Frankel: Two or more consecutive starts, 1897-1912

From SABR member Jonathan Frankel at K’s, Cards and Things on July 10, 2012:

I recently read of Zack Greinke having 3 consecutive starts for his team.  They were not complete games, but I thought I would check my lineup databases from my research to see how often that occurred in the years of my research.   Other research indicated that Greinke’s feat was the first time since 1917 & Red Faber that it occurred.   Stories of Joe McGinninty and much earlier eras of consecutive starts made me want to check.

Below is my summary of players with 3 consecutive starts in my research years (1897-1909 NL & 1901-1912 AL):

Win Mercer, Wash (NL), 1897 – 9/13 (ejected in 3rd), 9/14 (CG), 9/15 (CG)

9/13 – Mercer was thrown out of the game versus Cincinnati in the 3rd by Carpenter for “criticising the umpire’s ruling on a ball”.  Mercer “resorted to a pantomimical play by prospecting his pocket and pulling out a pair of smoked spectacles and handing them to Carpenter.”   He left the game with the score 0-0.  Washington ended up losing an 8 inning darkness shortened 2-1 decision.

9/14 – Won a 10-9 6 inning darkness shortened decision.  Washington scored 1 in the 5th & 4 in the 6th to overcome a 9-5 defecit to the Cincinnatis.   Mercer allowed 7 hits (4 doubles), 4 walks, & 1 hbp.  He struck out 3 batters.

9/15 – Lost a 5-4 decision to Brooklyn.   Allowed the winning run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.  Mercer allowed 8 hits & 3 walks.  He struck out 5.

Mercer’s inclusion with the rest of the names on this list stands out.   A talented all around player who hit and played in the field as well – he would later be known for committing suicide.

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Originally published: July 10, 2012. Last Updated: July 10, 2012.