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Everystros LXXXIV

Here’s the 84th chapter of Everystros, featuring Brad Ausmus.

GIANTS_066_LH.JPG Houston Astros vs. San Francisco Giants at SBC Park. Catcher Brad Ausmus catches ball for a 3rd out in the first inning. Shot on 9/23/04 in San Francisco. LIZ HAFALIA / The Chronicle
Brad Ausmus
Photo By LIZ HAFALIA/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

110. Brad Ausmus (Bagwell score 13.22) is a five-foot-11 right-handed catcher from New Haven, CT. Born on April 1, 1969, he was a 48th-round pick of the New York Yankees in 1987, out of Cheshire Academy. he’s the only player out of the round to reach the majors (out of 14), and one-of-two to reach the bigs after being chosen with the 1,152nd overall selection. The other is Robbie Weinhardt, chosen in the 38th round in 2007 by the Astros.

Ausmus was later drafted in the expansion draft by the Colorado Rockies in 1992 and traded to the San Diego Padres in 1993. That’s also the year he reached the majors for the first time, with the Padres. He played four seasons with the team (303 games, .255/.314/.365, 18 home runs, 83 RBI), followed by the last part of the 1996 campaign with the Detroit Tigers (75 games, .248/.328/.354, four home runs, 22 RBI).

On December 10, 1996, the Tigers sent Ausmus with José Lima, Trever Miller, Daryle Ward, and C.J. Nitkowski to the Astros for Orlando Miller, Brian Hunter Todd Jones, and Doug Brocail. In 1997 and 1998, Ausmus played in 258 games, starting 230 of them behind the plate and fielding at .992. He also threw out 77 of 180 runners trying to steal, leading the National League in 1997 with a 49 percent kill rate. He also hit .268/.341/.357 with 10 home runs and 89 RBI.

On July 14, 1997, Ausmus reached first base in the first inning via HBP, scoring on a Jeff Bagwell home run. He then added a fifth-inning single and a seventh-inning come-from-behind grand slam. In the top of the 15th, he lined into a double play, but still brought a run home on when Ricky Gutierrez scored in a 9-7 win for Houston over the Chicago Cubs. On August 23, he hit three singles and a double with one RBI in a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

On June 17, 1998, Ausmus singled and scored in the second, walked in the fourth, singled in the eighth, and completed his night with a two-out walk-off RBI-single to set down the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5. On August 23, he hit three singles and a home run for five RBI in a 13-3 win against the Cubs. On September 16, he went hitless all day until the ninth inning, when he connected on a game-tying solo home run against the Mets in an eventual 4-3, 11-inning loss to New York.

On January 14, 1999, the Astros sent Ausmus with C.J. Nitkowski back to the Tigers for Mark Persails, Paul Bako, Dean Crow, Carlos Villalobos, and Brian Powell. He played two seasons for the Tigers in his second hitch .270/.360/.388, 16 home runs, 105 RBI, 1999 AL All-Star). On December 11, 2000, the Tigers traded him to the Astros, again, with Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz for Roger Cedeño, Chris Holt, and Mitch Meluskey.

In his second turn with Houston, Ausmus spent eight seasons, appearing in 1001 games including 890 starts at catcher. He fielded at .996 and threw out 184-of-605 runners trying to steal, while slashing .240/.312/.319 with 31 home runs and 297 RBI. In eight postseason series over five playoff runs with the Astros, he hit .245/.308/.377 with three homers and seven RBI.

On June 4, 2002, Ausmus drew first via HBP in the second, by walk in the fourth, then hit a triple and scored in the sixth. In the seventh, he hit a two-run go-ahead single in an eventual 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On July 30, he hit three singles and a home run with three RBI in a 16-3 triumph against the Mets. On April 4, 2003, he defeated the Cardinals nearly single-handedly, with a grand-slam in the first inning, a single in a tie game in the sixth, and a 12th-inning go-ahead home run in a 6-5 victory over the Cardinals.

On July 31, 2004, Ausmus totaled three singles and a double with one RBI in an 8-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds. On July 28, 2005, he brought home a seventh-inning game-tying run on a bunt-groundout against the Mets, then drove home the game winner with a ninth-inning walk-off RBI-double for a 3-2 victory. On September 20, he hit an RBI-double in the second inning, a fourth-inning two-run go-ahead double, and an eighth-inning RBI-single in a 7-4 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In Game Four of the 2005 NLCS, he hit a fifth-inning single, then hit a game-tying solo jack with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, in a 7-6, 18-inning win against the Atlanta Braves.

On June 12, 2007, Ausmus hit a second-inning RBI-single, a fourth-inning go-ahead two-run homer, and an 11th-inning walkoff RBI-single, defeating the Oakland Athletics, 5-4. On July 27, 2008, he hit four singles with two RBI in an 11-6 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. On August 24, Ausmus entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of a 4-4 tie with the Mets, then hung around long enough to hit a go-ahead solo homer in the 10th to defeat New York, 6-4.

On October 31, 2008, Ausmus was granted free agency from Houston. He later played two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (57 games, .266/.329/.323, one home run, 11 RBI). Ausmus has since managed the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels, later serving as bench coach for the Oakland Athletics in 2022. SABR Bio

109. Chad Qualls (Bagwell score 37.91) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Lomita, CA. Born on August 17, 1978, he was initially a 52nd-round choice of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 out of Los Angeles Harbor College. He did not sign with the Jays, instead pursuing higher education at the University of Nevada at Reno, where the Astros took him in 2000.

Houston chose Qualls in the second round. He is the top player out of 17 to reach the majors out of the round, with a 5.8 career bWAR). Taken with the 67th overall choice, Qualls is a member of a fraternity that includes Rick Reuschel (69.5 bWAR), Ron Guidry (47.8 bWAR), and Wally Joyner (35.8 bWAR).

Between his major league debut and 2007, Qualls pitched 284 innings in 262 games, walking 84 and striking out 218. He was 23-12 with a 3.39 ERA, a 1.236 WHIP, and a .256/.320/.382 opposing slashline. He pitched with a gmLI of 1.41, with ascending figures in each of those four seasons.

On September 12, 2004, Qualls entered in the bottom of the 10th with one out, two on, and a 5-4 lead, then earned ihs first save of his career by throwing two pitches for two outs for a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. In Game Three of the 2005 World Series, he pitched the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings against the White Sox, striking out three over three scoreless innings of relief, but Chicago eventually won, 7-5 in 14 innings.

On April 30, 2006, Qualls relieved Taylor Buchholz in the seventh inning, with one out and two on to protect a 3-2 lead, then induced a Javier Valentin lineout and a Rich Aurilia popfly to escape the inning. He followed with a 1-2-3 eighth for a successful hold in a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. On June 25, he entered a 9-9 tie with the White Sox in the 10th inning. He allowed only a leadoff 11th-inning single over 2 13 otherwise perfect innings in an eventual 13-inning, 10-9 Houston win over Chicago.

On June 9, 2007, Qualls earned a victory when he entered with two outs and two on in the eighth, with a 2-2 tie against the White Sox, then issued only a leadoff ninth-inning walk in a 3-2 win against Chicago. On August 2, Qualls pitched the eighth, ninth, and 10th innings in a 9-9 tie with the Braves without allowing a run in an eventual 14-inning, 12-11 win against Atlanta.

On December 14, 2007, the Astros sent Qualls with Chris Burke and J.C. Gutiérrez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for José Valverde. Qualls pitched two-and-a-half seasons with Arizona (7-14, 45 saves, 4.34, 163 23 innings, 150 K), followed by the final part of 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays (2-0, 5.57, 21 IP, 15 K) and a season with the San Diego Padres (6-8, 3.51, 74 13 IP, 43 K). He split the 2012 season between the Philadelphia PHillies (1-1, 4.60, 31 13 IP, 19 K), the New York Yankees (1-0, 6.14, 7 13 IP, two K), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0, 6.59, 13 23 IP, six K) before joining the Miami Marlins for 2013 (5-2, 2.61, 62 IP, 49 K).

On December 7, 2013, Qualls rejoined the Astros through free agency, and spent two more seasons with Houston. He was 4-10 with a 3.84 ERA over 118 appearances, with 14 walks and 89 strikeouts in 100 23 innings. He posted a 1.133 WHIP and saved 23 games, with a 1.31 gmLI and a .256/.286/.387 opposing slashline.

After departing Houston a second time following the 2015 season, Qualls joined the Colorado Rockies for two seasons (3-1, 5.29, 49 13 IP, 33 K).

108. Evan Gattis (Bagwell score 32.67) is a six-foot-four right-handed catcher from Dallas, TX. Born on August 18, 1986, he was a 23rd-round choice of the Atlanta Braves in 2010 out of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He reached the bigs with the Braves in 2013 and spent his first two major league seasons playing for Atlanta (213 games, .253/.304/.487, 43 home runs, 117 RBI.

On January 14, 2015, the Braves sent Gattis with James Hoyt to Houston for Andrew Thurman, Mike Foltynewicz, and Rio Ruiz.

Between 2015 and 2018, Gattis appeared in 493 games and slashed .245/.298/.471, with 96 home runs and 293 RBI. He started 96 games at catcher and fielded at .989 over 863 innings of backstopping, throwing out 17-of-67 runners trying to steal. He also played 71 innings in left field and one inning at first base, but played the rest of the time as Houston’s designated hitter.

Gattis had a lot of noteworthy game-level accomplishments, listed below.

On April 26, 2015, Gattis hit a two-run game-tying single in the third and a two-run come-from-behind, go-ahead ninth-inning double in a 7-6 win over the Oakland Athletics. On May 3, he hit a first-inning three-run homer and an eighth-inning lead-off go-ahead home run in a 7-6 win over the Seattle Mariners. On May 27, he hit a second-inning single and scored the first run of the game, added a sixth-inning double, and finished with a game-tying two-run seventh-inning homer, in a game the Astros lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 5-4.

On June 14, Gattis hit four singles and scored three runs in a 13-0 win over the Mariners. On August 25, he hit a single and a home run with four RBI in a 15-1 win against the New York Yankees. The next day, he hit two solo home runs against the Yankees, in a 6-2 Houston victory. On September 19, he hit a fourth-inning single and a seventh-inning three-run go-ahead home run in a 10-6 triumph over the A’s.

On May 17, 2016, Gattis singled and scored in the second, then hit a go-ahead 11th-inning two-run homer, in a 6-5 win against the Chicago White Sox. On May 29, he hit a sixth-inning single, later coming around to score, then doubled and scored the game tying run in the eighth in an 8-5, 13-inning win over the Los Angeles Angels. On June 3, he hit three singles and a homer for four RBI in a 12-2 win against Oakland.

On July 10, Gattis hit a game-tying double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, in a 2-1 win over the A’s. On July 23, he hit a pair of homers with four RBI in a 7-2 win against the Angels. On August 12, he hit two singles and two doubles in a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. August 26, he hit a first-inning RBI-single and a walk-off solo home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4.

On September 12, Gattis hit a ninth-inning game-tying solo shot against the Rangers, in an eventual 4-3 loss to Texas. On September 21, he hit two homers with three RBI in a 6-5 win against Oakland.

On April 9, 2017, Gattis singled in the second, drew a walk and scored in the seventh, hit a two-out single with the game tied in the eighth, drew a leadoff walk in the 11th, then drove in George Springer in the bottom of the 12th with a walk-off bases loaded walk for a 5-4 win against the Kansas City Royals. Two days later, he hit a pinch-hit sixth-inning three-run go-ahead double against the Mariners in a 7-5 victory over Seattle.

On May 31, Gattis hit a single, a double, and a home run for three RBI in a 17-6 win against the Minnesota Twins. On July 18, he hit two solo home runs in a 6-2 win over the M’s.

On May 27, 2018, Gattis hit a three-run jack in the eighth, then added a go-ahead homer in the 13th inning of a 10-9 loss to the Cleveland Indians. On June 12, he hit a double and a home run for five RBI in a 6-3 win over the A’s. The next day, he hit two homers for five RBI in a 13-5 triumph over Oakland. Two days after that, he hit a sixth-inning go-ahead grand slam, later doubling and scoring in the eighth inning of a 7-3 win against Kansas City. On July 1, he hit two solo homers in a 3-2 loss to the Rays. On August 15, he again hit two solo homers, in a 12-1 destruction of the Colorado Rockies.

Houston granted Gattis’ free agency after the 2018 season. He didn’t appear in the majors or minors after that, and has since made headlines for his Twitter presence. (then Twitter, now X, for reasons).

107. Don Sutton (Bagwell score 40.52) was a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Rancho Mirage, CA. Born on April 2, 1945, he made his major league debut in 1966 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent his first 15 seasons pitching for LA (230-175, 3.07, 3,729 IP, 2,652 K). On October 23, 1980, he was granted free agency, and signed with the Astros.

Over two seasons with the Astros, Sutton was 24-17 with a 2.82 ERA, with 75 walks and 243 strikeouts in 352 23 innings pitched.

On April 28, 1981, Sutton struck out eight and kept the Braves to one run on two hits over eight innings in a 2-1 victory over Atlanta. On May 13, he pitched a five-hitter, striking out four in a 3-0 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. On June 3, he struck out six and gave up one run on seven hits in a complete game 6-1 win over the San Diego Padres.

On August 15, Sutton kept the Padres scoreless on three hits over eight innings, striking out six in a 5-0 win over San Diego. On August 31, he struck out eight and pitched a nine-hitter in a 6-1 triumph over the New York Mets.

On September 11, Sutton struck out six and pitched a five-hitter, walking one in a 6-0 win versus the San Francisco Giants. On September 22, he struck out three and pitched a three-hitter, defeating the Braves, 3-0. FIve days later, he pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine to top the Dodgers, 4-1.

On May 15, 1982, Sutton struck out six and pitched a three-hitter, defeating the Chicago Cubs, 4-1. On May 21, he struck out seven and gave up six hits in eight innings in a 5-1 victory over the Mets. Five days later, he gave up no runs on five hits over nine innings, striking out eight in a 4-0 10-inning loss to the Montreal Expos.

On June 16, Sutton struck out seven and allowed one earned run over seven innings, in a 5-4 loss to the Braves. On July 2, he pitched 8 13 innings, striking out five and allowing six hits in a 4-1 win against the Dodgers. Five days later, he pitched a four-hitter, striking out four to top the Cubs, 5-1.

On July 30, Sutton whiffed 10 and allowed one earned run on four hits in a 3-1 victory over San Francisco. On August 15, he struck out another 10, and held the Reds to five hits over eight innings in a 7-3 win over Cincinnati. On August 30, 1982, Sutton was traded to the Brewers for PTBNLs Frank DiPino, Mike Madden, and Kevin Bass.

Sutton went on to pitch three seasons with Milwaukee (26-26, 3.86, 487 23 IP, 313 K), later playing for the A’s (13-8, 3.89, 194 13 IP, 91 K) and the Angels (28-24, 4.16, 430 13 IP, 231 K) before finishing up his major league career back with the Dodgers (3-6, 3.92, 87 13 IP, 44 K).

After his playing career, Sutton went on to have a successful 22-season broadcasting career, mostly for the Braves, but also for the Dodgers, and the Expos/Nationals. Sutton passed away due to cancer on January 21, 2021. SABR Bio

106. Claude Raymond (Bagwell score 48.99) is a five-foot-10, right-handed pitcher from St. Jean, Canada. Born on May 7, 1937, he reached the majors for the first time in 1959 with the Chicago White Sox (0-0, 9.00, four IP, one K). He played from 1961 through 1963 with the Milwaukee Braves (10-11, 17 saves, 4.18, 116 13 IP, 97 K).

On October 10, 1963, the Houston Colt .45s drafted Raymond in a 1963 special draft. In three-and-a-half seasons pitching for Houston, he was 19-18 with 26 saves, a 2.98 ERA, and a 1.127 WHIP. He struck out 225 and walked 70 in 299 innings.

On September 18, 1964, Raymond entered in the sixth inning of a game against the Mets trailing 2-1. He then held the Mets to one hit over four shutout innings, striking out three in 3-2 victory over New York. On April 25, 1965, he earned victory over the Pirates, pitching the final two innings of a 5-4 11-inning win over Pittsburgh, and giving up only a hit while striking out two. On June 1, 1965, he pitched 5 13 innings in relief, striking out four and allowing no runs on three hits and two walks.

On July 4, 1965, Raymond pitched a six-hitter, striking out three and walking zero in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 2, he earned his third save of the season by pitching the final inning of a 4-3 victory over the Mets. On May 24, 1966, he earned a victory when he pitched the final 5 13 innings of a 5-3 win against the Mets, striking out a pair and allowing no runs on one hit.

On June 15, 1967, the Astros sent Raymond with PTBNL Derrell Griffith to the Atlanta Braves for Wade Blasingame and PTBNL Brian Murphy. After his time with the Braves (9-8, 15 saves, 3.60, 142 23 IP, 66 K), he joined the Montreal Expos for three seasons (8-16, 24 saves, 159 IP, 108 K).

After retirement, Raymond went into broadcasting for the Expos, serving in the role from 1972 through 2001, then again in 2004. In June 2019, he was named to the “Order of Canada.” SABR Bio

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