BOSTON, MA: A view of the Fenway Park press box before the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the ball park's opening. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Game of Note: On this day 50 years ago, Red Sox hurler and Medford, Massachusetts native Bill Monbouquette threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, in a game Boston won 1-0. The 25-year-old Monbouquette had been signed as an amateur free agent seven years prior, debuting three years later. The 1962 season was his best to that point, the second time he made the All-Star team, and the no-hitter just helped add to that.
Monbouquette struck out seven White Sox, and his one walk kept him from tossing a perfect game rather than a no-no. Amazingly enough, it was only the second-best start by Game Score for Monbouquette in 1962, but for some odd reasons. Game Score uses innings pitched as part of the point system for every frame after the fourth inning, and one point awarded for every out. So even though Monbouquette struck out just five batters, walked three, and gave up another four hits in his April 11 start against Cleveland, the fact he threw 12 scoreless innings -- 12! -- helped him arrive at his top outing of the season, even better than a no-hitter. At least by Game Score.
Monbouquette would finish his Sox career with 1,622 innings, a 2.4 K/BB, and a 107 ERA+. He'd also pitch for the Tigers, Yankees, and Giants, retiring after 1968, but he was never as productive outside of Boston as he was in it.
Transactions: Trades aren't something that happen after the trade deadline, since no one has cleared waivers just yet, but Boston has released quite a few players on the first of August. August 1, 2002, Boston released reliever Rich Garces following 21 horrific innings. Prior to that season, he had thrown 286 innings of relief for the Sox, appearing in 235 games, and posting a 140 ERA+. El Guapo had been a bit inconsistent with his control and his strikeouts over the years, but had his moments, especially in the late 90s.
He just didn't have it in 2002, and though he signed with the Rockies before the 2003 season, he never made it to the regular season. His major-league career was nearly revived a few years later, when the Red Sox inked him in June of 2005, but he never made it out of the GCL. Garces didn't finish pitching until after 2008, though, as he spent two years pitching for Nashua in the Canadian-American Association, then for Tijuana in the Mexican League for one season.
Garces was a far more popular player than he was a productive one, but those kinds of players can be fun, especially during their better years. When Garces didn't have his prior arm strength towards the end with Boston, it was hard to enjoy the pitcher listed at 6 feet and 250 pounds quite as much, even with a nickname like El Guapo still attached.
Birthdays: Kevin Jarvis turns 43 years old today, and if you're wondering why he's here or who he is, remember that he was something of a white flag for the Red Sox during the 2006 season. That was his final year, and he started three games for the Sox, all in September, striking out just seven batters in 16-2/3 innings against six walks and nine runs. Jarvis has stuck in my mind since as a symbol of throwing in the towel.