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Tournament of Champions, Round 3: day 11

apologies for the late posting; lot to do these days. you can get caught up on all the scores &c at Cardinal70's tracker page. the game summaries are right after the jump:

Game 1, 1944 v 1964
Game 1, 1931 v 1985
Game 2, 1926 v 1943
Game 2, 1886 v 1934

Game 1

summary by giveml

This matchup between Billy Southworth's 1944 juggernaut and Johnny Keane's pennant-stealing 1964 squad should be very intriguing as the two teams have very little in common. Southworth's squad had just gone 105-49 for the second year in a row, and its three consecutive NL pennants had earned the club the distinction of earning a trip to the World Series in 8 of the last 19 seasons. Even though Branch Rickey had departed following the 1942 season, the '44 team was a product of his legendary farm system. As such, it was like an extended family of players who had grown up together and played the game in the best of Cardinal traditions with hustle and grit.

The `44s dominated the National League, winning the pennant by 14.5 games over the second-place Pirates. They were just as dominant statistically, with the offense leading the league in BA, OBP, and SLG while finishing in the middle of the pack (6th) in steals. That being said, only one player, Whitey Kurowski, managed as many as 20 HRs, and Ray Sanders was the only Redbird to have 100 RBIs. Stan Musial and Walker Cooper were the only players to have a slugging percentage over .500. Musial's gap-hitting line of 51 doubles and 14 triples to go with his 12 homers typified the slash-and-run style of the '44 team that loved to take the extra base. Eight Cardinals finished among the top 30 vote getters in the MVP voting; Marty Marion won the award with a line of .267/.324/.362 and 1 SB.

The pitching staff dominated as well, with a spectacular team ERA+ of 132. The hurlers were first in the NL in ERA and strikeouts, allowed the fewest hits, and combined for 26 shutouts. The rotation of Mort Cooper, Max Lanier, Harry Brecheen, and Ted Wilks was so strong that poor George "Red" Munger, despite an eye-popping 264 ERA+, could only get in 12 starts. The defense led the league in fielding percentage and double plays.

The 1964 team is well known for its mad dash to the pennant, overtaking the collapsing Phillies in September. One year after boasting the entire starting infield for the All-Star Game, the '64 squad had stumbled to a 39-41 record at the halfway point; its ace pitcher, Gibson, was struggling at 5-6. The '64s had a much different look than the `44s, as they represented the new reality of integrated MLB teams. While the farm system had contributed key players such as Gibson and Ken Boyer, a lot of other important figures --- including Bill White, Curt Flood, Curt Simmons, and Dick Groat --- had been obtained from other organizations. Branch Rickey had returned to the ballclub as a consultant and was working in the background to undermine Bing Devine and Johnny Keane, which ultimately led to the 1964 GM of the Year being fired in August. Keane was embroiled in a dispute with Dick Groat that had split the clubhouse. Devine was looking for a way to stir up the chemistry of the club and had been talking to the Cubs for several months about an underperforming five-tool player by the name of Brock. Just before the June 15 trading deadline he pulled the trigger, shipping the popular Ernie Broglio to the Cubbies for the enigmatic Brock.

The initial clubhouse reaction to the trade was not good, as the Cardinals' veterans were unhappy about the trading of the 18-game winner from 1963. According to Bill White, "None of us liked the deal . . . . Lou had a lot of talent, but he didn't know anything about baseball. He might steal a base if you were up ten runs or down ten runs. But somehow, when he came to us, he turned everything around." Brock would hit .348 for the remainder of the season and, amazingly, be the only Cardinal with slugging percentage above .500. After the All-Star break the Cardinals would roar to a 54-28 record - good enough to win the pennant by one game over the Reds and Phils.

The `64s were a good offensive team despite having little power; they led the league in hitting and finished second in runs scored while finishing 7th in homers. Bill White and MVP Kenny Boyer both had more than 20 HRs and 100 RBIs, with the next leading power hitters being Julian Javier and Brock with 12 HRs apiece. Groat was third on the team in RBIs with 70. Like the '44 club, the `64s were gap hitters and finished third in the NL in doubles and second in triples.

In the rotation, the Cardinals' big three of Gibson, Curt Simmons, and Ray Sadecki won a combined 57 games, and the amazing Barney Schultz saved 14 games while compiling an ERA+ of 233 and a .93 WHIP. The numbers for the staff overall were not particularly impressive --- the team was 6th in ERA out of ten NL teams and finished seventh in strikeouts and eighth in shutouts. The staff's 133 HRs allowed was 24 more than the team's offense could manage. Somehow, Sadecki managed to win 20 games despite being barely better than league average with an ERA+ of 104.

The series gets started at Sportsman's Park with a classic matchup of Bob Gibson against Mort Cooper with the `44s as the home team. The lineups:

1964 1944
Curt Flood, cf Danny Litwhiler, lf
Lou Brock, lf Johnny Hopp, cf
Bill White, 1b Stan Musial, rf
Ken Boyer, 3b Walker Cooper, c
Dick Groat, ss Ray Sanders, 1b
Tim McCarver, c Whitey Kurowsi, 3b
Julian Javier, 2b Marty Marion, ss
Mike Shannon, rf Emil Verban, 2b
Bob Gibson, p Mort Cooper, p

Johnny Keane's club starts out meekly as Curt Flood taps back to the pitcher for the first out, but Cooper walks the free-swinging Brock. Of course, Lou proceeds to swipe second base and is in scoring position with one out. Bill White pulls the ball to second base and advances Brock to third, but Boyer is unable to bring him home as he rips a one-hopper to Whitey Kurowski who throws him out at first.

Billy Southworth's squad is not intimidated by the glaring Gibson and mounts a rally of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Hopp grounds a one-out single into RF, just out of Hoolie's reach, and aggressively takes third on Stan the Man's line-drive single to CF. Gibson, no stranger to first-inning trouble, gets Cooper to fan on a slider in the dirt, but he can't get Sanders to fish on a 3-2 slider and walks him to load the bases for Kurowski. Gibson tries to get ahead of Whitey with a first-pitch fastball and he rips a bullet headed for LF, but Groat makes a back-handed diving stab to end the inning.

The `64s come right back in the second. Groat, fresh off the sparking defensive play, leads off with a seeing-eye grounder through the hole for a single. (Shannon is sitting in the dugout thinking to himself, "Ol' Abner's done it again.") McCarver fouls off several pitches before working Cooper for a walk to put runners on first and second with nobody out. The fans start to get a little revved up, but Cooper quiets the crowd by striking out Javier looking. Shannon hits a deep fly to left center and Groat decides to challenge Danny Litwhiler's arm and advance to third, where he is safe on a close play while McCarver, who had gone half way on the play, returns to first. Gibson battles gamely, but ultimately pops to Kurowski to defuse the threat.

Gibby mows down the bottom half of the `44s order in the second, and in the third he gets the first two men without incident. Then "that man" steps into the box, and Gibby's eyes narrow. Musial fouls off several tough pitches, and then Gibby hangs a slider and Stan rips it down the RF line for a stand-up double. Gibby mentally tips his hat to The Man, but no one else knows it. Perhaps a little bit spent from the battle with Musial, Gibson makes the first pitch to Walker Cooper just a little too fat, and the 6'3" Cooper rifles a screaming blue darter past Boyer and into the LF corner, scoring Musial for the game's first run. In classic Gibson fashion he reaches back for a little extra and blows three straight fastballs past Ray Sanders to end the inning.

The `64s get a lead-off walk from Boyer in the 4th and a leadoff single from Shannon in the 5th, but the runners go nowhere. The '44s waste a chance in the their half of the 5th. Litwhiler --- a future college coach and inventor of the JUGS radar gun --- hits a one-out single back through the box and Musial reaches base for the third straight time with a two-out walk, but both men are stranded when Groat robs Cooper with a leaping catch of a line drive.

The '64s get their best chance yet in the 6th as Boyer and Groat both rip one-out singles, giving Keane's team the tying and go-ahead runs on base. But McCarver rolls over on a breaking ball and smokes a one-hopper to Verban for an inning-ending 4-6-3 twin killing. Gibson benefits from the DP himself in the bottom half. Ray Sanders leads off with a rocket into RF over Shannon's head, but the Moon Man runs it down on the warning track and then slams into the wall, holding on to the ball for the first out. Gibson looks a little flustered and starts trying to nibble the corners, resulting in a one-out walk to Kurowski. However, he gets the overmatched Marion to bounce a slider to Groat for a 6-4-3 double play to retire the side. As Shannon jogs into the dugout from RF he mutters something about the "old wholesaler."

It's still 1-0 heading into the 7th; the crowd is tense. Feeding of this energy, Javier pumps the first pitch from Cooper into left center; Hopp makes a fine play to hold him to a single. Undeterred, Javier swipes second on a very close play at second. Shannon hits behind the runner, advancing Hoolie to third with one out. Gibson's due up, but Keane calls him back and sends up Johnny Lewis. He immediately gets behind in the count and pops an 0-2 pitch into shallow right center for an easy second out; Javier has no choice but to remain at third. Gibson glares at Keane, who doesn't notice. Flood steps to the dish and also gets behind in the count, but he battles back to a 2-2 count before snaking a grounder between Kurowski and Marion for a game-tying two-out RBI. Southworth has seen enough and summons right-handed rookie Al Jurisch to face Brock. Jurisch takes advantage of Lou's overeagerness and strikes him without ever throwing a pitch in the strike zone. Gibson's out of the game, but the score's tied 1-1.

Ron Taylor pitches an uneventful 7th, and Bill White rips a single through the hole to lead off the 8th. Jurisch wants no part of the slugging Boyer and pitches around him, putting runners on first and second with nobody out for Groat. He's fooled on a breaking pitch and pops a can of corn into center for the first out of the inning, bringing up McCarver. Tim works the count full and then takes a borderline pitch for ball four to load the bases. Once again the crowd is in a frenzy, but Javier lets them down by striking out on a bad ball out of the zone, leaving it up to Shannon. Shannon steps into the box and waves his lumber menacingly at Jurisch. It's rookie against rookie, and Shannon prevails by lining the ball over Jurisch's head for a single and two RBIs. Jurisch recovers enough to retire pinch-hitter Bob Skinner, so we go into the bottom of the eighth with the `64s holding their first lead, 3-1.

Mike Cuellar comes on in relief. He walks Musial leading off, but immediately erases him on a double play by Cooper. Sanders then grounds out to Groat to end the inning. Southworth summons his closer, Freddy Schmidt, to keep the '64s within reach, and he dispatches Flood, Brock, and White without the ball leaving the infield. That sets up a save situation for the incomparable Barney Schultz. He pitches the dangerous Kurowski very carefully leading off the inning; Whitey won't swing at the knucklers in the dirt and is rewarded with a free pass. However, Marion is not so patient and hits a slow roller to Groat, who gets the force play at second. Emil Verban steps in and fouls off several pitches before hitting a made-to-order double-play grounder right to Groat. The play goes 6 to 4 to 3; it's a game-ending DP and a '64 victory in Game 1. The final score is 3-1.

Gibson gets the win with 7 innings of 1-run ball, but Shannon names himself the Star of the Game for his game-winning 2-run single and interviews himself on the post-game show.


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Game 1

summary by lboros

Don't have a whole lot of time to introduce this series, on accounta being way behind. I will just say for now that I think the 1985 is one of the franchise's most underappreciated. Those Birds held off two damn good teams --- the Mets, a .605 team in 1985 who the following year would win 108 games and a world title; and the Dodgers, a .586 team in 1985 who'd won the World Series 4 years earlier and would win another 3 years hence. Their pennant race with the Mets was easily the most exciting of my lifetime --- two .600 teams slugging it out. (I'm not counting the 1964 race, which happened when I was 1.) The collapse vs the Royals spoiled our memory of them, alas; 23 years later, that team is still remembered more for Denkinger than for the thrilling summer they gave us.

Their opponents in this round were the 2d World Series winners in Cardinal history. They too finished first at the expense of a New York team --- the Giants, who finished 13 games behind. The '31 team spent only 8 days out of first place that season, cruising to a second consecutive pennant and the first 100-win season ever for a St. Louis team. So this series features only the 2d matchup of 100-win clubs so far in the tournament (1943 beat 2005 in 6 games in the last round).

I'll try to describe the teams in a little more detail tomorrow; for now, the lineups:

1985 1931
Vince Coleman, lf Sparky Adams, 3b
Willie McGee, cf Wally Roettger, rf
Tom Herr, 2b Frank Frisch, 2b
Jack Clark, 1b Jim Bottomley, 1b
Tito Landrum, rf Chick Hafey, lf
Terry Pendleton, 3b Pepper Martin, cf
Darrell Porter, c Jimmie Wilson, c
Ozzie Smith, ss Charlie Gelbert, ss
John Tudor, p Bill Hallahan, p

The '85s get to work immediately against Wild Bill Hallahan: Coleman singles and swipes second, then scores on a single by MVP McGee, who also swipes second. The heat is on, eh? Herr and Clark make quick outs, and Sim-Gabby Street orders the IBB to Landrum so he can pitch to Pendleton, one of my all-time favorite Cardinals but a terrible hitter in 1985 (66 OPS+). He makes the strategy look dumb, smoking a basehit to left; Willie scores and it's 2-0. Then Hallahan flings a wild pitch, and Darrell Porter gets hold of one and yanks it out of the park to right-center. Yowza --- 5-0 with John Tudor on the mound? Game over, folks.

Hallahan departs, Jesse Haines comes on, and the Herzog gang piles on another run via consecutive doubles by Ozzie and Tudor. Five runs cross the plate with two outs. Tudor heads out and just starts chucking strikes, not pitching too fine; he gives up a couple of hits, but for some reason both baserunners try to steal (what's the sim thinking?) and are tossed out . . . . . whatever. In the 3d there is more hell to pay for the 1931s; Pendleton doubles, Porter doubles, Ozzie takes one off the knee; when McGee comes up a while later, he rips a double too. It's 9-0; Haines leaves the game, Tony Kauffman enters, and I reckon the '31s are done trying to steal this afternoon.

Another 4 runs cross the plate in the 4th; yawn. The only interesting thing about the rally is that it features a triple by Porter, who now needs only a single to complete the cycle. (I looked it up --- Porter hit 2 triples in 1985 and whacked 13 of them in his 4-year run as a Cardinal. Lord, but Busch II had deep power alleys before the conversion. . . . . ) The 13-run pool is now busted, and Tudor still has his shutout. Porter bats in the 6th and draws a walk; the '85s score 3 more runs to make it 16-0. He comes to bat again with two outs in the top of the 9th, facing Syl Johnson; he winds, he fires, and Porter swings and flicks a little popup to first base. No cycle.

Tudor goes the distance and completes the shutout, a 7-hitter. The most lopsided game of the tournament so far is over; 1985 Cards 16, 1931 Cards 0.


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Game 2
(1926 leads, 1 game to 0)

summary by cardsfanunion

Once again we're live at the 1943 version of Sportsman's Park for Game 2 between the 1943 Cards and the 1926 Birds. Game 2 features the first start by Ol' Pete Alexander (about whom I wrote extensively in the Game 1 introduction) against lefty Max Lanier. Lanier was actually born right handed. However, like Billy Wagner, he broke his right arm as a child and was forced to learn to throw left-handed to keep playing ball. Lanier was on the mound when the Cards clinched the 1944 World Series.

Lanier, along with a number of other major leaguers, took his skills to the Mexican League in 1946 after being lured by the promise of more money. In 1948 he tried to return to the Cardinals but was barred from doing so by Commissioner Happy Chandler. Lanier sued, arguing that baseball's practices violated US anti-trust laws; it was the same basis Curt Flood used some 20 years later to attack the reserve clause. Rather than fight the suit, MLB reinstated Lanier and the other players. Lanier rejoined the Birds in 1949 and was still pretty good; he went 27-22 over the next three seasons, then got traded to the Giants for Eddie Stanky. The lineups:

1926 1943
Taylor Douthit, cf Lou Klein, 2b
Ray Blades, rf Harry Walker, cf
Rogers Hornsby, 2b Stan Musial, rf
Jim Bottomley, 1b Walker Cooper, c
Les Bell, 3b Whitey Kurowski, 3b
Chick Hafey, lf Ray Sanders, 1b
Bob O'Farrell, c Danny Litwhiler, lf
Tommy Thevenow, ss Marty Marion, ss
Pete Alexander, p Max Lanier, p

Lanier allows a first-inning walk to Hornsby but escapes unscathed. In the bottom of the first, Pete looks shaky, as Klein leads off with a deep fly to center for out one. Walker follows with a solid double. Pete bears down to strike out The Man, but Walker Cooper shoots a single up the middle to score Walker, and Team '43 leads 1-0 after one.

In the top of the second, the 26ers threaten to strike back. Third basemen Les Bell leads off with a single, Hafey is hit by a pitch, and O'Farrell walks to load the bases with nobody out. Thevenow, the number 8 hitter, hits a fly to left, but it's too shallow to score Bell. Alexander is next, and Lanier coaxes a popout to third for out number 2. Douthit grounds out to second, and Lanier gives his team a big lift by pitching out of the jam. The morale boost is short-lived, though; Hornsby hits a solo shot to left an inning later to tie the game at 1.

Klein responds with one out in the bottom of the third, lofting a solo homer to left center that puts the '43s back in front. After Walker grounds out, Musial hits another homer, this one to dead center; it's 3-1. Ol' Pete has to be wondering what era he's pitching in, as Cooper goes back-to-back and hits his team's third homer of the inning. The 43 Birds lead 4-1, and Alexander doesn't know quite what hit him.

Pitching with a lead, Lanier settles into a nice rhythm. He pitches around a bloop hit and an error in the 5th, shrugs off a 2-out single in the 6th, and exits the game in the bottom of the 7th for a pinch-hitter. His line: 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run. The pinch-hitter, Johnny Hopp, lays down a sac bunt to advance Marion (aboard with a leadoff single) into scoring position: Klein knocks him in with a single, then comes around on singles by Walker and Musial to make it 6-1. Cooper's deep fly brings home Walker with a 7th run; that's about all the 43s need.

The 26ers score two in the top of the 8th, but it's not near enough. Murry Dickson gets the final 4 outs for the save, and this series is even at one game a piece.


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Game 1

summary by Zubin

Well, I completely forgot to mention it, but with the series losses of 1885 and 1888, the 1886 team represents Comiskey's last chance in our tournament. It also could be my last chance to talk about that early incarnation of St. Louis baseball, so today's lead-in is a bit of background on the 1886 team.

The team isn't to much different than the one that Von der Ahe, Comiskey and Ted Sullivan (as I was informed by Jeff Kittel at This Game of Games) put together in 1885. The only significant differences between the rosters of the two teams are the addition of Nat Hudson and the subtraction of Sam Barkley. (He was said to have been "pirated" away by Pittsburgh in an incident that led to that team's modern nickname.)

If you've been keeping up with the tournament, you know the 1886 Browns were the second of four consecutive pennant winners, the 2nd championship team (after 1885) for St. Louis, and the first undisputed championship team. The series they won over the Chicago White Stockings (Cubs) in 1886 is widely considered the best 19th-century World Series and the precedent setter for the modern World Series. The game was won on the most famous play in 19th-century baseball, Curt Welch's $15,000 slide.

As I wrote last week, observers at the time regarded the outcome of the 1885 series as a St. Louis win, but nobody was truly happy with the result. Von der Ahe was eager for a rematch in 1886 and sent Comiskey to Chicago for negotiations with the Chicago club. Comiskey returned with a "winner take all" agreement in which the winners would get all the gate receipts of a seven game series. The format was to be 3-3-1, with the seventh game played only if necessary and then in a neutral city.

The series opened in Chicago on October 18, with John Clarkson winning easily on a five-hit, 6-0 shutout. The next day anticipation of another Chicago victory was high, and 9,000 turned out to see the game. However, the Browns trounced the White Stockings 12-0. Tip O'Neill hit two inside-the-park homers (in the first and fifth innings), while Bob Caruthers pitched a 1-hitter. Caruthers was so enthused by the performance that he convinced Von der Ahe and Comiskey to let him pitch again in Game 3. The results showed that using a starting pitcher on consecutive days was as bad of an idea in 1886 as it is today: Caruthers got shelled with 12 hits and 2 homeruns. John Clarkson and the White Stockings won easily, 11-4.

The 20th was a travel day as the series shifted from Chicago to St Louis. Game 4 was a rematch of Game 1, with Clarkson pitching for the White Stockings and Dave Foutz for the Browns. Chicago jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Browns got single runs in the second and third innings. In the fifth, with runners at 1st and 2nd, O'Neill received possibly the first intentional walk in history. But Clarkson's tactic backfired as Gleason and Comiskey followed with singles to give the Browns a 5-3 lead. Chicago tied the game in the sixth, but in the bottom of the inning Tip O'Neill was issued his second intentional pass, again loading the bases for Gleason. Again Gleason responded with a single; the Browns went up 7-5 and won by a final of 8-5 in seven innings (the game was called for darkness).

In the fifth game, with starting pitchers Jim McCormick and Jocko Flynn injured and Clarkson tired from the previous day's start, Chicago tried to use a minor-league recruit as their pitcher. The Browns refused to allow it, and Cap Anson was forced to use two position players as pitchers. The Browns won the game easily 10-3 due in large part to five walks from Ned Williamson (normally a shortstop) and four wild pitches from Jimmy Ryan (normally a right fielder). Again the game was called for darkness in the seventh.

Game 6 was started earlier so a full nine innings could be played before darkness fell. Clarkson pitched masterfully again, and the Browns had no hits and just one base runner through six innings. Meanwhile Chicago scored three scattered runs in six innings off of Caruthers. The Browns' bats began to come alive in the seventh, and then in the eighth they scored three to tie the game. The game remained a tie until the bottom of the tenth inning. Curt Welch led off with a single, and Foutz (playing right field) followed with an infield single. A bunt by Yank Robinson put the winning run on third with one out. Welch then began dancing off the bag, which rattled the Chicago battery. Clarkson's next pitch was either wild or a passed ball --- there are different accounts of the play. In any case, the pitch eluded the Chicago catcher, and Welch slid home with the winning run. This run to win the Series became known as "The $15,000 Slide," in reference to the approximate gate receipts that St. Louis took home. (Primary source: St. Louis' First Undisputed World Championship by Richard Leech. Other sources: Baseball Library, 100 Years of the World Series by Eric Enders.)

Well, back to the series at hand. Today's match up should heavily favor the Browns, as Bob Caruthers takes on Bill Walker. Lineups don't change from yesterday:

1934 1886
Pepper Martin, 3b Arlie Latham, 3b
Jack Rothrock, rf Bill Gleason, ss
Frankie Frisch, 2b Tip O'Neill, lf
Joe Medwick, lf Charlie Comiskey, 1b
Ripper Collins, 1b Curt Welch, cf
Bill Delancey, c Yank Robinson, 2b
Ernie Orsatti, cf Doc Bushong, c
Leo Durocher, ss Hugh Nicol, rf
Bill Walker, p Bob Caruthers, p

As in Game 1, the scoring begins in the top of the second. Ducky Medwick gets it started with a single through the left side; runners are exchanged on Rip Collins' 3-6 FC. A walk and a strikeout leave a two-on, two-out situation for Durocher. Leo's a terrible hitter but he comes through, singling into center to score Collins. Walker flies out to end the inning, but the Gas House Gang has a 1-0 lead. It looks like the Browns will tie things up in their half of the frame in typical small-ball fashion. Welch grounds a single to left, steals 2d and advances to 3d on a Yank Robinson flyout. But that is as far as Curt gets, as both Doc Bushong and Hugh Nicol ground out the short to end the frame.

The Cardinals add another tally in the next inning. With one out, Rothrock hits a slow roller to Latham and beats it out. Then Frisch grounds a solid single into right center to put runners at the corners for Medwick. The Hall of Fame outfielder squibs one to the left side of the IF. Gleason makes the grab and throws to Yank for the force at second, but there isn't even a throw to first and Rothcock scores the second Cardinal run of the day.

The Browns finally get something going in the 5th. With two out, Hugh Nicol draws a walk and swipes 2d. Walker then gives Caruthers the "intentional-unintentional walk" and faces Latham; not often that you see a team pitching around the opposing pitcher to get to the leadoff man. Walker gets ahead on Latham 0-2, but he then throws a mistake. On a ball high in the zone, Latham takes an easy swing and drops a flyball into left for a single. Nicol scores and it's a one-run game. Gleason then continues the rally with a sharp single into right; Caruthers scores to tie it up. The dangerous Tip O'Neill then comes to the plate. He hacks at a fastball and hits it sharply, but it stays on the ground and goes right to Frisch. Inning over.

The pitchers' duel continues through the sixth. Both pitchers have scattered 5 hits; both have allowed 2 runs. Jesse Haines takes over for Walker in the seventh and pitches a scoreless frame. The Browns don't have the luxury of such a set-up man, and Caruthers must go back to work in the eighth. Rothrock bloops a single to lead off the inning; an out later, Medwick collects his second hit to put runners at the corners for the Cardinals' best hitter, Rip Collins. The switch-hitting first baseman slashes a Caruthers curve up the middle; Rothcock scores and the 1934s are up 3-2. Caruthers then must face the best hitting catcher in the tourney. Bill Delancey hit .316 in 1934 and slugged .565 with 13 homeruns; a dinger here would likely put the game out of reach. But Caruthers jams him and induces a bouncer to 2d. Yank flips to Gleason, who throws on to Commy for the DP. The Browns keep it close, hoping for a late-inning rally.

Sim-Frisch raises the Browns' hopes by bringing in James Mooney and his 5.47 era to close the game. Mooney gets the leadoff man, Welch, but walks the tying run in Robinson. Yank knows he needs to get into scoring position to give his team a chance; he takes off, but Delancey has other ideas and guns him down. The play is critical, because a couple of pitches later Doc Bushong collects a hit. Again the tying run is on, but the Browns' #8 hitter, Hugh Nicol, is up and the pitcher is next. Whether out of nervousness or sheer incompetenece, Mooney walks Nicol (64 ops+) to face Caruthers (200 ops+). Now Caruthers has a golden opportunity to tie or win the game. He gets ahead 2-1 in the count, but the Cardinals luck out. The next pitch is a curve and Caruthers gets on top of it; the ball bounces into Frisch's waiting glove, and the throw to first is in plenty of time. 1934 takes Game 2 by a score of 3-2 and now enjoys a 2-0 series lead. Rip Collins is the player of the game for his eighth inning rbi single.

In two days the series resumes in Sportman's Park III c. 1934. Dave Foutz will square off against the younger (Paul) Dean.