SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
shines and beats the Bucs
May 19, 1948 ... Vern
Bickford got the start in today's game and pitched a brilliant five
hit, 4 to 1 victory for the Braves at Braves Field over the
Pittsburgh Pirates. The rookie from Milwaukee got the start as Red
Barrett was out with a bad cold. The 28-year-old, considered little
more than a relief hurler, defied the freezing temperatures to give
the Braves their first victory in three games over Pittsburgh.
shaky start and tiring finish almost saw the fast falling right-hander lifted
from the game, but he settled down nicely in each instance. After the first
inning, when he loaded the bases with only one out, Bickford then didn't allow a
hit until Max West smashed his fourth home run of the year in the seventh
Tommy Holmes provided the momentum with his bat, helping Bickford into the
victory column, as the leading batter in both leagues, drove in a pair of runs,
one on his fourth homer of the year in the fifth inning. He also made the
fielding play of the night when he went into remote right-center field to haul
down Dixie Walker's line drive in the fourth inning. His combined fielding and
hitting brilliance was the main reason for Bickford's success.
The defeat was marked against Rip Sewell, the eephus-ball right-hander, who
had won all three of his starts this year. Only rarely did Sewell throw his
publicity pitch, most of them coming against former teammate Jim Russell.
After the first two scoreless innings, Connie Ryan reached base when Stan
Rojek threw wildly over West's head at first. Bickford sacrificed him along and
then Holmes smashed a triple between Johnny Hopp and Walker, sliding into third
base. Alvin Dark scored him with a pop double over first base, inches inside the
foul line, and the speedy shortstop then scored easily on Bob Elliott's single
to left, to give the Braves a 3 to 0 lead.
In his next at bat, Holmes got a pitch up and in from Sewell and then belted
the next pitch into the pavilion. That put the Braves up 4 to 0.
Bickford was coasting along nicely after his first inning wildness, until
West spoiled a shutout with a drive equal to the one of Holmes after one out in
the eighth, putting Pittsburgh on the scoreboard. Bickford then retired the
Pirates hitters in the last two innings for his first victory.