SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
The Braves get
swept by Pittsburgh
August 30, 1948 ... Fritz
Ostermueller decided to get into the act of greasing the skids under
the Boston Braves. The 41-year-old Pittsburgh southpaw, who was
knocked out of the box in his last six starts, defeated the Braves by
a score of 2 to 1 at Forbes Field. The defeat dropped the Braves a
game and a half behind his Dodgers, who swept a doubleheader from the
Johnny Sain started his third game in seven days and
gave Dixie Walker a two run home run ball in the first inning. After that, Sain
was able to hold the Pirates scoreless, while his teammates let several scoring
opportunities get by them.
The Braves had a great chance to save themselves from being swept in the
three-game series in the ninth. But as they had been doing, they found
themselves leaving base runners stranded on base yet again and frittered away an
opportunity to win. Bob Elliott and Frank McCormick opened up the inning with
singles. Clint Conaster, hitless now in 18 consecutive times at bat, tried to
sacrifice, but Elliott was nailed at third place by Clyde Kluttz on a great
play. Phil Masi next popped out to short left and Eddie Westlake made a great
shoestring catch to get him. Sibbi Sisti finished by hitting a routine grounder
to Stan Rojek at shortstop and the Pirates fans got pennant fever themselves,
when Rojek lobbed the ball over to Danny Murtaugh, at second, to force Conaster
and end the game.
Sain has pitched well enough to win over the last week's span, but he lost
his second well pitched game, after losing to the Cubs, 1 to 0, only two days
Conaster has not hit anything that resembled the stretch he was in over a
week ago. He had an opportunity to put Sain back in the ballgame in the sixth.
Tommy Holmes beat out a bunt and was forced by Alvin Dark. Mike McCormick lined
a single to center that sent Dark over to third. The Braves shortstop crossed
the plate on Elliott's drive to the same spot. After Frank McCormick popped out,
Conaster bounced an easy ground ball down to third-base and the chance for more
runs went by the board.
The Braves only other chance to score a run, which would have given them only
14 runs scored in their last seven games, came in the first inning when they
bunched two singles off Ostermueller. Dark's line drive bounced off Eddie
Bockman's glove, at third, for a base hit with one out. Bob Elliott got the
first of his three singles, but Frank McCormick's drive to left was taken on the
run by Ralph Kiner to end it.
The Braves were hoping that the Dodgers would take three out of the four from
the Cardinals, but never expected to have them sweep the series.