The pitcher Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa couldn’t homer off in 1998 | Dorktown


– Hey folks we’re here to
talk about that preposterous home run chase from
1998 and the kryptonite of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. I’m Alex and I know I’ve
been unable to locate my co-mayor of Dorktown
Jon Bois but to fill his enormous shoes I did manage to wrangle the internet’s top baseball writer Grant Brisbee how the hell are ya? – I’m doing very well
can I be the viceroy of Dorktown just as a temporary? – Sounds good to me. – We’re gonna talk about McGwire and Sosa. So we’re gonna talk about the pitchers who did not allow home
runs to them, right. One of these pitchers is Dan Naulty, he is the only person
in the Mitchell Report to admit to using
performance enhancing drugs. So after using performance enhancing drugs he held McGwire and Sosa homerless. So mentally I’m gonna add one home run to each of their career
totals because I don’t think that it’s fair that someone cheating could have held them homerless. – It’s the only reasonable thing to do. (keyboard jingle) Here is each of the 201
pitchers that Mark McGwire faced in 1998 and here is
the 211 Sammy Sosa faced. McGwire took 65 of his pitchers
deep and Sosa did so to 58. Let’s get rid of those dudes
and see what we’re left with, one name in particular stands out to me, a fellow resident of the
NL Central who started five games against Big
Mac’s Cards and Sosa Cubs. A player who faced each
slugger at least seven times without allowing
a homer, Mike Hampton. Who held the duo to just four singles and 16 combined plate appearances. Half of which didn’t
even reach the outfield. Now to be fair Hampton was
pretty good this season, both in general and specifically
at not allowing home runs. But he certainly wasn’t immune
to giving up the long ball as two particular examples
illustrate wonderfully. Here is every homer
allowed by Hampton in ’98, let’s start with Jim Tatum,
it was his final big league homer, or, in other words, his
third of three career blasts. Tatum was a fringe player
who scraped out a short sporadic career, mostly as a pinch hitter. If aliens had decided to
take a peak at planet earth and this whole baseball
thing, exclusively using the timeframe of Tatum’s
career to form their opinions, They’d come away thinking
he was just about the very worst batter MLB had to offer, yet he
managed to do in his only game against Hampton what McGwire and Sosa couldn’t in their combined five. The other is Brian Banks’ homer, it was his only homer of the season. The third of 13 for his career, it was also his only plate
appearance against Hampton that year and he still accomplished what Hulk and Hulker here
couldn’t in their 16. Though Tatum and Banks
each managed to take Hampton deep for their careers
they combined for 16 homers. By the way, you wanna
know who hit 16 career homers on his own? Mike Hampton. So Grant, one of my favorite
things about Mike Hampton is that he was actually quite
good with a bat in his hands. This season, in 1998, his OPS was .676, do you wanna know whose OPS was just 10 points higher than that? – Give it to me. – The Pittsburgh Pirates. – Hampton wasn’t in McGwire
and Sosa’s book in ’98 but they’d both get him eventually. The pair combined to hit 1,192
home runs over their careers that’s 1,192 freaking home runs. That means that there just
aren’t that many pitchers who faced both and never
allowed a home run, right? Huh. Wait, wait was that Bartolo Colon’s name? Anyway this is cheating
because a lot of the guys on that list faced one or
both hitters for one at-bat. Chad Zerbe was a soft tossing
left-handed specialist who had no business facing
either Sosa or McGwire. But whether in mop up duty
or the deepest recesses of extra innings he got
his chance and succeeded before telling his manager
to never, ever, ever put him in that position again. So who were the frequent flyers, the pitchers who faced
both batters for at least 10 plate appearances each
and didn’t give up a dinger? It’s a fun list with a Hall
of Famer and a few Cy Youngs but featured some of the best
pitchers in the last 30 years actually, pitchers like Chris Peters, after Peters was Luis
Aquino whom I don’t remember but apparently pitched
26 times against McGwire and Sosa without allowing
a homer, good job. After that, though, we have Dwight Gooden, heck yeah now we’re talking a name. Except with Gooden on
the Mets in his prime and McGwire on the A’s we’re not talking a clash of the titans here,
this is the wily, veteran Gooden in the ’90s. Not as
exciting but still pretty cool. There were other relievers who
held both players homerless too and that was almost
certainly their job. Doug Henry and his wondrous mustache had a clean slate in 28
head to head matchups. Steve Reed and his funky
submarine delivery did the same, Rich DeLucia and Scott Sanderson
were never touched either. And by law I’m required to
point out that all of these guys passed through the Giants’
bullpen in the early ’90s. Dick Pole, the Giants pitching
coach then, must have known a secret unless it’s a
coincidence and I’m just looking for reasons to talk about Dick Pole. Dick Pole, the Giants pitching coach. There are two relievers
worth highlighting though, the first is Mark Guthrie
who’s clean in 46 plate appearances despite being
a left-handed specialist. Both McGwire and Sosa hit
over .300 against him and Sosa in particular absolutely
crushed him —- no dingers though. The other reliever is Michael Jackson who was the setup man
specifically tasked with keeping right handers like this in the yard. And that’s just what he did
for 49 plate appearances, more like the king of no-pop. Alright so I’m gonna give
you some pitchers who faced both McGwire and Sosa
without allowing a home run. I’m gonna ask you if you remember them. – Okay. – Alright, you ready? Dave Otto. – [Alex] Not at all. – [Grant] Dean Hartgraves? – [Alex] Nope. – [Grant] Alright just
scroll down to Everett Stull? – [Alex] Nope. – [Grant] Heath Murray? – [Alex] Nope. – [Grant] J.D. Smart? – Negative. So we know that in
’98 McGwire and Sosa combined to go yard in
nearly 10% of their 1,387 non-Hampton played appearances. That percentage dipped to zero point zero with Hampton on the mound. For one of these guys that
couldn’t have been more predictive of what would
come in the ensuing years. For the other, it couldn’t
have been less predictive. McGwire’s struggles against
Hampton weren’t simply confined to this/ season.
In another 22 times facing each other after 1998,
Hampton held him to four hits with just one homer,
joining a select group of McGwire adversaries that best-mastered keeping him in the ballpark.
But Sosa’s post-’98 story against Hampton was 180 degrees different. Sure he stunk when facing him in the ’90s but once Y2K hit my goodness
he scorched fire to the entire earth when Hampton was on the mound. We hear the expression
in sports all the time about a switch being flipped,
well, Sosa obliterated the switch in this case.
Zero homers in their first 42 showdowns against one
another, the,n in their ensuing 17, Sosa pulled out that home
run bunny hop six times. So one of my favorite
ownages ever of a batter over a pitcher was Sammy Sosa against a guy by the name of Kevin Jarvis. Kevin Jarvis started five
career games against Sosa, Sosa homered in all five. – That is by far my
favorite Kevin Jarvis fact. – Love you Kevin. – [Grant] As for the starters
who held the pair homerless for 10 or more plate appearances each, most of them will be familiar to you. How about a guy named Nolan freakin’ Ryan huh? He faced the hitters a combined
28 times and never gave in. Then there’s Pat Hentgen,
former AL Cy Young winner, and Elmer Dessens, who
was probably a runner-up one of those years, I
don’t have time to check, and Danny Jackson and Todd Stottlemyre. None of them gave up a
homer to McGwire or Sosa. Two names stand alone at the top, though. These are the two starting
pitchers who didn’t allow a homer in over 50 combined appearances. The first is Bret Saberhagen
who had to face McGwire a whopping 39 times, and McGwire owned him! Five walks, five doubles and a triple. He had an OPS over 1.000 against Saberhagen. Still, to quote Robert
DeNiro in Raging Bull, “You never got me down Ray,
you never got me down.” If you want the king
against these two hitters, the man with the most success
at preventing dingers, you have to go to the one, the
only, the legend, Kris Benson. Benson was a former first
overall pick for the Pirates, which meant he was in the NL Central, which meant he faced
McGwire and Sosa a lot. At the peak of their powers, kind of. Benson didn’t come up until
1999, so he missed the chase, but don’t forget that Sosa hit 63 homers in ’99 and McGwire hit 65. That reminds me of one of
my favorite all-time stats, which is that Sammy Sosa
hit more than 60 homers in three different seasons but didn’t lead the league in home runs in any of them. Benson didn’t exactly
dominate Sosa who was 10-for-31 against him with three doubles,
but he did dominate McGwire, who was just one for 13 against him. That includes a game in 1999, top of the seventh,
Pirates are up 4-1 but the Cardinals loaded
the bases on an Ed Sprague error with two outs,
Mark McGwire comes up. The fans, even in Pittsburgh, are going nuts. it’s only August 7th, but
McGwire already has 44 homers. A grand slam here would
give the Cards the lead and everyone’s expecting just that. Does Pirates manager Gene
Lamont take his rookie out? He’s thrown 102 pitches
after all, and the most fierce hitter in the game is coming up. Hell no he doesn’t take him out, Lamont is from the old school, from the days before the
relief pitcher was invented, dammit. Go out and get him
rookie, earn your man points. Benson struck him out on three pitches. Man points are like those
tickets at Chuck E. Cheese where you need like a million of
them to get anything cool. So Benson got just enough to
get an eraser or something. Still for a pitcher who
never succumbed to the homer to McGwire or Sosa, here was the pinnacle, and it happened in his rookie season. – So Grant, you’re a life-long Giants fan, you’re familiar with Barry Bonds. – Heard of him. – Now, Barry Bonds hit dozens
of home runs in his career, DOZENS, but there was
one pitcher in particular that he faced over 50
times without taking deep. Do you know who it is? – I should. – It’s Rick Sutcliffe. – Oh I did not know that. – Granted a lot of those
plate appearances were when he was a skinny lad in
Pittsburgh, but Rick Sutcliffe. – Rick Sutcliffe. (soothing instrumental) – Hey y’all thanks for watching Dorktown, don’t forget to like and subscribe and I promise if it’s the last thing I do I will locate Jon in the near future.

100 thoughts on “The pitcher Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa couldn’t homer off in 1998 | Dorktown

  1. A future topic – there was a journeyman pitcher in the 1920's and 1930's who owned Babe Ruth – IIRC, the Sultan of Swat's career BA against him was under .200

  2. I genuinely want to know what Jon even does for a living. The last video he made was what, a year ago now? His last written article was a joke piece from July, and before that from February. His only listed job is this one. What the hell is Jon doing? Why are you hiding him from us?

  3. People who didn't experience it just have no idea the excitement these two men brought to baseball and the world in 1998. It was absolutely magical.

  4. In that last segment one dude is in the right ear and one is in the left ear, but it's opposite their physical location. Kind of wacky.

  5. yo did Jon get fired or something? That guy is has more talent than most of the rest of your staff combined. If it's a salary hold out, pay the man.

  6. Another Dorktown without Jon? Well looks like I'll check back in a few months to see if SB will have Jon hosting anymore videos.

  7. Ya Kris Benson. Pride of those late 90's Pirate's team rotation…… It's not fun being a Pirate fan.

    At least his wife is good looking.

  8. Honestly, the only reason i started to browse the 'other videos' of this channel is because i was hoping to find more of Jon Boise. Like seriously, how daft does a channel have to be to not understand that an overwhelming majority of people even know about SB Nation is because of Jon. There hasnt been a video from him in MONTHS. Everytime this stupid channel posts a video, i come running back with the hopes that finally perhaps they were smart enough to release a Jon video. And every single time, i meet the same disappointment of seeing some rando dude talking about a rando topic that holds 0 interest.

    Seriously, where is Jon? Why isnt he posting any more new content? Did he accidentally walk into a Saudi Arabia Consulate and simply disappear? Its hard to keep interest in a company/channel that REFUSES to deliver or even ADDRESS the demands of their base. I am waiting one last month for Jon to make a return. After which i am disappointingly unsuscribing from this channel. There is only so much cringy "weird rules" one can stomach before giving up.

  9. Here’s one: who is the only player to have 25 or more appearances against Nolan Ryan lifetime and not strike out against him?

  10. Love ya love your show…. we have an idea for a episoda for ya…… in the nfl How many times has kicker hit the upright twice in the same game ?
    Even counting both teams ? Kicking Field golas or extra points hit the upright twice ? …. how many games in a row has the Entirity of NFL gone with out anyone hitting the uprights ?
    Has it haver happened three times in a Game ( including both teams) ? I do not know , but being a Chicago Bears fan I can tell you it Happend 4 times ….. in the Same game …… by the same team….. ???? This year ! Has that ever happened before ? Hhas it ever been done more ?

  11. You have an error in here. The game where Benson faced McGwire in Pittsburgh was actually August 8, not August 7. I would know, I was at that game and remember when it happened!! You are spot-on about Gene Lamont, he never pulled his starters. (Some conjecture that's why Benson and Francisco Cordova blew out their arms early).

  12. this video and topic of the video is so redundant… there's far more intriguing careers and statistic anomalies etc. to invest your time and effort on…. also, i think the only guy that took steroids people wanna still hear about is bonds because what he did even on 'roids was still out of this world amazing

  13. i dont THINK that Sosa used steroids (he didnt really need it, he was kind of jacked to start with) but McGwire DEFINITELY did…which really sucks. He hit 49 home runs in his ROOKIE YEAR!!! if that guy averaged 37 home runs (more or less throughout his career as the years progressed) this cat would have passed Hank Aaron in his last year or next to last year..and a SURE FIRE hall of famer……a shame…it ruins the beauty of baseball and the most difficult thing to do in professional sports…hitting a home run.

  14. More like the king of no pop lmaoo I was in an uber and I couldn't stop laughing hahahahah must of though I was crazy

  15. “I don’t think it’s fair that someone cheating beat them.”

    Both of the most famous druggy cheats smashing hrs off everyone

  16. You have to at least take into consideration that sometimes great pitchers can take a batter off by mistake while taking someone lightly cause you think or know they stink so don't give it your all and give up a Homer, however while facing great batters they know that they have to give it their all and pitch their best or pay, also on other side of things even a great hitter can have bad at bats verse a lousy pitcher simply cause they don't know them well and never seen or faced them so never get chance to get familiar and then smash them only having handful at bats total plus anyone can get lucky only for a short period of time is not crazy surprising

  17. Sosa should have had 1 more HR added to the list against Hampton. 2003 NLDS Game 2 in the first inning. Was clearly a HR but they didnt give it to him.

  18. Neifi Perez put the Cubs into a 1 game playoff against the Barry Bonds led Giants. Gary Gaetti pitched for the cubs in that game. The Cubs won

  19. WWE era :MLB era
    Gold era : Babe Ruth, Ted Willians , Lou getli, ty copp.

    New generación: Hank Aarón, Willy mays,pete Rose.

    Actitudes era: Sammy Sosa, Mike macware, Barry bond, José Canseco, Pedro Martínez, Ken Griffin JR.

    Ruhtless agression: Álex rodriguez, arbert pujols , Manny Ramírez, Pedro Martínez, Derek Jeter,miggy,David Ortiz.

    New era: Mike trout, Brice Harper , Manny machado, Nolan arenado,José bautista.

  20. How is it not fair for a pitcher to use steroids against guys who used steroids? That should even the playing field

  21. Looking at that chart, there is one name that sticks out like a sore thumb, Kevin Brown. The pitching monster of the 90's no one ever remembers…

  22. @grant brisbee UR THE VICE PRESDIENT OFF THE ASSHOLES FOR UR COMMENT AT 30SEC IN THE BEG OF THIS VIDEO ABOUT NOLTE PED USAGE
    MIGHT ASWELL DISCOUNT ALL SOSAS N MGWIRES HRS OH THEY WASNT ON PEDS? DIK

  23. Why would you consider it cheating when Sosa and McGwire both used steroids as well? If anything it was fair lol

  24. Say what you want about the guy, but as a kid I had too much fun watching Barry launch rockets every time a pitcher actually threw him strikes. Bring back the roids.

  25. Weird, you add a HR to his career total for using PED, maybe drop a couple dozen off McGuire’s total for Using then.

  26. I know rich delucia in real life now and he has a team called three up three down and he helped me pitch better today he’s awesome 🙂

  27. Yeah but, you never know what's gonna happen in baseball. Look at Mike Vail. A part-time player who hit just 34 homers for his career, in 1983 for the Expos he hit two homers, yet both were against HOF pitcher Steve Carlton. How do you explain that? Plus, remember the sensation Fernando Valenzuela caused as a rookie? Yet the first MLB player to hit a home run off Valenzuela was Chris Speier, never a huge power hitter who hit just two home runs that entire 1981 season. Baseball is full of these statistics because they are not oddities, they are part of the game and what makes it beautiful.

  28. so you penalize a pitcher who used PEDs kept a couple of losers who used PEDs off the HR sheet but dont discount the HR records of those 2 losers? You deserve a kick in the head.

  29. OK…so I'm watching the video and at about the 9:04 mark), they're talking about a game that takes place in Pittsburgh–against the Pirates. There is a beautiful shot of a stadium, sitting on a riverfront. I assume that the creators of this video meant to show Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. My first thought was, "wait…that looks like Cincinnati". That blue bridge in the foreground is the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. There's another sports complex on the right of the photo that I'd swear is US Bank Arena (formerly known as The Cincinnati Coliseum), I'm pretty sure that the buildings in the upper left portion of the photo are the Atrium buildings that used to be the headquarters or AT&T (and Cincinnati Bell) and the buildings in the background in the middle ofthe photo are Proctor & Gamble's World Headquarters. That's got to be Riverfront Stadium (later known as Cynergy Field in Cincinnati).

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