Garciaparra and one each by Troy O’Leary and Brian Daubach).

•The Red Sox had not scored 20 runs in a game since June 27, 2003 with a 25-3 win against the eventual World Champion Marlins. In that game the Sox knocked out their former farmhand, Carl Pavano, by scoring six runs in the first inning without him recording an out. Reliever Michael Tejera didn’t fare much better, giving up five earned runs of his own in the first, also without ever recording an out. The first 11 Red Sox all reached base and scored en route to a 14-run first inning. Amazingly, all 25 runs the Sox scored were earned, much like the 20 they scored last night.

•The last team to allow 20 runs in a game was none other than the Red Sox who got hammered 20-2 by the Athletics on August 31 of last season in Oakland. Just over a year later, only five of the 17 Red Sox who played in that game, remain on the team.

•And now for how unique that game last night was. There have been three teams to hit at least eight home runs in a game in which they scored at least 20 runs. The first were the 1939 Yankees who beat the Athletics 23-3 on June 28 [with home runs by Joe Gordon (9), Joe DiMaggio (two), Tommy Henrich; Babe Dahlgren (two), Bill Dickey, and George Selkirk]. The other was the Cincinnati Reds who hit nine home runs versus the Phillies 22-3 exactly 14 years to the day before the Red Sox-Tigers game. In that tilt Cincy’s blasts were by the low-key group of Ed Taubensee (two); Jeffrey Hammonds, former Sox second sacker Pokey Reese, Greg Vaughn, Mark Lewis, (place expletive here) Aaron Boone, Brian Johnson, and Dmitri Young. Both of those games took place in Philadelphia and both of the winning teams were on the road. That makes last night’s Fenway contingent the first crowd in baseball history to ever witness eight home runs and 20 runs from their own squad. It’s something to tell the grandkids.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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