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:
- Joe Schwarz wrote about Michael Wacha and how his changeup could be the key to a rebound season.
- Here’s a chance to re-live the final pitch and celebration from the 2011 World Series.
- Project what you see from Trevor Rosenthal in 2017.
- Here’s the Red Baron on infield prospect Paul DeJong.
- Carlos Martinez is hanging out at the World Baseball Classic and also put on a dazzling performance in his start today.
- Ben Markham imagines the 2017 Cardinals as buyers.
Have a great weekend, everyone.