This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 23rd, Al Oliver’s Career Day and a No-Hitter of Sorts

Three former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus two games of note.

The Players

Tyler Glasnow, pitcher for the 2016-18 Pirates. The Pirates drafted Glasnow in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of high school and he quickly became one of the top prospect in their system, then one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 2012, after signing too late to play in 2011. Glasnow had a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings, with 40 strikeouts, before getting a late promotion to the New York-Penn League. The next season was spent in Low-A West Virginia, where he had a 9-3, 2.18 record in 111.1 innings, with 164 strikeouts. He moved up to High-A Bradenton the next year and posted a 12-5, 1.74 record in 124.1 innings, with 157 strikeouts. Glasnow went to the Arizona Fall League after the season and had a 3.72 ERA in seven starts. In 2015, he split the year between Double-A and Triple-A, which two rehab games in the NYPL after a minor injury cost him a few starts. He combined to go 7-5, 2.39 in 109.1 innings, with 136 strikeouts, with his best results coming in Triple-A. In 2016, he began the year in Triple-A, where he went 8-3, 1.87 in 110.2 innings, with 133 strikeouts. Glasnow debuted in the majors late in 2016 and posted a 4.24 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 23.1 innings, with 24 strikeouts. He was a starter with the Pirates for half of the 2017 season, going 2-7, 7.69 in 62 frames, with a 2.02 WHIP, which led to a change for the following year.

Glasnow performed better as a reliever in 2018, with a 4.34 ERA in 56 innings over 34 appearances. At the trading deadline, he was part of a package used to acquire Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow was moved to a starter in Tampa and had a 4.20 ERA in 2018 after the deal. He was pitching great for a short time in 2019 before an injury shut him down for most of the season. He lost both starts in the ALDS against the Houston Astros that postseason. He went 5-1, 4.08 in 57.1 innings in the shortened 2020 season, helping the Rays to the World Series. However, he struggled in the postseason again. Glasnow has a 6.56 ERA in eight postseason starts. He was doing well at the start of 2021 until an elbow injury shut him down after just 14 starts, which is his career high. After attempting rehab, he had Tommy John surgery in early August, which will likely cost him the entire 2022 season, with a slight chance that he can return at the very end of the year. Injuries and early struggles in his six-year career have limited him to 403 innings. He has a 20-20, 4.04 record, with an impressive 506 strikeouts.

Denny Bautista, pitcher for the 2008-09 Pirates. He was signed as an international free agent in 2000 by the Florida Marlins out of the Dominican Republic. He debuted in short-season ball in the U.S. in 2000, making 12 starts in which he went 6-2, 2.51 in 68 innings. In 2001, Bautista split the year between the New York-Penn League and Low-A ball, going 6-2, 3.22 in 78.1 innings. He was rated as a top 100 prospect prior to the 2002 season, which was spent in the High-A Florida State League, where he had a 4-6, 4.99 record in 88.1 innings. In 2003, he split the year between High-A and Double-A, going 12-9, 3.41 in 137.1 innings, with 138 strikeouts. That once again put him among the top 100 prospects in baseball. At that same time, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. There in 2004, he saw time in Triple-A and two relief appearances in the majors, before being trade in late June to the Kansas City Royals. He got more big league time in Kansas City that year, going 0-4, 6.51 in five starts. It was a bit better than the eight runs he allowed in two innings with the Orioles.

Bautista spent most of 2005 on the disabled list. He made six starts in Triple-A and seven with the Royals, where he had a 2-2, 5.80 record in 35.2 innings. In 2006 he was traded on July 31st to the Colorado Rockies. He saw Triple-A and big league time with both clubs that year. He went 0-2, 5.66 in 35 innings with the Royals and he had a 5.40 ERA in 6.2 innings with the Rockies. Bautista spent most of 2007 in Triple-A as a reliever. He pitched nine games for the Rockies, including one start. He had a 12.46 ERA in 8.2 innings in the majors that year. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the season and had his first bit of success in the majors. He had a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings over 16 appearances.

Bautista joined the Pirates on June 25, 2008 in a trade for minor league pitcher Kyle Pearson. In two seasons in Pittsburgh, he made 49 relief appearances, posting a 5.89 ERA in 55 innings. He went 4-3, 6.10 in 41.1 innings over 35 games in 2008, followed by a 5.27 ERA in 14 appearances in 2009. He left the Pirates after the 2009 season via free agency and signed with the San Francisco Giants, where he played his last big league season in 2010, a year in which they won the World Series. In seven seasons in the majors, Bautista had an 11-15, 5.88 record, with 180 strikeouts and a 1.69 WHIP in 223.1 innings. He played pro ball until 2015, seeing three full seasons in Korea and one in Mexico. He also spent time in the minors for the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners. He is the cousin of Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez and pitcher Ramon Martinez, who played for the 2001 Pirates, making them one of 24 groups of relatives to play for the Pirates.

Guy Bush, pitcher for the 1935-36 Pirates. He pitched 17 seasons in the majors and won 176 games, but he is best known for giving up two of the three homers that Babe Ruth hit at Forbes Field on May 25, 1935. Bush spent the better portion of his career with the Chicago Cubs and posted a 152-101 record in 12 seasons with the team. He debuted in pro ball in 1923 with the Greenville Swamp Angels of the Cotton States League. By the end of that season, he was in the majors with the Cubs, making one relief appearance shortly after his 22nd birthday. In 1924 he split the year between Wichita Falls of the Texas League and the Cubs. Bush went 2-5, 4.02 in 80.2 innings with Chicago that season. He was in the majors to stay (for a while) in 1925 when he had a 6-13, 4.30 record in 182 innings, with 15 starts and 27 relief appearances. In 1926 he made 15 starts and 20 relief appearances, going 13-9, 2.86 in 157.1 innings. The next year it was 22 starts and 14 relief outings. Bush went 10-10, 3.03 in 193.1 innings. He continued to get more work in 1928, starting 24 times and throwing in relief 18 times. He went 15-6, 3.83 in 207.1 innings. He finished tenth in the MVP voting in 1929, when he had an 18-7, 3.66 record in 270.2 innings. Bush made 30 starts that year and pitched another 20 times in relief. The Cubs made it to the World Series and he allowed one run over 11 innings in the postseason.

The 1930 season was a huge one for offense in baseball and Bush was among a majority of pitchers who saw their ERA inflate, though he saw a bigger jump than most. He had a 6.20 ERA in 225 innings over 25 starts and 21 relief outings, yet he still managed to compile a 15-10 record, thanks in part to the Cubs winning 90 games that season. In 1931 offense returned to near normal rates and Bush went 16-8, 4.49 in 180.1 innings. He helped the Cubs to another World Series appearance in 1932 when he went 19-11, 3.21 in 238.1 innings, earning mild MVP support. He started and lost game one of the series, then allowed a run in 0.1 innings of relief during game four. In 1933, Bush went 20-12, 2.75 in 259 innings, earning a 12th place finish in the MVP voting. He wasn’t much of a strikeout guy, even for the era, but he set his career high with 84 strikeouts that season. In 1934, he had an 18-10, 3.83 record in 209.1 innings. He put up double-digit win totals in each of his last nine seasons with the Cubs, topping out at 20 wins and a 2.75 ERA during the 1933 season.

The Pirates acquired Bush on November 22, 1934 in a five-player deal that included Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom. He went 11-11, 4.32 in 204.1 innings for the 1935 Pirates, making 25 starts and 16 relief appearances. He spent two months with the 1936 Pirates before being released, and pitched in relief the entire time, posting a 5.97 ERA in 34.1 innings over 16 appearances. He was immediately signed by the Boston Braves (called the Bees that season) and pitched much better, with a 3.39 ERA in 90.1 innings. He went 8-15, 3.54 in 180.2 innings for the Bees in 1937 and then pitched six games in relief for the St Louis Cardinals in 1938 before being released in May. He finished the season in the minors, then retired for a time. He came back to pro ball in the minors in 1944 when competition was watered down due to the war. Bush made it back to the majors briefly with the 1945 Cincinnati Reds at 43 years old, pitching four games in relief during the early part of the season. He finished his big league career with a 176-136, 3.86 record in 2,722 innings, with 308 starts and 234 relief appearances.

The Games

On this date in 1907, Howie Camnitz threw a five-inning no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Giants. The first game of the day ran long, so prior to the start of game two the managers (John McGraw and Fred Clarke) agreed to limit the game to five innings. Due the start time and length of game one, plus the fact that stadiums didn’t have lights back then, they were running up against darkness issues if the game went too long. The Pirates collected just two hits in the game, scoring their run on a Honus Wagner RBI single. Camnitz was far from perfect, with five walks and a hit batter in his five frames. He stranded all six runners though in the 1-0 win. You can find a full recap here.

On this date in 1971, Al Oliver had a career game against the Atlanta Braves. He went 5-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored in a 15-4 victory. He had a chance in the ninth for the cycle, needing just the double, but he hit his second home run of the game instead. A full game recap can be found here, along with the boxscore.