By Jon Weisman
Lost among Wednesday’s weirdness was this: According to my research at Baseball-Reference.com, when Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson each saw ball four in the eighth, it was the first time three pinch-hitters had walked in the same inning in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Twenty other times since the franchise began play in Brooklyn, the Dodgers had gotten at least three pinch-walks in a game — one time, they had four — but only twice before did they have three in the same inning.
Yeah, I know, how trivial — but what can I tell you? This is the kind of stuff that interests me.
The only other times this happened in franchise history were in Brooklyn, and both times were real doozies.
On April 28, 1945, the Dodgers were trailing the Giants in the bottom of the ninth, 3-1, when Van Lingle Mungo walked Brooklyn pinch-hitters Frenchy Bordagaray and Red Durrett.
The one-time Dodger ace then left the game in favor of another ace, Ace Adams, who got Eddie Basinski to ground into a forceout, but then walked the third pinch-hitter of the inning, Louis Olmo.
Dodger center fielder Goody Rosen stroked a two-run single — the only hit of the inning — to win the game.
The first time Brooklyn had three pinch-walks in an inning, on July 12, 1929, was even crazier.
The Robins’ Dazzy Vance and the Cardinals’ Syl Johnson had dueled to a 2-2 tie entering the ninth inning, when the 38-year-old Vance, a future Hall of Famer, was plastered “right merrily,” according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle clip at right, for five runs, three of them coming on a bases-clearing double by limping pinch-hitter Frankie Frisch.
Somehow, in the bottom of the same inning, the Robins came back with six runs of their own to win the game, three of them thanks to pinch-walks by Harvey Hendrick, Glenn Wright and — perhaps the most aptly-named pinch-hitter of all time — Val Picinich.
The last two pinch-walks came with the bases loaded and tied the game, before Johnny Frederick, the 10th batter of the inning, drove in the winning run with a single.