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Matt Stairs notches career pinch hit number 100

May 5, 2011, 12:37 PM EST

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Getty Images

I was paying attention to Matt Stairs more closely to see when he’d get his first hit at all this season. Little did I know — until I read Adam Kilgore’s story in this morning’s Washington Post anyway — that the hit he had in last night’s game was his 100th career pinch hit.

Strange career for a neat guy.  There aren’t many non-head cases who have played for a bunch of different teams, but Stairs is decidedly not that and has played for 13.  A lot of that has to do with his pinch-hitting rep — those guys don’t last on the same team for a very long time — but I kind of suspect that a lot of guys could be pinch hitters. With Stairs I’m sure it has a lot to do with his willingness to take on the role with little fuss and the fact that he’s really likable.  Need a pinch hitter this year? OK, call Stairs.

  1. BC - May 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    The coolest thing is that despite having only two really big years, he has 265 career HRs. Gotta love me some Matt Stairs.

  2. Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    He will never have to buy a meal or drink in Philly for the rest of his life. Dude gets a standing O every time. People have “the moonshot off Broxton” as their phone background all around this area. It’s funny he’s sort of a beloved legend for Philly fans. And Werth gets “semi booed”, go figure.

    • Matthew Flint - May 5, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      I was actually thinking the same thing last night watching the game. How must Werth feel after four years as an everyday contributor to the best team in franchise history, to be mixed cheers and boos. Then your guy who is always the last one the bench (realize it wasn’t always this way with Stairs) gets a standing O everytime in Philly. Funny in it’s own weird way.

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        Dude We were thinking the same thing at the same exact moment.

      • Utley's Hair - May 5, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        Whether it’s deserved or not—and I’m not saying I agree with it, but I can see it—but JDub’s comments pretty much sealed his fate.

        I also think that there was the slightest chance that Werth could come back, but there was no way Stairs was.

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        Yeah, Werth has kind of an abrasive way about him. And his comments he’s made probably deserve some crap from the fans. But he has contributed wayyy more to the team. I guess that’s why most people applaud him.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 5, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Made the Werth world series contribution argument at the bar last night…….replies included “he needs a hair cut and a shave”….”he was picking daisies in the outfield all last season”…..and “we don’t need him, Francisco will put up Werth numbers except for the steals”……..I recommended flagging the dude who said that last one

      • Utley's Hair - May 5, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        I have had to explain to my kid a few times why they’re booing JDub.

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        Maybe they were upset that the Flyers were totally being owned last night? How the hell is is this happening? Oh yeah, we have 3 mediocre goalies, that’s right.

      • Utley's Hair - May 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        They’re in the same position as they were last year—but they haven’t had Pronger this year, for whatever the hell reason.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        Same problem they’ve had since Pelle Lindburgh….assuming of course he would have gotten them a cup

      • Utley's Hair - May 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Ah…Pelle Lindburgh…now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        I was kid then. And I was upset about it.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 5, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      The best is the quote following that blast:

      “When you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you’re getting your ass hammered by guys — there’s no better feeling than to have that done.”

      I still from time to time pop in the box set to watch that ball fly into the night

    • Utley's Hair - May 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      He’s kinda like a smaller, more reserved Krukker.

  3. banksatdixie - May 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Am I the only one who is surprised that he only has 100 career pinch hits? Seems like he has about three times that.

    • BC - May 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      Given that he’s been playing since the Reagan Administration, I’m surprised he’s not at a higher total. Who was it, Lenny Harris that set the record for most pinch hits, like in the high 100s or so? Wonder what the record for most pinch-hit HRs is, and whether Stairs is close to that.

      • explodet - May 5, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        Stairs already has the record for pinch hit homers.

      • BC - May 5, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        COOLNESS!

    • thefalcon123 - May 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      It seems it should be more, but not when you put some thought into it. Obviously, a player can have a maximum of 162 pinch hit at bats per year. Let’s say Matt pinch hits in 100 games. Of those 100 pa’s, take away the 12% of the time he draws a walk. That leaves 88 at bats per year. Matt is a career .263 hitter, so .263*88= 23 pinch hits per year, meaning he has to essentially be a full time pinch hitter for 5 years straight to get 100 pinch hits. How many players do you know who are pinch hitters for 5 years in a row?

      • BC - May 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Manny… manny…manny…. Mota….mota…..mota…..

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        “How many players do you know who are pinch hitters for 5 years in a row?”

        Almost every DH in the AL ????? Just a glorified pinch hitter really.

      • banksatdixie - May 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        No, the logic is definitely there. It was more just a, “wow, it seems like this guy has been a successful pinch hitter for 15 years” moment.

    • Joe - May 5, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      Too many years as DH in the AL.

  4. Chooch51Ruiz - May 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    In case of emergency use Stairs

    • BC - May 5, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      +1

  5. kcq101 - May 5, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Everyone in the clubhouse loves the guy as much as the fans do. The best is that this guy plays hockey north of the border in the off-season to stay in shape.

    I was in a The Black Sheep Irish Pub, in Philly, soon after Stairs’ post-season shot off Broxton. On the bar mirror were Pink Sheep stickers, each with a different Phillies player’s name and number. With each drink you purchased, you could donate a $1 towards breast cancer in the name of any particular player’s sticker on the mirror. For each drink/player you chose, there was a resulting in a dash on that Pink Sheep.

    As we settled in at the bar, we noticed a respectable number (~7-12) of dashes towards the obvious players: Utley, Howard, Hamels, etc. But to our surprise, despite the big homer he hit, Stairs had 25+. Curious, we asked the bar tender how Stairs had racked up so many dashes. The bartender smirked and simply told us that Pat Burrell “aka The Machine” was there the night before. I almost fell off the bar stool laughing.

  6. macjacmccoy - May 5, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Stairs will always be my all time favorite pinch hitter because of that 2 run monmouth go-ahead game clinching home run he hit against the Dodgers in the 2008 NLCS for the Phillies.

  7. zekeulrey - May 10, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Matt Stairs is quality.

    What I find surprising is that he came up with the Expos as a shortstop.

    WTF? :)

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