platform change coming tomorrow early a.m. . . . . . .
Well it has been raining all-day at Sim-Busch '64, but the weather finally broke an hour or so ago and it looks like we'll get the game in. The series is deadlocked at two games each, so this game figures to be pivotal. Lineups for today's match are below. 1934's stays the same as always (that's the convenient thing about having lots of switch hitters), while Sim-Keane flip-flops White and Groat, Shannon and McCarver against the lefty starter.
|Pepper Martin, 3b||Curt Flood, cf|
|Jack Rothrock, rf||Lou Brock, lf|
|Frank Frisch, 2b||Dick Groat, ss|
|Joe Medwick, lf||Ken Boyer, 3b|
|Ripper Collins, 1b||Bill White, 1b|
|Bill Delancey, c||Mike Shannon, rf|
|Ernie Orsatti, cf||Julian Javier, 2b|
|Leo Durocher, ss||Tim McCarver, c|
|Bill Walker, p||Ray Sadecki, p|
1934 is off to a fast start --- well, sorta. Martin leads off with a single, but after a Rothrock strikeout he is lost on the bathpaths, out trying to steal 2d. There are now two outs and Sadecki should have an easy first inning. But the 1934s have other plans. Frisch lines a single to left, resuscitating the rally; Ducky follows with a single of his own, this one to right. Then Ripper adds a third consecutive single and, just to keep things symmetric, this one is up the middle. The 1934s are up 1-0. Bill Delancey then caps the inning with a big hit, a double that scores Medwick and Collins. The inning ends with the Gas Housers leading 3-0.
The 1964s come right back, however. Flood leads off with a double. Brock, last night's hero, flies out, and Groat Ks. It just looks like Walker may get out of the inning, but he falls behind Boyer 3-1 and elevates his next pitch. Boyer responds with a liner to right to score Flood, cutting the lead to 3-1. Walker's control problem lingers: he walks Bill White, but Mike Shannon grounds out to end the threat.
In the second Sadecki settles in and retires a consecutive trio of Gas Housers. Walker's control problems continue as he walks McCarver to lead off the bottom half of the inning. However, Javier strikes out and Sadecki botches a bunt attempt for the second out. Flood reaches on another base on balls before Walker (that name is so appropriate today) induces a Brock groundout to end the inning. Sadecki retires the 1934s 1-2-3 in the third to keep the pressure on Walker. In the bottom of the frame Boyer collects his second hit of the day, a one-out double, and Bill White reaches on an E4. But both men are left stranded as Shannon pops out to short and McCarver lines out to first, narrowly missing an XBH.
Both hurlers pitch around leadoff singles in the fourth. In the fifth, Pepper Martin shoots a ball down the left-field line for a triple and scores on Rothrock's sac fly to extend the lead to 4-1. Walker gives way to Jesse Haines in the top of the sixth, and Sadecki departs for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning; no change to the scoreboard, though. But in the last of the seventh, Brock jacks a Haines knuckler over the fence in right, his second homer in 2 days. An out later James Mooney comes on, and his first act is to walk Boyer. Bill White follows with a single to bring up Mike Shannon as the potential go-ahead run. It's Mooney versus the Moon man --- that's right, a pair of full moons. (I could go on like this for a while. . . . .) James might be on moonshine, because he serves a fat pitch to Shannon, who then hits a moon-shot to left-center. (See, I told you I could.) The ball sails over the 379 mark as Mike trots around the bases and gives the 1964s a 5-4 lead. For the second day in a row, the 1964s come back late and take the lead on a 3-run dinger.
But unlike yesterday, this lead doesn't last long. In the eighth Medwick bloops a double with two out off Ron Taylor, and Ripper Collins makes him pay with a 2-run line shot to right. It's the third homer of the game and the second lead change; 1934 leads again, 6-5.
So it stands as the game moves to the bottom of the ninth. Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance, on in relief since the seventh, tries to close the game. But Brock collects his second hit of the day, a bloop single, to open the frame. Groat then grounds to short for the first out as Brock moves up to second; a single would bring him in with the tying run. Up to the plate comes 1964's homerun leader, Ken Boyer. Vance pitches; Boyer swings, and for the second day in a row the crowd goes wild watching a come-from-behind walk-off bomb. In the last two days, 1934 has blown leads of 5-1 and 4-1; they led both games heading into the 9th. If the Gas House Gang had closed out both games, they'd have themselves an easy 5-game series victory. Instead they trail in this series, 3 games to 2.
In two days, the 1964s will have a great chance to close out the set. Bob Gibson will return to the mound. Paul Dean will toe the rubber for the 1934s. See you then.
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Steve Carlton pitched more than well enough in his first start of the tournament --- winning Game 7 of the previous round under tough circumstances --- to earn another start. Despite getting traded after just 5 seasons with the club, Carlton shows up on the franchise leaderboard in a lot of big categories. He's 6th in strikeouts, 7th in Ks per 9 (6.77), 24th in wins (77), 27th in ERA (3.12). He's even 17th in career starts and 23d in innings pitched. Had he stayed with the team his whole career, he'd rank first in virtually every counting category and would be way up there on the rate-stat categories. C'est la vie; didn't happen, and more's the pity.
He faces Jesse Haines, who was a greater Cardinal if not a greater pitcher. The rest of the lineups:
|Lou Brock, lf||Taylor Douthit, cf|
|Curt Flood, cf||Ray Blades, rf|
|Roger Maris, rf||Rogers Hornsby, 2b|
|Orlando Cepeda, 1b||Jim Bottomley, 1b|
|Tim McCarver, c||Les Bell, 3b|
|Mike Shannon, 3b||Chick Hafey, lf|
|Julian Javier, 2b||Bob O'Farrell, c|
|Dal Maxvill, ss||Tommy Thevenow, ss|
|Steve Carlton, p||Jesse Haines, p|
Billy Southworth takes a seat against the left-hander in favor of Ray Blades, and Ray immediately has an impact, singling Douthit (aboard in the bottom of the 1st via a leadoff walk) over to 3d base. That sets up a run on Hornsby's ensuing base hit. Carlton gets the lefty-hitting Bottomley to hit into a DP, which quashes the rally and keeps the score 1-0. The equalizer is not long in coming, though: McCarver blasts a solo shot leading off the very next half-inning to tie it up. And Carlton himself starts a rally in the top of the 3d, singling to right. Brock forces him at second, but then glides over to 3d base on Flood's one-out single. Both outfielders score on Maris's double, and El Birdos take a 3-1 lead. With two outs, McCarver slaps a single the other way to drive in Roger and make it 4-1.
Carlton again gets a DP (by O'Farrell) to help him out of trouble in the 4th (2 outs, nobody on). He's not pitching a particularly artful game --- through 5 innings he yields 5 hits and 3 walks, with only one 1-2-3 inning to his credit. He gets his second 1-2-3 in the 6th, striking out the side --- Bottomley, Bell, and Hafey. Two of those guys are Hall of Famers, folks. But Carlton doesn't help himself with the bat in that inning --- with runners at 2d and 3d and only one out, he chops one to Hornsby playing in on the grass and fails to drive in the runner. Brock grounds out moments later, and those extra runs die on the paths. Still 4-1 El Birdos through 6.
That squandered opportunity stings come the bottom of the 7th. With one out Thevenow singles and Southworth, off the bench to pinch-hit, golfs one out of the yard to right-center to close the gap to 4-3. Douthit grounds out for the 2d out of the frame, but Blades keeps it alive with a single and drives Carlton to the showers. Ron Willis comes on to face Hornsby, right-hander vs right-hander. He hurls one back to the screen, though, moving the tying run into scoring position and opening up a base for Hornsby. Sim-Schoendienst plays it by the book and pitches to Hornsby rather than putting the go-ahead run on base. Willis gets him to hit it on the ground, but the ball trickles through and dies on the grass in centerfield. Blades flies around to tie it up, 4-4. Bottomley, hitless in 3 trips, follows up with a hit that propels Hornsby to 3d base. That brings up Les Bell, hitless in the game with 2 walks. Willis again gets a groundball, his 3d in a row ---- and again it trickles through. The 1926s move ahead 5-4, with the tying and go-ahead runs scoring after 2 were out.
Nothing doing for El Birdos in the 8th --- Shannon, Hoolie, and Maxvill go in order against Syl Johnson --- but with one out in the 9th, Brock comes up and squibs a `tweener into right-center. It's not hit particularly far --- Hornsby himself picks up the ball, running out onto the outfield grass ---- but it's placed just right, and Brock slingshots around first and makes it to second standing up, getting himself into scoring position. Flood's next; he also hits it softly to center, but this one hangs up long enough for Douthit to run under it and catch it for the 2d out. With Maris up as El Birdos' last chance, Hornsby signals to the bullpen and calls in Al Sothoron; I'd never heard of the guy until just now. He ended his career in 1926, going 3-3 mostly out of the bullpen; not sure why the simulator wants him here, but on he comes. Maris is 2 for 3 in the game and 5 for 15 in the series; he's got the platoon advantage for this at-bat. Sothoron checks the runner, then fires; Maris lifts it deeeeep to straightaway center. Back goes Douthit; back back back at the track at the wall . . . . . . and he makes the catch. Maris's bid falls just short; the game ends 5-4, and 1926 takes a 3-2 lead in the series.
Gibson '68 looms in Game 7, so the '26 team had better close it out in Game 6 behind Ol' Pete.