Even good hitters go 0-for-4 in a game sometimes. Same with 0-for-5, and in rarer occurrences, 0-for-6. Sometimes, hitters go 0-for-whatever but still reach base with a walk. None of that is ideal, but it happens. Then there’s going 0-for-8 without reaching base at all. That is what happened to the following players.
Wally Pipp managed to go 0-for-8 in a 16-inning game against the White Sox on July 9, 1921. He was hitting in the sixth spot and had the likes of Babe Ruth and Home Run Baker hitting in front of him. The Yankees’ 1-5 hitters reached base a combined 12 times that day. Not once did Pipp manage to reach base in any fashion, and the Yankees lost 10-9.
Joe Sewell came to the plate eight times and didn’t reach base on August 21, 1933 (also against the White Sox). He did lay a sacrifice bunt down one of those times, but he didn’t do anything productive in any other at-bat. The game finished in a 3-3 tie after 18 innings, and luckily for Sewell, he was responsible for stranding just one runner, not counting the bunt.
The third time this happened to a Yankees batter was on June 21, 1964. The Yankees did end up winning 2-1 over the White Sox (yes, them again) in 17 innings, but Bobby Richardson’s 0-for-7 day didn’t help, though he did have a sac bunt. When the Yankees finally took the lead in the top of the 17th, Richardson came up with the bases loaded and two outs. He had a chance to give the Yankees some insurance runs, but flew out to end the inning, capping his zero-hit day. Luckily, Bill Stafford persevered the win in the bottom of the inning.
Roy White struggled in the 1967 season, and his July 26th game against the Twins didn’t help. The Yankees lost 3-2 with White going 0-for-8 and making the final out. He hit just .224 that season, and the July 26th game alone cost him nine points of batting average.
Two different Yankees went 0-for-8 on April 22, 1970 as the Yankees lost 2-1 to the Washington Senators. Jerry Kenney and Danny Cater both had eight at-bats without reaching base. The Yankees stranded 16 runners total in the game, with Kenney and Cater having a part to play in 15 of them.
Tino Martinez sort of had a day like these, but he did manage to drive home two runs. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 6-5 on April 19, 2001. In his first at bat, Martinez brought home a run with a sacrifice fly. In his second, his grounder was enough to score a run. However, the rest of his day included him hitting into a double play and flying out with the bases loaded.
The two most recent occurrences happened in the same day, and you will not be surprised to find out that it was in the 2013 season. Yankees legends Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells both went 0-for-8 in a 3-2 loss to the Athletics. There was at least one runner on in five of Hafner’s at-bats, and two of Wells’. Hafner’s 11th inning strikeout with the bases loaded cost the Yankees -18% of Win Percentage Added.
Next time a Yankees puts up a golden sombrero, just remember that it could be worse.
All data courtesy of the Baseball Reference Play Index