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Cardinals news and notes: Wacha, 2011, Martinez

Bob Gibson’s absurd 1968 season (plus news and notes)

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Eight-one year old Bob Gibson was at Cardinals’ camp on Tuesday to dispense wisdom and drop a solid burn on the Cubs when meeting Dexter Fowler for the first time. You may have heard about it. I don’t get a ton out of spring training, most of the games are happening when I’m at work and distinguishing between revelatory and non-revelatory news isn’t alway easy. (Should l be excited about Adam Wainwright’s pitching thus far? I don’t know.)

The cameos from the old-timer, Hall of Fame types is always a nice touch at Cardinals spring training though and it’s tough to beat Gibson. His entire 17-year career was legendary - he has the highest bWAR for any pitcher in the National League who spent his entire career with one franchise - but he’s probably best known for his 1968 season and for good reason. Pitching over 300 innings while maintaining and ERA of 1.12, they literally had to change the structure of the pitching mound partly because Gibson was so dominant.

Take this stretch, for instance: From June 6, 1968, to June 30, 1968, Gibson threw 99 innings (11 complete games) and allowed a grand total of three runs. Predictably, the Cardinals won all 11 of his starts and the team went 39-15 over this span to increase their league-lead from 2.5 games to 14, eventually culminating in their second-straight NL pennant (as always, thank goodness for Baseball-Reference).

Here’s what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:

Have a great weekend, everyone.