THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 6 ...
"THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM"
A Red Sox ninth inning rally falls just short
30, 1967 ... The Red Sox were down 7 to 5 in
the ninth-inning. Mike Andrews was on third and Joe Foy was on first
with the tying run. The Red Sox had already scored two runs and Carl
Yastrzemski was at bat, with two outs. The count was three and one
and Yaz had the green light. Minnesota Twins reliever Jim Roland
fired a fastball and Yaz swung, but got under it. A high pop fly
soared between the mound and the plate, slightly toward first base.
Cesar Tovar, the Minnesota Twins secondbaseman, came in for it, as
did firstbaseman Rich Reese. Catcher Gerry Zimmerman yelled for Tovar
to grab the ball. Reese was yelling that he had it. Andrews, heading
toward first also yelled that he had it, to distract them. Reese and
Tovar collided as the ball came down. Reese had the ball in his glove
but lost it as he fell backward. As he was falling to the ground, he
reached out again and was able to grab it for the final out.
till then, the Red Sox and not been very impressive. Starter Jim Merritt had
only given up three hits going into the eighth, before he finally wavered.
Reggie Smith had doubled and so did Russ Gibson. Smith stopped at third, not
sure whether Gibson's ball would be caught, but finally scored when Zoilo
Versalles made a poor throw on a ground ball by Mike Andrews. That was the Red
Sox first run of the game.
The Twins had knocked around Darrell Brandon, the Sox starter. They scored a
run in the second on three singles, and another in the third on Harmon
Killebrew's 32nd home run into the left-field net. And when Rod Carew homered,
Ted Uhlaender doubled and Merritt doubled, that was it for Brandon, as he left
the game trailing 4 to 1.
The Red Sox had more grief in the fifth inning on three singles and a balk by
Sparky Lyle, that allowed another run. They added to their troubles in the
seventh on a walk, a single and a double by Tovar, for two more runs, making it
7 to 1.
The ninth-inning finally started out exciting. Merritt had gone out and
relief pitcher Ron Kline, after giving up a single to Tony Conigliaro to start
the inning, got George Scott and Rico Petrocelli on fly balls. But Reggie Smith
singled sharply to right and Gibson doubled to left, when Sandy Valdespino tried
for a shoestring catch and missed. Then when Dalton Jones came in to pinch-hit
and singled to right, that was it for Kline. Al Worthington came in and both
Mike Andrews and Joe Foy singled. Then Twins' manager, Cal Ermer, brought in
left-handed pitcher Jim Roland to pitch to Yaz. He let the count go to three and
one, with his last two pitches being high and inside. Yaz then swung at the next
pitch and the ball popped up.
Today was Russ Gibson day at the Fenway Park, as fans from Fall River came to
honor him. He had two hits in the game, and also walked away with a TV set, a
Chevrolet station wagon and a few plaques.
Gary Waslewski was sent back to Toronto before the game and Dave Morehead
headed from Toronto to the Sox. Morehead is 11-5 in 17 starts and had pitched
122 innings, allowing 45 runs and 68 walks, while striking out 109. He has an
ERA of 3.21.