Jim Lonborg's one hitter ties up the 1967 World Series
ON THIS DATE (October 5, 1967) ...
The crowd of 35,188 saw Lonborg take charge right from the opening pitch. He whistled one past the right ear of Lou Brock and the pattern for Lonborg's day was established. He threw only 93 pitches in the game and in the third retired the Cardinals on just six throws. His command of the Cardinals was so complete, that he retired 19 consecutive batters and through everyone's mind ran the thought that he was on his way to a perfect game.
But it wasn't to be, because he walked Curt Flood on a three and two count in the seventh inning. Then Julian Javier slammed the first pitch he saw into left-field with two outs in the eighth, for a double. That was the slider that Lonborg was talking about.
Yastrzemski had staked Lonborg to a one run lead in the fourth inning with a home run into the grandstand, 30 feet inside the right-field foul pole.
Then in the sixth inning the Red Sox scored a run on walks to George Scott and Reggie Smith and an error by third baseman Mike Shannon, to load the bases. Dick Hughes was the starting pitcher for the Cardinals and he was replaced by Ron Willis to pitch to Rico Petrocelli. Petrocelli hit a long drive to center that scored Scott with the second Red Sox run.
The Red Sox picked up three more runs in the seventh when Willis walked Josť Tartabull to start the inning. Dalton Jones tried to sacrifice them over on the first pitch, but on the second pitch he swung and bounced one by the charging Mike Shannon, down the third-base line.
With runners on first and second, manager Red Schoendinst brought in Joe Hoerner to pitch to Yaz. Hoerner with the count of two strikes and the ball, gave Yaz a fastball on the next pitch. Yaz swung from his heels and the ball soared majestically over the bullpen, as Roger Maris just turned around and watched.
In the top of the eighth, when the Red Sox up 5 to 0, Javier spoiled the no-hitter and the crowd rose and cheered and applauded Lonborg wildly. The crowd yelled after every out from that point on. When Curt Flood ended the game with a routine fly to Reggie Smith, the crowd stood and cheered for as long as they could.
Lonborg later admitted to the reporters that he raised a blister in his right thumb in the sixth inning, and after consulting with Elston Howard, his catcher, they decided he would cut down on the number of breaking balls he threw for the remainder of the game.
Lonborg had some great support in the field, especially from Rico Petrocelli and Jerry Adair. In the fourth inning Lou Brock hit a grounder up the middle, just to the right of second base. It bounced three times and somehow Adair backhanded it and threw out one of the fastest men in baseball, all in one motion.
Then in the seventh inning, after Flood had become the first St. Louis base runner with a walk, Orlando Cepeda hit a line drive up the middle, to the left of second base, and Petrocelli stabbed it in his glove on the first bounce in the outfield and was able to stab it in his glove on the first bounced in the outfield, and flip the ball to Adair, forcing Flood at second.
With two home runs, Carl Yastrzemski became the first left-handed Red Sox hitter to hit two home runs in a World Series game, since Harry Hooper did it in 1915. The only other left-hander to hit a home run in a World Series game, was Larry Gardner, who did it in the 1912 World Series against the Giants.