THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 6 ...
"THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM"
Billy Rohr tames the Yankees once again
21, 1967 ... Billy Rohr beat the cold, the
wind, Mel Stottlemyre and the Yankees all at once, as he directed the
Red Sox to a 6 to 1 victory. The 21-year-old rookie left-hander
became the delight of the Boston fans once again, as he beat the
Yanks on eight hits, for his second victory over New York in a week.
In beating him, the Red Sox finally got a little revenge on Stottlemyre, a man
who usually beats them as easily as any pitcher in the league. He came into the
game as the top pitcher in the American League, with two straight shutouts. The
Sox changed this by rapping balls off the left-field wall, bumping three
successive doubles off it, in a three-run fifth inning, that opened the gates
for the win.
Rohr shutout the Yanks through the first seven innings on five singles,
before that guy, Elston Howard, ruined his scoreless innings streak. Starting
the eighth-inning, Rohr had not been scored on in 16 consecutive scoreless
innings in the major leagues. But then, Howard busted the streak with a sharp
single to left field, that scored Bill Robinson who was on second base. By this
time, the Red Sox had a 6 to 0 lead, so there was no need for concern. The run
might have been prevented if the Sox hadn't had such a good lead. It came when
Robinson singled with one out in the eighth-inning. Mickey Mantle hit of ground
ball to short, but rather than risk a close play at second, Petrocelli chose to
throw out Mantle at first. Howard then singled and Robinson came home from
Offensively the Red Sox got a big lift from their new starters, thirdbaseman
Dalton Jones and firstbaseman Tony Horton. Jones and Horton replaced the
slumping Joe Foy and George Scott. Jones had two hits, including a two run
homer. Horton had a double and a single, which figured in the Sox' two big
The first three runs that came off Stottlemyre, ended his shutout streak at
22 innings in a row. His troubles started unexpectedly with two out in the fifth
inning and nobody on base. Jones got it going with a hard single to center. Carl
Yastrzemski, George Thomas and Horton followed this up with consecutive doubles
off the left-field wall for three runs. Thomas was playing in place of Tony
Conigliaro, who left the game in the third inning with a muscle pull.
Stottlemyre went out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and the Sox
climbed on relief pitcher, Steve Hamilton, for three runs in their half. Reggie
Smith, who was playing centerfield today, greeted Hamilton with another double
off the wall. Jones then curled a home run around the Pesky Pole for a 5 to 0
lead. After two-out out, Horton singled and Rico Petrocelli chased him home with
a double to center, giving the Sox their 6 to 0 lead.
Rohr was brilliant in his first six innings and battled his way through the
last three. Throwing mostly fastballs, he gave up a line single to Mantle in the
first and then retired 12 in a row. John Kennedy and Tom Tresh picked up infield
hits in the fifth and sixth innings. In the seventh inning, the Yankees starting
hitting the ball harder. Joe Pepitone and Dick Howser each cracked singles, but
Rohr struck out Kennedy and pinch-hitter Lou Clinton to get out of the jam.
In the last 54 innings, the Bronx Bombers do not even have one extra-base
hit. Stottlemyre, who had a career record of 9-1against the Red Sox coming into
the game, did not have his good stuff. He was high with his pitches and the Sox
were hitting the ball in the air instead of beating it into the ground, as they
usually do against him.