Brandon McCarthy's performance in the Diamondbacks' 1-0 win over the Marlins on Saturday night was noteworthy in and of itself as he shut out the Marlins on three hits and a pair of walks extending his personal scoreless innings streak to 17. What gave the game historical significance, however, was the timing of the one run McCarthy made hold up over his nine innings of work.
Gerardo Parra hit the very first pitch of the game from the Marlins' Tom Koehler, a 94 mph fastball that was up and over the inside half of the plate, into the Marlins' bullpen for a leadoff home run. Another 234 pitches were thrown in the game by both teams over sixty-one plate appearances, but Parra's home run was the only run-scoring play of the game.
According to Elias, the last time that happened -- the only run of a game was scored on the first pitch -- was nearly 50 years ago. It was September 2, 1963, when Reds' rookie second baseman Pete Rose homered off the Mets' Jay Hook to start the second game of a double-header at the Polo Grounds. Hook and the Reds' Jim Maloney then proceeded to match zeroes for nine innings as the Reds won 1-0. If "rookie second baseman Pete Rose" and "Polo Grounds" weren't enough to suggest just how long ago that was, note the Mets were in their second year as a team, Casey Stengel sent Duke Snider up as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning of that game, John F. Kennedy was president, and Mike Trout's father was just two years old.