THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

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

Johnny VanderMeer pitches
a courageous game

August 2, 1948 ... With a chance to gain on the second-place Giants, the Braves suffered a 3 to 1 reverse when Cincinnati's Johnny VanderMeer stifled them with brilliant pitching in the clutch, stranding 12 Boston runners. The Braves hit him for eight hits and he gave them seven passes, yet they scored only once. Two times doubleplays saved VanderMeer's scalp. Then, with defeat imminent, he fired the ball past Braves hitters.

A couple of fluky doubles gave the Reds a one run advantage in the second inning. They made it 2 to 0 off Vern Bickford, who had his five-game winning streak shattered, on a double by Danny Litwhiler and a single from Ted Kluszewski in the sixth.

A break came in the seventh when it looked like VanderMeer could be had. He opened by passing Sibbi Sisti, who was pinch hitting for Bickford. The threat ended when Tommy Holmes hit one back to him on the mound, and he started a swift doubleplay. But the Braves kept at him as Al Dark doubled down the left-field line and Earl Torgeson drew another pass. Then Bob Elliott hit a vicious line drive that struck VanderMeer on the right knee. The ball bounced across the third-base foul line to the Braves dugout. Dark easily scored and Torgeson took third with Bob Elliott going to second on the freak two base hit. With first base open, the Reds elected to pitch to Jim Russell. He rolled out to Vern Stallcup and ended the threat.

The Reds, aided by an error by Clyde Shoun, picked up a third run in the eighth. VanderMeer was still shaky as he came out to pitch in the Braves half of the inning. Mike McCormick led off with his third hit of the night and Phil Masi rolled one into right field, that sent him over to third. With the tying runs on base, the courageous southpaw set down the next six Braves batters in succession, to win his eighth game of the season.

The Reds victory was their fifth in 14 games against the Braves and ended their six-game losing streak. Although the Braves didn't lose any ground to the Giants or Dodgers, they lost a full game to the Cardinals. Because of their crippled outfield condition, the Braves again used pitcher Al Lyons in right field. He has now pinch-hit and played the outfield in two straight games.

 

 
  B R A V E S   F I E L D 

 

 

 

 
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R H E  
 

CINCINNATI REDS

 

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

 

 

3

5

0

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

 

1

8

3

 

 

 

W

JOHNNY VANDER MEER (8-11)

 

2B

 

KLUSZEWSKI (CINC), STALLCUP (CINC),
LITWHILER (CINC), M.McCORMICK (2)(BOST),
TORGESON (BOST), DARK (BOST), ELLIOTT (BOST)

 

L

VERN BICKFORD (7-3)

 

 

S

   

3B

   
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 12,994

 

HR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 0 1 .318  

 

Frank McCormick ph 1 0 0 .191  

 

Al Lyons rf 0 0 0 .000  

 

Alvin Dark ss 5 1 1 .328  

 

Earl Torgeson 1b 2 0 1 .253  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 0 1 .287  

 

Jim Russell lf 4 0 0 .263  

 

Mike McCormick lf 4 0 3 .302  

 

Phil Masi c 3 0 1 .238  

 

Bobby Sturgeon 2b 3 0 0 .278  

 

Vern Bickford p 2 0 0 .133  

 

Sibby Sisti ph 0 0 0 .198  

 

Clyde Shoun p 0 0 0 .176  

 

Clint Conaster ph 1 0 0 .289  

 

Bobby Hogue p 0 0 0 .071  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Vern Bickford 7 4 2 2 4  

 

Clyde Shoun 1 1 0 1 0  
  Bobby Hogue 1 0 0 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

56 40 -

 

 

New York Giants 50 44 5

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 49 45 6

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 48 44 6

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 46 45 7 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 48 49 8 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 42 55 14 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 40 57 16 1/2