I suppose that headline is somewhat misleading because Babe Ruth played only in day games, thus a “Babe Ruth night” could refer exclusively to his off-the-field conduct and, frankly, that probably takes things into a decidedly more PG-13 direction than we usually go around here. Maybe I should’ve said “a Babe Ruth game.”
So what is a “Babe Ruth game” in this context: one in which the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen pretty much did everything: he was the winning pitcher but he also hit a homer and played in the outfield. According to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, the last guy to do that was Babe Ruth, who did so for the Yankees on June 13, 1921.
To be fair, Lorenzen’s win was a vulture job as he blew a one-run lead by giving up a homer to Jay Bruce in the seventh inning. But, after José Iglesias put the Reds back on top with a homer of his own in the bottom half, Lorenzen pitched a clean top half of the eighth inning and then added insurance with a solo dinger in the bottom of the eighth. He was relieved in the ninth and moved to center field. His highlights:
Lorenzen has appeared in 66 games as a reliever this year but he also has 19 plate appearances, having manned the outfield in 18 different games. His batting line: .353/.421/.588 with a double, a homer, four driven in and two walks. He’s a pretty spiffy all-around athlete that I would not be surprised used more commonly as a two-way guy going forward.
And the Reds are starting him in center field this afternoon.
UPDATE: They’re already underway in Cincinnati and Lorenzen is already having himself a game: