Sometimes you can win a game despite not picking up very many hits. Last season the Yankees won a game against the Rays 2-1 only getting one hit all game. In that case, they got a pretty good outing from Nathan Eovaldi, and then three solid innings for the bullpen.
On June 8, 1952, the Yankees won despite getting only two hits. However, that one was very much gifted to them.
Jim McDonald got the start for the Yankees as they hosted the St. Louis Browns on June 8, 1952. He walked the first three batters he faced and was immediately taken out of the game. Bob Kuzava came in and got out of it, allowing only one run in the process.
Former and future Yankee Tommy Byrne was the starter for St. Louis. He caught whatever McDonald had, and walked the fist two Yankee batters he faced. After Hank Bauer’s sacrifice bunt attempt led to a force out at third, Yogi Berra grounded one to first. Browns’ first baseman Gordon Goldsberry made an error on the play, allowing Phil Rizzuto to score. To make things worse, right fielder Bob Nieman also made an error on the play, allowing Bauer to score and Berra to go all the way to third on what was a ground ball. Gil McDougald singled home Berra, making it 3-1.
In the top of the third, Goldsberry atoned for his error somewhat when he led off the inning for the Browns with a home run. That would not be the last time Goldsberry was heard from that day.
In the bottom of the sixth, Byrne started the inning by walking McDougald. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, McDougald ended up at third with two outs. The Browns intentionally walked Billy Martin to bring up Kuzava. With the pitcher batting, the Browns had a golden chance to get out of the inning. Instead St. Louis third baseman Leo Thomas made an error on a pick off attempt, allowing McDougald to score.
Two innings later, the Yankees still led 4-2 going into the bottom of eighth. With one out in the eighth, McDougald walked. Irv Noren then grounded one to Goldsberry at first. For the second time, Goldsberry committed an error on a gounder, allowing Noren to reach and McDougald to go to third. Joe Collins then laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt, and Byrne got in on the action. Byrne made an error of his own, the Browns’ fifth of the game, allowing McDougald to score.
Kuzava worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth, and the Yankees won 5-2. The Yankees beat the Browns 5-2 on June 8, 1952 despite picking up just two hits.
That’s not as crazy an occurrence as the Yankees one-hit win. It is far dumber though.
All data courtesy of the Baseball Reference Play Index