THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

RALPH KINER &
JIM RUSSELL

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

Johnny Sain wins again for his 21st

September 17, 1948 ... Johnny Sain became baseball's leading game winner as he prepared an obituary for the Pittsburgh Pirates, by pitching a seven hit, 6 to 2, victory over the Braves closest pursuers at Braves Field. It was his twenty-first win of the season and it dumped the Pirates 5 1/2 games behind the Braves.

The big right-hander, who spun a string of curves all afternoon, was threatened only in the seventh inning. Despite the misjudgment by Clint Conaster of a line drive in that inning, he settled down to complete his sixty-second win over the past three years.

The Braves sent Pirates starter Vic Lombardi to the showers in the sixth inning. His replacement, Kirby Higbe, couldn't hold the Braves within reach either. Lombardi was reached for a run in the second inning when Bob Elliott topped a ball down the third-base line for a base hit and advanced on Frank McCormick's grounder to Danny Murtaugh at second base. Conaster rapped a sharp liner over Stan Rojek's head at short, flicking off his fingertips into left field. Elliott crossed the plate far ahead of the throw by Ralph Kiner.

Alvin Dark started the sixth for the Braves with a single to left and raced to second when Ralph Kiner kicked the ball away. Then Mike McCormick smashed a long drive off the left-field wall for a double. Dark, who would been a close to second, anticipating a possible catch, then had to race home with Rojek's throw missing its mark and rolling to the backstop. McCormick ended up on third and Frank McCormick scored Mike on a fly ball to Kiner to give Sain a 3 to 0 lead.

The Pirates picked up two runs in the seventh when Eddie Bockman hit a pop fly down the right-field line that fell fair. Then Conaster made the mistake on Eddie Fitzgerald's line drive to center. Fitzgerald made it to second and Bockman scored to cut the lead to one run.

But in the bottom of the inning, Higbe passed Phil Masi and Sibby Sisti dropped a bunt down the third-base line. Higbe fumbled the ball and then fired wildly to first base. The errant throw hit Sisti on the shoulder and allowed Masi to scoot into third base. Then Sain grounded one to Bockman's left and he bobbled the ball, allowing Masi to score.

The Braves completed the scoring in the eighth when Mike McCormick hit a fly ball down the right-field line that Dixie Walker overran. Mike ended up on third-base before Hopp finally retrieved the ball in foul territory. After Bob Elliott got a base on balls, Earl Torgeson batted for Frank McCormick and forced Mike at the plate. But Jeff Heath singled to center as a pinch-hitter for Conaster, and scored Elliott, sending Torgy the third, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Masi, making the Braves run total sit at six.

 

 
  B R A V E S   F I E L D 

 

 

 

 
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R H E  
 

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

 

 

2

8

3

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

0

1

0

0

0

2

1

2

x

 

 

6

9

0

 

 

 

W

JOHNNY SAIN (21-14)

 

2B

 

MURTAUGH (PITT), BOCKMAN (PITT)
FITZGERALD (PITT), M.McCORMICK (BOST)

 

L

VIC LOMBARDI (8-8)

 

 

S

   

3B

  M.McCORMICK (BOST)
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 7708

 

HR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 0 1 .322  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 1 1 .329  

 

Mike McCormick lf/cf 4 1 2 .296  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 3 2 1 .287  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 3 0 1 .245  

 

Earl Torgeson ph/1b 1 1 0 .251  

 

Clint Conaster cf 3 0 1 .276  

 

Jeff Heath ph/lf 1 0 1 .323  

 

Phil Masi ph/c 2 1 0 .245  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 3 0 1 .233  

 

Johnny Sain p 2 0 0 .185  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Johnny Sain 9 8 2 0 5  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

82 58 -

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 74 62 5 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 76 63 5 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 76 64 6

 

 

New York Giants 73 66 8 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 59 81 23

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 58 80 23

 

 

Chicago Cubs 57 82 24 1/2

 

 

Number to clinch - 7