Friday, September 12, 2014

September 13, 1964 - Cards Equal MLB Record in 15-2 Runaway Win at Wrigley

Sunday, September 13, 1964 - At Wrigley Field (Curt Simmons - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Chicago Cubs (Dick Ellsworth - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  11,606

On June 1, 1923, the New York Giants became the first team in major league history to score at least one run in all nine innings of a game - en route to clobbering the Philadelphia Phillies, 22-8.

Forty-one years, three months and twelve days later, the St Louis Cardinals equaled that record en route to a 15-2 whipping of the Cubs - at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.  The Cards had some help from a sloppy Cubs' defense that committed a mind-boggling seven errors - allowing St Louis to score two unearned runs in the fifth-inning and another in the ninth - to keep the streak alive.

The only other time this freak occurrence took place was nearly thirty-five years later - on May 5, 1999 - when the Colorado Rockies did it to the Cubbies at Wrigley Field once again - en route to a 13-6 pasting.  (Please note:  "Clobbering" is more severe than a "whipping", which in turn is a bit more severe than a "pasting".)

It's interesting to note - no American League team has ever scored in nine consecutive innings - but on six different occasions, they have scored in all eight innings played - because they were the home team and the game ended without requiring another turn at bat.  The most recent such occurrence took place on April 29, 2006 - when the New York Yankees lambasted the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, 17-6.

Returning to 1964, here's what scoring at least one run in all nine innings looks like:

                  1   2   3    4   5   6    7   8   9
St Louis    2   1   2    2   2   1    3   1   1     15 - 18 - 1
Chicago    1   0   0    0   0   1    0   0   0       2 -  8 -  7 (and what it doesn't look like)

As you might suspect, every St Louis player in the starting lineup scored at least one run (even Bob Uecker - although Uecker, along with starting pitcher Curt Simmons were the only players in the starting lineup to fail to record at least one RBI).

Three Cardinal players hit home runs:  Lou Brock, Julian Javier and Mike Shannon.

RBI leaders:  Shannon (4),  Dick Groat (3), and Ken Boyer (2).

Hits leaders:  Groat (4), Curt Flood (3), Javier (3), Brock (2), Boyer (2) and Shannon (2).

Pitching Summary:

Curt Simmons (15-9):  8 IP - 8 H - 2 R - 5 BB - 7 SO
Ray Washburn was credited with a SAVE (2) for doing this:  1 IP - 0 H - 0 R - 1 BB - 0 SO

A save?  For protecting a precarious 13-run lead?

Meanwhile, Cubs starter Dick Ellsworth was relieved of his duties after 3.2 innings.  Five relievers were used in this game, and for the most part, they didn't pitch so well.

One young rookie - Sterling Slaughter - who made his major league debut on April 19 - faced four batters in the sixth-inning, and all four got base hits (Flood, Brock, Groat and Boyer) - and all four scored.  That would be his last appearance in a major league game (He no doubt told his grandchildren, the last batter he faced in a major league game went on to win the NL MVP Award that season).

After this narrow victory, the Cardinals (80-63) kept pace with the Phillies (86-57) - 4-1 winners over the Giants at Candlestick Park.  Still six games back, with only nineteen to play.  It would take a monumental collapse on the part of the Phillies to have them blow this lead.  And of course, it would happen, but not until they returned from their successful west coast road trip.  Their meltdown would be taking place at home, for their fans to witness, first-hand.

Ray Washburn saved this game?

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