2. Ned Garver, St. Louis Browns Opening Day 1952
April 15, 1952: Browns 3, Tigers 0 (Box Score)
Garver’s line: 9 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2-for-3 and RBI as batter
Coming off a 20-win season, starting pitcher Ned Garver made his fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the St. Louis Browns against the Detroit Tigers.
Despite the center of trade rumors, Garver delivered in his fourth season by striking out nine batters and earning the complete game shutout. However, not only did Garver dominate with his arm but also with the bat as he hit an RBI single off Dizzy Trout in the fifth inning.
Later that inning, Browns catcher Clint Courtney and Garver completed the strike ’em out, throw ’em out to end the Tigers scoring threat. The double play resulted in the Orioles upped the Browns winning team win expectanty (wWPA) by 79 percent.
The Tigers sent a couple of pinch hitters up to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning to try and throw off the powerful performance by Garver. Staying unfazed, Garver retired the side in order.
The Orioles would add another run in the final inning before Garver retired the Tigers’ 3-5-6 batters to secure the Browns 3-0 shutout over the Tigers to begin the 1952 season.
The 1952 season would be Garver’s final season with the franchise after being traded to the same Tigers team.
Garver finished his Orioles career with a 38-40 record and a 3.68 ER. He also hit .258 during his time with the Browns with three home runs and 38 RBIs, making him a double-threat.