SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
take back first place
September 3, 1948 ... The
Braves hurtled over the Brooklyn Dodgers by edging the Philadelphia
Phillies 3 to 1 at Braves Field while the Dodgers lost twice to the
Giants. The Tribe now sits a game and a half ahead of Brooklyn.
Power, speed and pitching personified in Jeff Heath, Alvin Dark and Johnny Sain,
minimized a three hit pitching performance by veteran Dutch Leonard, who
suffered his 15th loss of the year. Heath unloaded his 17th home run half way up
the jury box runway with Bob Elliott aboard in the fourth, to break a 1 to 1
tie. Sain got his 17th victory of the year, and missed a seven hit shutout by
virtue of Eddie Miller hitting a home run in the second inning.
Dark showed his speed to tie the game in the fourth. He connected with a
Leonard one and one serve, with the ball landing directly on top of the
left-field wall and bouncing back into the ballpark, as he reached second base.
Earl Torgeson then grounded a ball to the right of first baseman, Burt Haas, who
tossed it to Leonard for the put out as Dark raced from second and third. But Al
didn't stop and took off for home because he saw that Leonard wasn't paying
attention. By the time Leonard realized what was going on, he quickly threw the
ball to catcher Andy Seminick, but Dark slid under the tag, over the plate, with
the tying run.
The play unsettled Leonard as he walked Bob Elliott on six pitches and then
had Heath down two strikes and one ball. Heath then deposited one of Leonard's
knuckleballs to the right of the jury box.
Sain weathered a pair of shaky innings, as with two down in the third, Bama
Rowell and Del Ennis hit successive singles. But Sain recovered quickly and got
Haas on a pop out to Torgeson. He also ran into a bit of difficulty in the
sixth. With one out, Del Ennis double to center and Dark couldn't pick up a
ground ball hit by Eddie Miller. Sain again got the next batter to ground out,
ending the threat.
Sain threw 119 pitches, and admitted he didn't have good control. Leonard, on
the other hand, couldn't pitch a better game. He threw 88 pitches in eight
innings, but blamed himself for allowing Dark to score on an infield out.