THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

WARREN SPAHN

BOSTON BRAVES ...
SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...

Warren Spahn leads
the Braves past St. Louis

May 21, 1948 ... Warren Spahn wrecked the six-game winning streak of the St. Louis Cardinals, as the Boston Braves scored an important 3 to 1 victory over the league leaders before 22,917 cold, rain-soaked spectators up at the Wigwam tonight. Spahn scattered seven base hits and missed a shutout by a single pitch. That pitch was a fastball that Stan Musial stroked into the visiting bullpen in the eighth-inning, which prevented Spahn from chalking up his second consecutive shutout.

The Braves were presented with all their runs by the Cardinals playing like also-rans rather than front runners. They made four errors, three of them by throwing a slippery baseball. The setback was the first of the season for Harry Brecheen. He pitched four hit ball for six innings, before he was retired in favor of pinch-hitter Joe Medwick, who slapped a shot back at Spahn in the seventh. The ball caromed off Spahn's glove and rolled swiftly to Al Dark and it was converted into the games only doubleplay.

Most of the night Spahn was ahead of the hitters. He walked two batters, but he fanned nine. He wound up the contest by striking out Nippy Jones and slipping a third one past Marty Marion, who had previously connected for two safe base hits. Whitey Kurowski led the strikeout parade, fanning three times against the Braves pitcher.

Tommy Holmes launched a triple off the right-field screen and it looked like he was going to perish on third-base as Dark and Jim Russell popped out. An intentional pass was handed to Elliott and Clint Conaster slapped one out to the left of Kurowski. The ball took a quick tricky hop and struck Whitey on the left leg, bounding away for an error and allowing Holmes to come home with the first run.

A pair of errors gave the Braves their second run in the fifth inning. Ralph LaPointe made a wide throw on Alvin Dark's roller. The ball broke through Jones' glove allowing Dark to take second. Russell then hit one in the hole to Marty Marion and he fired the ball far over Jones' head for another two base miscue, that enabled Dark to score and make it 2 to 0.

In the eighth-inning, Musial's home run shave the Braves lead in half, but the team bounced back to a two run lead in their half of the same inning. Frank McCormick beat out an infield hit and Earl Torgeson replaced him, moving to second on Phil Masi's sacrifice. With Connie Ryan up, Torgeson took off for third and catcher, Del Wilbur's throw was hurried and high. It went into left field as Torgeson got up off third-base and pranced home, making it 3 to 1 in favor of the Braves.

No more than four batters faced Spahn in any one inning. Outside of the Musial home run, nobody advanced further than second base. The only semblance of rally occurred in the seventh for the Cardinals. With one gone Marion and Del Rice both singled. Marion came in and took a good belted the first pitch hitting his back toward Spahn. He got his glove up just in time to deflect it to Dark, who started the inning ending double play.

The win was the third of the season for Warren Spahn against two setbacks. He has granted eight runs in five contests and is moving along at a better pace in ERA department then he had in 1947, when he led the National League.

A light drizzle that started in the third inning, turned into a heavy rain in the fifth and went back to a drizzle in the sixth. The umpires held three separate conferences and each time decided to keep the game going thereby preventing any possible protests.

Musial's home run in the sixth inning was a terrific low line drive that would've been a home run in any National League park. He has hit safely in his last seven games and in 14 of his last 15.

 

 
  B R A V E S   F I E L D 

 

 

   
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R H E  
 

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

 

 

1

7

4

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

x

 

 

3

6

0

 

 

 

W

WARREN SPAHN (3-2)

 

2B

 

 

 

L

HARRY BRECHEEN (4-1)

 

 

S

   

3B

  HOLMES (BOST)
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 3089

 

HR

 

MUSIAL (STL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 1 1 .419  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 1 0 .253  

 

Jim Russell cf 4 0 2 .206  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 2 0 0 .291  

 

Clint Conaster lf 4 0 0 .158  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 4 0 2 .200  

 

Earl Torgeson pr/1b 0 1 0 .280  

 

Phil Masi c 2 0 1 .111  

 

Connie Ryan 2b 3 0 0 .152  

 

Warren Spahn p 4 0 0 .071  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Warren Spahn 9 7 1 2 9  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 16 8 -

 

 

New York Giants 14 11 2 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 15 12 2 1/2

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

14 12 3

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 14 13 3 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 11 14 5 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 11 16 6 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 10 19 8 1/2