THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

JOHNNY SAIN & WARREN SPAHN

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

Warren Spahn follows up with another win

September 18, 1948 ... The Braves' march for the National League pennant continued, as the left-handed half of the Tribe's two man iron pitching staff, Warren Spahn, pulled out a four hit, 2 to 1 victory over the Pirates at Braves Field.

Spahn, pitching with only two days rest, won his fifteenth game and allowed only one hit, an infield hit by Johnny Hopp until the ninth-inning. Pittsburgh then got three hits before Wally Westlake topped an easy ground back to Spahn for the final out.

The game was a battle from the beginning, with the Braves winning their fifth straight and their fourteenth in their last seventeen since losing the two straight defeats to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Fritz Ostermueller pitched a great game, with one of the two runs that he allowed, being unearned. The Pirates kicked around three in the outfield to hurt the team's cause.

Ostermueller, who didn't walk anybody, was the victim of an error by Ralph Kiner in the third inning. Sibbi Sisti opened the frame with a solid single to left, but was cut down at second when he over slid the base on Spahn's sacrifice. Tommy Holmes then pushed a ground single to left and the ball snuck underneath Kiner's glove and rolled all the way to the fence. Spahn scored and Holmes pulled into third.

There was no further scoring until Bob Elliott opened the eighth with a line drive single over the head of Danny Murtaugh. He reached second when Westlake bobbled the ball, and then Frank McCormick came up and blasted a drive into the right-center field hole that rolled all the way to the fence, giving him three bases and scoring Elliott with the Braves second run.

Meanwhile Spahn, worked easily and precisely with his control, improving as he went along, setting down eighteen batters in order from the third inning through the eighth-inning. Then Eddie Fitzgerald, batted for Ostermueller in the ninth and beat out a hit to deep short, that Alvin Dark made a great play on, far to his right, but could not get the throw to first on time. Stan Rojek hit a slow grounder down to Sisti at second and Fitzgerald moved up a base. Eddie Bockman next flew out to Holmes in right and Fitzgerald moved along to third. Dixie Walker then came up and worked Spahn to a three and two count, singling over second, to cut the lead down to one run.

The ever dangerous Ralph Kiner, who had been slumping with only two hits in his previous twenty-six at-bats, strode to the plate wanting to make amends for his second inning miscue, that was the difference in the game. He went to two and two after being down two strikes and singled cleanly the left. Next player to come to the plate was Westlake, who had twenty home runs already this year. Southworth went out to talk to Spahn, but let him remain in the game. His pitcher got Westlake to top a harmless roller back to him and it was all over.

Spahn threw a 111, throwing only 59 from the third through the eighth, when not a visitor reached first base. It was his fourth win in a row and the eighth in his last ten outings.

Pittsburgh fell to 6 1/2 games off the pace, while the Cardinals lost ground to the Dodgers, who moved into second place, six games out. A dramatic ninth inning pinch-hit single by Pete Reiser sent Pee Wee Reese across with the winning run in a 3 to 2 victory.

 

 
  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

0

0

1

 

 

1

4

3

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

x

 

 

2

9

1

 

 

 

W

WARREN SPAHN (15-10)

 

2B

 

 

 

L

FRTIZ OSTERMUELLER (8-9)

 

 

S

   

3B

  F.McCORMICK (BOST)
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 21,805

 

HR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 0 2 .323  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 0 .326  

 

Mike McCormick lf 4 0 0 .292  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 1 1 .287  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 4 0 2 .252  

 

Clint Conaster cf 3 0 0 .272  

 

Phil Masi c 3 0 1 .246  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 3 0 2 .240  

 

Warren Spahn p 3 1 1 .161  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Warren Spahn 9 4 1 3 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

83 58 -

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 77 64 6

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 75 63 6 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 76 64 6 1/2

 

 

New York Giants 74 66 8 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 59 81 23 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 58 81 24

 

 

Chicago Cubs 57 82 25

 

 

Number to clinch - 6