THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

JEFF HEATH HOMERS

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

The Braves can't close the door quite yet

September 25, 1948 ... The Braves dropped a 3 to 2 decision to the New York Giants and despite the setback, the Braves moved nearer to the pennant as the Cardinals lost to the Cubs. If the Tribe can win just one of their remaining seven games, they will clinched the title and if Brooklyn or St. Louis lose a game, it will also give Boston the flag.

The Braves twice filled the bases in the late innings with nobody away, and yet couldn't score. The Braves found the Giants' Sheldon Jones tough to hit. As a matter of fact, with the bat he drove in two runs, in addition to holding the Braves hitters in check. Johnny Sain pitched a better than average ballgame, but two of the Giants' runs were unearned and he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. He thus saw his successive completed game string come to an end at nine and his successive victories stopped at six. Sloppy play and a bit a sleepy baserunning also contributed to the Braves defeat.

Jones won his 16th game and his third over the Braves without a loss. He finished the ballgame in spite of being hit on his pitching elbow by Jeff Heath's line drive in the ninth.

The Giants scored in the first inning as Jack Lohrke opened with a double inside the left-field chalk mark and he scored on Sid Gordon's hard single to left. Bob Elliott fumbled Bobby Thomson's ground ball to open the second inning and he scored when Jones doubled to right.

Heath grabbed one of Jones' fastballs in the fourth inning and slammed a tremendous drive into the visitors bullpen for his 19th home run of the year. But the Giants came back in the sixth inning, aided by a Boston misplay. With one out, Thomson doubled to left and reached third when Sibbi Sisti dropped Heath's throw. He scored when Jones sent a high hopper over second base. Buddy Kerr, who had walked and stolen second, tried to score on the play, but was tagged out by Phil Masi.

In the seventh inning and down 3 to 1, the Braves got the fans standing up and cheering. Mike McCormick and Masi had successive singles to start. Then Sisti beat out a beautiful bunt to load the bases. Ray Sanders came in to bat for Sain and sent a skipping grounder to left of second. Kerr made a great one-handed grab, stepping on the bag to get Sisti and fired to first to get the double-play. McCormick scored the Braves' second run, as Masi scampered over to third with the potential tying run. Jones then let loose with a wild pitch that went sailing over catcher Sam Yvars' head and Masi took off for the plate. Jones rushed in to grab the throw back from his catcher and umpire Al Barlick waived Masi out.

Then came the ninth-inning and Elliott slammed a single to center to open. Heath then smashed a line drive off the right elbow of Jones, bouncing through the open shortstop hole for a hit. Mike McCormick, who went four for four in the game, dropped down a clean bunt down the third-base line and beat Jones' throw to first to fill the bases. Finally, Masi sent a routine grounder close to the third-base bag, that Sid Gordon was able to grab, step on the base and then flipped the ball home in time to retire Elliott at the plate to complete a doubleplay.

Doubleplays twice wiped out the Braves scoring chances and big innings. The Braves made some great plays in the field too. Tommy Holmes jumped up against the right-field fence to pull down to Johnny Mize potential hoe run line drive. Sisti made a spectacular backhanded catch behind second base off Kerr to get him at first. Then in the eighth-inning, with Willard Marshall on first, Jeff Heath grabbed Bobby Thomson's fly ball and made a long throw that took Sisti to the infield side of second. But Sibbi whirled and darted around the bag to tag Marshall on the shoulder for another doubleplay.

 

 
  B R A V E S   F I E L D 

 

 

 

 
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R H E  
 

NEW YORK GIANTS

 

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

 

 

3

7

0

 
 

BOSTON BRAVES

 

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

 

 

2

12

2

 

 

 

W

SHELDON JONES (16-8)

 

2B

 

LOHRKE (NY), JONES (NY), THOMSON (NY)

 

L

JOHNNY SAIN (22-15)

 

 

S

   

3B

   
 

 

 

 

   

ATTENDANCE: 15,377

 

HR

 

HEATH (BOST)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 0 1 .321  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 1 .324  

 

Earl Torgeson 1b 4 0 0 .254  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 4 0 1 .285  

 

Jeff Heath lf 4 1 2 .320  

 

Mike McCormick cf 4 1 4 .301  

 

Phil Masi c 4 0 1 .255  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 3 0 1 .241  

 

Bill Salkeld ph 1 0 0 .251  

 

Johnny Sain p 2 0 1 .205  

 

Ray Sanders ph 1 0 0 .000  

 

Nels Potter p 0 0 0 .412  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Johnny Sain 7 7 1 2 1  
  Nels Potter 2 0 0 1 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

86 60 -

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 81 67 6

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 80 67 6 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 79 68 7 1/2

 

 

New York Giants 76 72 11

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 64 85 23 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 62 84 24

 

 

Chicago Cubs 61 86 25 1/2

 

 

Number to clinch - 1