Wood: When the Red Sox pitchers didn’t bat ninth

From SABR member Allan Wood at the Hardball Times on February 7, 2013:

In 1952 and 1953, Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau experimented in a handful of games by moving his pitcher out of the ninth spot in the Boston batting order. In 14 of 18 games, the Red Sox pitcher batted sixth:

1952            Pitcher           BOP
April 15        Mel Parnell       7th
May 10          Mickey McDermott  8th
May 11          Mel Parnell       8th
July 27   (G2)  Willard Nixon     6th
July 30         Dick Brodowski    6th
July 31         Ralph Brickner    6th
August 7  (G2)  Willard Nixon     6th
August 9        Mel Parnell       6th
August 11       Sid Hudson        6th

1953            Pitcher           BOP
May 30    (G1)  Mickey McDermott  6th
May 30    (G2)  Willard Nixon     6th
August 22       Mickey McDermott  6th
August 23       Mel Parnell       6th
August 28       Bill Henry        6th
August 29       Mel Parnell       6th
August 30 (G1)  Hal Brown         7th
August 31       Mickey McDermott  6th
September 1     Willard Nixon     6th

The main pitchers were Parnell (five times), Nixon (four) and McDermott (four). Brodowski, Brickner, Hudson, Henry and Brown each did it once.

Those 18 games are the only times in Red Sox history—since Babe Ruth batted in the cleanup spot in 1919—that a Boston pitcher has hit any place other than ninth. (In fact, Ruth is the only pitcher to bat No. 4 for any team in at least 97 years (Baseball Reference has data from 1916-2012). Ruth batted cleanup for the Red Sox 11 times in 1918 and 12 times in 1919.)

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/when-the-red-sox-pitchers-didnt-bat-ninth/

Originally published: February 22, 2013. Last Updated: February 22, 2013.