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The time the Yankees left 19 runners on base and still won

On April 28, 1945, the Yankees had some trouble driving in runs.

Garth Brooks Press Conference Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In recent seasons, many Yankees fans have gotten pretty frustrated at the team’s struggles with runners in scoring position. I’m guessing the game on April 28, 1945 would not have been enjoyable for those fans.

After the Senators took game one of the series the previous day, Washington and the Yankees came into April 28, 1945 with identical 5-3 records. Tiny Bonham, who was making his second start of the season, got the Yankees started with a scoreless inning in the top of the first.

In the bottom of the first, Hersh Martin picked up a one-out single, and moved to second when Senators’ starter Marino Pieretti balked. However, neither Russ Derry or Johnny Lindell could drive him home. That would be a bit of a trend.

In the top of the second, the Senators took the lead. Gill Torres tripled, and later scored when Jake Powell singled. After Bonham got out of the inning, Nick Etten singled to lead off the second for the Yankees. That hit would also go to waste as Etten would be left stranded.

Bonham and Snuffy Stirnweiss then drew two straight walks to lead off the third for the Yankees. However, three straight fly outs from the two, three, and four hitters in the Yankees’ order left both runners on base.

The Yankees went down in order for the first time in fourth. After Bonham got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth, the Yankees got two two-out singles in the bottom half of the inning. Derry then flew out to end the inning.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees finally got on the board. Etten hit a solo home run with one out, tying the game at one. Later in the inning, the Yankees wasted a two-out walk by Oscar Grimes.

With the game still tied in the ninth, Bonham stranded two runners to keep the game tied. Grimes then led off the bottom of the ninth with a triple. With the winning run 90 feet away with three chances to score him, the Yankees couldn’t. Mike Garbark grounded out. Bud Metheny, pinch hitting for Bonham, struck out. After Stirnweiss walked, Martin flew out to end the inning.

In the 10th, the Yankees left one runner on. In the 11th, the Yankees had runners at second and third with one out, but couldn’t bring them home. In the 12th, they left another two runners on.

After Jim Turner, who had relieved Bonham in the 10th, pitched another scoreless inning, Stirnweiss led off the bottom of the 13th with a ground out. Martin and Derry then drew back-to-back walks, putting two on and another runner in scoring position. Lindell flew out, leaving the inning up to Etten. The Yankees got their first hit with a runner in scoring position as Etten singled, scoring Martin and giving the Yankees a 2-1 win in 13 innings.

The Yankees finished the game with 19 runners left on base and went 1-17 with runners in scoring position. Etten was on base four times and only managed to score when he did all the work himself.

Bonham threw nine innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks, and got a no decision. Turner threw four no-hit innings in relief of Bonham. Meanwhile, for the Senators, Pieretti threw all 12.2 innings. He allowed 10 hits and 11 walks, but still gave up just two runs.

The Yankees’ offense has had some offensive troubles over the past couple years. They probably can’t replicate the performance of April 28, 1945.