SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
Nelson Potter helps the Braves salvage a split
September 12, 1948 ... Nelson
Potter may have saved the Braves a good shot at the pennant, when he
salvaged the split of a doubleheader with the Phillies and kept them
ahead of the surging Pittsburgh Pirates. His fine relief pitching
produced a 2 to 1, 13 inning, nitecap victory over the Phillies, who
had won the opening game 6 to 4.
Del Ennis had tripled to open the
Phillies 10th inning, when Potter was summoned from the bullpen. He proceeded to
strike out Eddie Miller and Andy Seminick, finally forcing Don Padgett to ground
out to Sibbi Sisti. His dominance of the Phillies continued until the Braves had
scored a run in the 13th inning.
It was the speed of the Braves that made the winning run possible. Alvin Dark
beat out a hit to the shortstop Miller, in opening the 13th. It was the 18th
consecutive game that Dark as hit in safely. When Earl Torgeson shoved the bunt
toward third, Dark was not content with reaching second. With the thirdbaseman,
catcher and pitcher all going after the ball, Dark took the opportunity to go to
an uncovered third base. Phillies reliever, Walt Dubiel then passed the next two
batters purposely to set up a doubleplay. But Bill Salkeld hit a fly ball to Del
Ennis in right, deep enough to score the speedy Dark with the go-ahead run.
Vern Bickford had pitched a great ballgame for the Braves, but Blix Donnelly
had done the same thing for the Phillies. The teams both scored a run in the
third inning. Sibbi Sisti and Tommy Holmes both hit doubles off the left
centerfield wall for the Braves run. The Philly run came on Johnny Blatnick's
double past Bob Elliott, down the third-base line and a single by Miller to
The Braves did plenty of hitting in the opening game, but were not able to
bunch them well against Dutch Leonard. Red Barrett pitched a good game, but was
removed in the seventh inning for pinch-hitter Clint Conaster. Ennis' 26th home
run of the year put Philly ahead 3 to 2, in the sixth inning.
Clyde Shoun and Bobby Hogue came in after Barrett and the Philly scored three
runs off them in the seventh. That was enough of a margin for Leonard, although
the Braves got one in the eighth on a double by Jeff Heath and a single by Mike
McCormick. They added one more in the ninth on hits by Tommy Holmes, Dark and an
error by Ennis.
Potter had not pitched again since August 23rd at Brooklyn when he aggravated
a back injury. Potter pitched four innings and allowed three hits, walking three
intentionally. He struck out four but it was his clutch pitching that was as
good as any Braves pitcher has turned in all season.
Rip Sewell pitched the 2nd place Pirates to a 7 to 3 victory over the Cubs at
Wrigley Field. He got off to a shaky start, but through the last seven innings,
allowed only two hits. He walked nine and struck out four. Two of the early Cubs
runs were unearned arising from a wild throw on a made-to-order double-play
grounder. It was the seventh victory in a row for the Pirates, who remain three
games behind the Braves.