Doing all the driving: top RBI performances

From SABR member Allan Wood at The Hardball Times on January 6, 2012:

On Sept. 2, 1996, the Red Sox beat the Mariners 9-8 in 10 innings in Seattle. Boston’s left fielder, Mike Greenwell, batting eighth in the order, drove in all nine of the Red Sox runs. He set a major league record.

After flying out to right-center to lead off the top of the third inning, the Gator hit a two-out, two-run home run in the fifth, a grand slam with no one out in the seventh—putting the Sox ahead 6-5—a two-run double down the left field line in the eighth—tying the game at 8-8—and an RBI single in the top of the 10th to give the Red Sox a 9-8 lead. Unfortunately, Boston manager Kevin Kennedy stayed with reliever Heathcliff Slocumb in the home half of the tenth, denying Greenwell the opportunity to take the hill and pick up a save.

After the first inning, Boston managed only six hits, and Greenwell had four of them. He finished the day with a WPA of 1.051—the third highest for a Red Sox batter in Retrosheet history, and only the sixth Red Sox batter to ever top a 1.000 WPA. Greenwell also drove in Boston’s first run the following night, making it 10 RBI in a row.


I started wondering which players with big RBI days had driven in almost all of their team’s runs—eight of nine, nine of 10, 10 of 12, etc. I went to Baseball Reference’s Play Index and did some digging. All of the information below covers games played in the last 93 years (1919-2011). I first looked at the highest RBI games—11 and 12 RBI—in major league history, but only one of the four instances even came close.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 12, 2012. Last Updated: January 12, 2012.