Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8, 1967 - World Series - Game 4: Gibson's 1st World Series Shutout

Sunday, October 8, 1967 - World Series - Game 4 - At Busch Stadium II (Bob Gibson - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Boston Red Sox (Jose Santiago - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  54, 575

Bob Gibson - who allowed just one run in defeating the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Game One - trumped that effort in Game Four at Busch Stadium by blanking Boston, 6-0.  It was his first career World Series shutout, and it gave St Louis a commanding three games to one lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.

Gibson got all the runs he needed in the first-inning off Boston starter Jose Santiago.  After Lou Brock and Curt Flood both singled to start the frame, Roger Maris scored 'em both with a double to left field.

After advancing to third on Orlando Cepeda's fly ball deep to right field, Maris scored on Tim McCarver's single to right field - to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.  One out later, Julian Javier singled to left - bringing up the weak-hitting Dal Maxvill with runners on first and second.

After Maxvill's single to left field scored McCarver to make it a 4-0 lead - manager Dick Williams had seen enough - yanking his beleaguered starter after just two-thirds of an inning.  Gary Bell - one of Jim Bouton's buddies frequently mentioned in his controversial and entertaining memoir, Ball Four - restored order for the next 1.1 innings.

Bell's replacement - Jerry Stephenson - didn't fare so well.

In the third inning, Orlando Cepeda greeted Stephenson with  a lead-off double to left field.  With McCarver batting, Stephenson uncorked a wild pitch - moving Cepeda to third.  McCarver's sacrifice fly to center padded the lead to 5-0 - but the Cardinals weren't quite through.

Mike Shannon then coaxed a base on balls, then a red-hot Javier brought him in with a double to left field, scoring the sixth and final run of the game.

Stephenson regrouped to pitch a scoreless fourth-inning - then the next two Boston relievers - Dave Morehead and Ken Brett - pitched a combined four-inning no-hitter which nobody really noticed.

Bob Gibson was on center stage today - scattering five hits and one walk to keep the Red Sox from scoring all day long.  He struck out a relatively modest total of six batters - but Boston never threatened to score until their last turn at bat.

Carl Yastrzemski - the AL Triple Crown winner - stayed hot all throughout the World Series.  He led-off the ninth-inning with a double into the right-center field gap - becoming the first runner in scoring position Gibson had allowed in the entire game.  He got as far as third base but that's where he remained, as Gibson closed the door on the threat to preserve the shutout.

The Red Sox were down, but far from out.  They would go on to win the next two games to force a seventh and deciding game back home at Fenway Park.  When asked by a Boston beat writer what he expected for the classic Lonborg vs Gibson Game Seven duel, Dick Williams uttered the words which would become the rallying cry for the soon-to-be World Champion Cardinals:  "Lonborg and champagne."

Gibson of course, had other ideas.

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