Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 1964 - Cards Grab Share of First-Place with Win Over Phillies

Tuesday, September 29, 1964 - At Busch Stadium I (Ray Sadecki - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Philadelphia Phillies (Dennis Bennett - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  27,433

In the second game of a three-game series, the Cardinals finally grabbed a share of first-place in the tight National League pennant race with a 4-2 win over the reeling Philadelphia Phillies - who had fallen into third-place - a game and a half behind the Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds - who were beaten tonight at home by the Pittsburgh Pirates, by a 2-0 score.

The Pirates were no doubt in a foul mood when they arrived in Cincinnati - after losing five straight at home to the Cardinals.  The rare five-game series sweep catapulted the Redbirds into second-place as the season moved into the final week of the season.  After '64, the only other time St Louis has swept a five-game series was in 1982 - when they victimized the New York Mets in another September postseason drive - which also happened to coincide with a world championship season.

This particular game marked the Redbirds' seventh straight win - sending the Phillies to their ninth straight loss.  St Louis would get the series sweep the following night to cap off the worst ten days in Philadelphia Phillies' history - which began with a disastrous 0-7 home-stand (September 21 - 27) and continued with this three-game series sweep at the hands of the Cardinals (September 28 - 30).

The Cardinals wasted little time in taking command of this game - scoring a first-inning run on an RBI double by Dick Groat - then tacking on two more runs in the second-inning on three hits - and in the process, chased Phillies starter Dennis Bennett (12-14) out of the game after just 1.1 innings of work.  The Philadelphia bullpen (five relievers) did a credible job, aside from a sixth-inning solo home run off the bat of Bill White which John Boozer allowed in his thee-inning stint.

Cardinal starter Ray Sadecki limited the Phillies to a pair of runs in 6.2 innings pitched - both scoring on a pinch hit bases loaded single by Gus Triandos.

After Sadecki found himself in a two-out seventh-inning jam - runners on first and third with Dick Allen coming up to bat - manager Johnny Keane went to the bullpen - bringing in Barney Schultz - who not only got out of this jam - finished off the Phillies in the eighth and ninth-innings - allowing no hits, just one walk, while striking out two.

Sadecki (20-10) got the win, as Schultz bagged his 13th save of the season.

The season was winding down to the final weekend.  A wild finish was definitely in order.

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