THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 6 ...
"THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM"
Lee Stange is almost perfect in Sox win
31, 1967 ... Lee Stange shut out the Minnesota
Twins, 4 to 0, and for 6 2/3 innings not one batter had reached base.
And it was Carl Yastrzemski, who slammed a three run home run in the
third inning, that accounted for most of the Red Sox runs.
had not allowed a base runner, and in the seventh inning, on a one and one
pitch, Harmon Killebrew hit a line single to left, as 22,605 fans booed him, as
he ran to first. Stange scratched the mound with his cleats and went back to
work. When it was over, only two more men had reached base, both on singles, one
a scratch hit and the other a clean one in the ninth-inning.
Yastrzemski hadn't driven in a run in the previous four games of the series.
In his first time at bat against Twins starter, Dave Boswell, Yaz was hit on the
elbow with a pitch. But his next time at bat, with Mike Ryan on second, after
having singled to open the inning, Boswell threw Yaz a slider, that he took out
of the park.
Stange had a hand in the fourth run scored by the Red Sox in the fourth
inning. George Scott had walked and stolen second base. Rico Petrocelli walked
and after Reggie Smith had struck out, Mike Ryan walked to load the bases. With
the prospect of a squeeze play, Stange hit the first pitch far enough to
left-field to score Scott from third base after Bob Allison made the catch.
Before the base hit by Killebrew that ended his no-hit hopes, Stange only had
to worry twice. In the third inning Ted Uhlaender dragged a bunt toward George
Scott. Stange raced from the mound and got to first just a step ahead of
Uhlaender, taking Scott's feed for the out. In the fifth inning, Yastrzemski was
plating Rod Carew fairly short and Carew lined one toward the left-field wall.
Yaz got there quickly, turned and made a one-handed catch for the out. As the
sixth inning wore on and the seventh inning started, the crowd got more excited
with every play.
Stange got in a little trouble in the ninth-inning. He retired pinch-hitter
Rich Rollins on a pop to second base, Sandy Valdespino beat out an infield hit
and Zoilo Versalles singled up the middle. The dangerous Tony Oliva came to the
plate and lifted a 1-2 pitch to short center for the second out. Finally
Killebrew lined one to right, that ended the game.
Stange lost a no-hitter but manager Dick Williams got what he wanted. Stange
pitched a shutout and saved the tired arms in the bullpen for the first time in
several days. The Red Sox had used 28 pitchers in seven games until Stange
pitched a shutout today.
According to Mike Ryan, Stange had a fabulous breaking ball. He has pitched
strongly in his last several appearances, a far cry from early in the season,
when he suffered from tendinitis and lack of work.