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Archive for the ‘Pitchers’ Category

Seeking a starter to replace Woody Williams in the rotation, the Cardinals used a prospect, Dan Haren, to help land an ace, Mark Mulder. In retrospect, they would have done better to keep Haren.

mark_mulderTen years ago, on Dec. 18, 2004, the Cardinals acquired Mulder from the Athletics for Haren, reliever Kiko Calero and first baseman Daric Barton.

The Cardinals were praised for adding Mulder to a rotation of Chris Carpenter, Jason Marquis, Jeff Suppan and Matt Morris.

Haren, though, turned out to be more durable than Mulder.

Mulder had one strong season for the Cardinals, suffered shoulder ailments and pitched his final game for them in 2008 at age 31.

Haren, who was 6-10 over two seasons (2003-2004) for St. Louis, developed into one of the most consistent pitchers in the majors. Since leaving the Cardinals, Haren has had 10 seasons in a row of double-digit wins and has made 30 starts or more in each of those years. At 34, Haren has a career record of 142-122 in 12 big-league seasons. He is 136-112 since leaving St. Louis. The right-hander was traded by the Dodgers to the Marlins for the 2015 season.

After compiling an 81-42 record in five years with the Athletics, Mulder was 16-8 in 32 starts for the 2005 Cardinals. The left-hander then went a combined 6-10 for the Cardinals from 2006 to 2008.

Making a splash

By December 2004, four prominent free agents _ Woody Williams (11-8 in 2004), shortstop Edgar Renteria, catcher Mike Matheny and second baseman Tony Womack _ had departed the Cardinals since they faced the Red Sox in the World Series two months earlier.

Eager to make a splashy move to show that the Cardinals would fight to repeat as National League champions, general manager Walt Jocketty spoke with his Athletics counterpart, Billy Beane, about Mulder and fellow starting pitcher Tim Hudson.

On Dec. 16, 2004, the Athletics dealt Hudson to the Braves for pitchers Juan Cruz and Dan Meyer and outfielder Charles Thomas. Two days later, the Cardinals got Mulder.

Elite starter

“This is something we’ve been working on for two or three weeks,” Jocketty said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ve been going back and forth between Hudson and Mulder and we felt like, in our case, we had control of Mulder for an extra year (on his contract) … Both are quality, top of the rotation starters.”

Bernie Miklasz, columnist for the Post-Dispatch, described Mulder as “an elite starting pitcher” and “a legitimate front-of-rotation starter.”

From 2001-2004, only Curt Schilling had more wins (74) than Mulder (72).

“He’s an intelligent guy, a great athlete, a great fit,” Jocketty said of Mulder.

Red flag

Miklasz and his colleague, reporter Derrick Goold, did note, however, that Mulder had faltered in the second half of the 2004 season after starting the All-Star Game for the American League. Mulder was winless in his last seven 2004 starts, posting an 0-4 record and 7.27 ERA. Overall, Mulder was 17-8 in 2004 but with a 4.43 ERA.

Wrote Miklasz: “Is he wearing down after averaging 212 innings over the past four seasons?”

Jocketty and Mulder denied that the pitcher was weakened or injured.

“We took our time and thoroughly researched this … As far as we’re concerned, he’s fine,” Jocketty said of Mulder. “There are no physical problems at all. We made sure.”

Said Mulder: “I wasn’t hurt at all … There was nothing wrong with me.”

Asked to explain why Mulder was ineffective in the second half of 2004, Jocketty replied, “He put a lot of pressure on himself … He tried to do too much.”

Swift start

Any concerns about Mulder were erased early in the 2005 season. He won seven of his first nine decisions for the Cardinals. After stumbling in June (2-3, 7.18 ERA), Mulder recovered and was a combined 7-3 over the last three months of the season. He was especially effective against left-handed batters, limiting them to a .191 average in 2005.

Haren, meanwhile, had 14 wins for the 2005 Athletics, posting a 3.73 ERA in 34 starts. Calero contributed four wins and a save in 58 relief appearances.

In 2006, Mulder won five of his first six decisions for St. Louis. Then the shoulder woes began. Mulder made just two starts after June 20 and finished the 2006 season at 6-7 with a 7.14 ERA. He was 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA for the 2007 Cardinals; 0-0 with a 10.80 for the 2008 Cardinals.

Previously: Why Mike Matheny ended his playing career as a Giant

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In losing their closer and top run producer within a six-day stretch in December 1984, the Cardinals appeared to be a franchise in danger of decline.

george_hendrick2Instead, they became champions.

With Bruce Sutter (45 saves, 1.54 ERA) and George Hendrick (28 doubles and 69 RBI), the 1984 Cardinals achieved 84 wins and finished 12.5 games behind the champion Cubs in the National League East.

Without Sutter and Hendrick, the 1985 Cardinals achieved 101 wins and clinched the National League pennant.

On Dec. 7, 1984, Sutter, a free agent, signed with the Braves. Five days later, on Dec. 12, the Cardinals dealt Hendrick and minor-league third baseman Steve Barnard to the Pirates for Tudor and utility player Brian Harper.

Distraught by the trade of a player who had led the Cardinals in RBI for five consecutive years (1980-84) and in home runs for four seasons in a row (1980-83), second baseman Tommy Herr told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, “It’s hard to understand. I think we’ve taken some serious steps backward. … I don’t know why they would trade George, especially to a team in our division. I don’t see how our lineup can withstand the loss of a guy like George.”

Strengthen rotation

Sutter’s departure had created an urgency for the Cardinals to find a No. 2 starter to join ace Joaquin Andujar as starters who could pitch deep into games. Without Sutter, the Cardinals are “going to have to have our starters go like hell and get us to the eighth inning,” manager Whitey Herzog told The Sporting News.

Hendrick, 35, was deemed expendable because the Cardinals believed they had candidates to replace him.

Cardinals general manager Joe McDonald told United Press International, “We are sorry to give up George Hendrick and wish him well, but young outfielders like Andy Van Slyke and, a little further into the future, Vince Coleman are deserving of their chances and I’m sure they’ll respond in a way St. Louis fans like.”

In his book “You’re Missin’ a Great Game,” Herzog said Hendrick “became one of the most respected players on my team. When I traded him to the Pirates, it was only out of baseball necessity.”

Tudor, 30, had a 12-11 record for the 1984 Pirates. McDonald noted, though, that the left-hander had yielded fewer hits (200) than innings pitched (217) and had 117 strikeouts compared with 56 walks. “What I like about him is his ratio of bases on balls to strikeouts,” said McDonald.

Positive Pirates

The Pirates, who had finished in last place in the six-team NL East in 1984, were confident Hendrick would produce runs and excite the fan base. “It was a deal that general manager Pete Peterson needed to convince Pittsburgh fans that there is a desire to improve the club,” wrote The Sporting News.

Said Peterson: “I think Hendrick can hit 20 home runs and drive in 80 runs … I rate him as one of the best clutch hitters in the game.”

Pirates third baseman Bill Madlock said Hendrick “will take pressure off our hitters.”

Eight days later, on Dec. 20, the Pirates acquired another run-producing outfielder, Steve Kemp, from the Yankees.

The deals, however, were busts for the Pirates and a boon for the Cardinals.

Terrific Tudor

Tudor was both the winner and the workhorse McDonald and Herzog had hoped he would be for the 1985 Cardinals. After losing seven of his first eight decisions, Tudor won 20 of his last 21. He and Andujar each had 21 wins for the 1985 Cardinals. In 36 starts, Tudor pitched 275 innings and recorded 10 shutouts. His ERA was 1.93.

In his book, Herzog said Tudor “never threw a ball over 85 mph in his life.” Herzog credited a “now-you-see-it changeup” for Tudor’s turnaround.

“John Tudor was the most amazing pitcher I ever saw,” Herzog wrote.

Van Slyke, 24, adequately replaced Hendrick in right field. Van Slyke had 25 doubles and his 13 home runs ranked second on the club.

Coleman, 23, was promoted from the minors in mid-April and became the everyday left fielder, igniting the offense with 170 hits and 110 steals.

First baseman Jack Clark, acquired from the Giants two months after Hendrick was traded, delivered 22 home runs and 87 RBI.

Herzog deftly handled a closer committee of Jeff Lahti, Ken Dayley, Bill Campbell and Neil Allen until rookie Todd Worrell became the stopper in September.

Danny Cox (18 wins) joined Andujar and Tudor in creating a formidable rotation that also included Kurt Kepshire (10 wins) and Bob Forsch (nine wins).

Meanwhile, the Pirates regressed. They were 57-104, finishing 43.5 games behind the 1985 Cardinals. Hendrick hit .230 with two home runs and 25 RBI in 69 games. Kemp hit .250 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 92 games.

Previously: Down to last strike, George Hendrick spoiled Reds no-hit bid

Previously: George Hendrick influenced hitting style of John Mabry

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Tracy Stallard had a reputation for being a victim. The Cardinals gave him a chance to be a victor. The right-handed pitcher took advantage of the opportunity.

tracy_stallardFifty years ago, on Dec. 7, 1964, in one of Bob Howsam’s first deals as Cardinals general manager, St. Louis traded outfielder Johnny Lewis and pitcher Gordon Richardson to the Mets for Stallard and shortstop Elio Chacon.

The trade energized Stallard, who went from the last-place club in the National League to the newly crowned World Series champions. Stallard rewarded the Cardinals by producing the best season of his big-league career in 1965.

Until then, Stallard largely had been associated with setbacks. Most notable:

_ Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season record when he hit his 61st home run in the 1961 season finale against Stallard at Yankee Stadium. It accounted for the lone run in a 1-0 Yankees triumph over the Red Sox. Maris accomplished one of the most memorable and controversial baseball feats. Stallard became the answer to a trivia question. Boxscore

_ Stallard posted a 6-17 record for the 1963 Mets. He followed that with a 10-20 mark for the 1964 Mets and led the major leagues in losses that season.

Seeking a starter

Though Stallard was 1-3 against the 1964 Cardinals, he yielded just 20 hits (and no home runs) to them in 22 innings and had a 3.27 ERA.

Uncertain whether Ray Washburn would recover from a shoulder injury, Howsam sought a starter to join a rotation of Bob Gibson, Ray Sadecki and Curt Simmons.

The Mets were seeking an outfielder. Lewis, a rookie, began the 1964 season as one of the Cardinals’ regulars. He started 28 games in right field, but batted .234 with two home runs and seven RBI. In June, slowed by an ankle injury, the Cardinals sent Lewis to Class AAA Jacksonville.

Mike Shannon became the Cardinals’ right fielder and Lou Brock, acquired by the Cardinals in June 1964 from the Cubs, became the left fielder.

Bing Devine, the Cardinals general manager who engineered the deal for Brock before being fired in August 1964, had joined the Mets as an assistant to team president George Weiss. Devine recommended Lewis, 25, to the Mets. Weiss and his vice president, Johnny Murphy, negotiated with Howsam on the trade. “Devine stayed out of the picture,” The Sporting News reported.

Asked his opinion of the swap, Devine replied, “With Brock and Shannon having come along and with Washburn still a big question mark, I can see why the Cardinals went for pitching and were willing to give up a promising young outfielder like Lewis. You can never have too much pitching.”

Said Howsam: “We can’t tear our club apart _ we don’t dare. It’s tough when you can offer only young players. You have to deal mostly with clubs like the Mets that are building and can use the young players every day.”

Stallard’s reaction to joining the Cardinals: “It’s wonderful.”

Cardinals contributor

In a story headlined “Tracy Ticketed For Starter Job On Cards Staff,” St. Louis manager Red Schoendienst told The Sporting News, “Stallard is a tough competitor and he ought to do a lot better for us because our club can score some runs for him. His best pitches are a slider and a fastball.”

Said Howsam: “We wanted a fourth starter and we think we’ve got him.”

A week later, though, Howsam acquired another starting pitcher, Bob Purkey, from the Reds for outfielder Charlie James and pitcher Roger Craig.

Stallard, 27, began the 1965 season in the Cardinals’ bullpen. He lost his first start April 24 to the Reds, then won his next three decisions as a starter, beating the Pirates twice and the Dodgers. After a win over the Phillies July 18, Stallard was 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA.

His best game for the 1965 Cardinals came on Sept. 1, a day after his 28th birthday, when Stallard pitched a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory over the Cubs at Chicago. Stallard struck out eight and yielded only a double by Don Kessinger and singles by Joe Amalfitano and Ernie Banks. Boxscore

Stallard finished second on the 1965 Cardinals in wins (11) and third in innings pitched (194.1). His 3.38 ERA was better than the team average of 3.77. His 11-8 record was the only time in seven big-league seasons that he posted a winning mark.

In 1966, Stallard was 1-5 for the Cardinals, who demoted him to the minor leagues. He never returned to the majors. His big-league career totals: 30-57 record, 3.91 ERA.

Previously: Why 22-game loser Roger Craig appealed to Cardinals

Previously: Cubs knew Lou Brock was on verge of stardom in 1964

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(Updated Dec. 8, 2014)

Jim Kaat is a candidate for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame because of his pitching and fielding achievements. He also accomplished base running and hitting feats for the Cardinals that enhance his status as a special baseball player.

jim_kaat4Kaat, one of 10 finalists on the Golden Era ballot for election to the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., was 41 when he stole a base and hit a home run in separate games for the 1980 Cardinals.

At an age when most players are retired, Kaat still pitched effectively and remained a complete ballplayer.

Speed demon

On June 23, 1980, two months after he had been acquired from the Yankees, Kaat earned the win and pitched a complete game for the Cardinals in their 6-1 victory over the Pirates at St. Louis. Kaat didn’t allow a walk or an extra-base hit. He held the Pirates scoreless over the last seven innings and earned his 266th career win, tying Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

In the seventh, he stole a base.

Bobby Bonds was at the plate when Kaat dashed for second. Bonds took a pitch from Enrique Romo. Catcher Steve Nicosia gunned a throw to Phil Garner, covering second. Kaat beat the peg.

The fans at Busch Stadium rewarded him with a standing ovation.

In its account of the game, the Associated Press wrote, “It was the aging hurler’s speed that brought the customers to their feet … The accomplishment nearly overshadowed his hurling.”

Said Kaat: “It was the element of surprise. I had a good lead. It was worth it.” Boxscore

The steal was Kaat’s first in nine years. He was 32 when he swiped a base for the Twins against Yankees pitcher Stan Bahnsen and catcher Thurman Munson on July 30, 1971.

His stolen base for the Cardinals was Kaat’s fifth and last in a 25-year career (1959-83) in the majors.

Sultan of swat

Two months after his steal for the Cardinals, Kaat hit a home run for them.

On Aug. 26, 1980, Kaat homered off the Astros’ Joe Niekro at St. Louis.

“He hit a knuckleball up,” Niekro said to the Associated Press. “He’s a pretty good hitter. I’ve got a brother (Phil) who is 41 and he hits home runs. It’s not the first time I gave up one to a pitcher and it probably won’t be the last.” Boxscore

The home run was the last of 16 hit by Kaat. He slugged his first 18 years earlier on June 19, 1962, off Dom Zanni of the White Sox.

(The oldest player to hit a big-league home run was Mets first baseman Julio Franco, 48, against Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks on May 4, 2007. Franco was three months shy of his 49th birthday.)

Going strong

Exactly one year after his home run, Kaat, 42, got his last big-league hit, a single for the Cardinals against 25-year-old Giants rookie Bob Tufts on Aug. 26, 1981. Boxscore

The next year, Kaat, 43, appeared in 62 regular-season games for the Cardinals (earning five wins and two saves) and pitched in four games of the 1982 World Series against the Brewers.

He pitched his last game at 44, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Joaquin Andujar for the Cardinals against the Pirates on July 1, 1983, at Pittsburgh. Boxscore

Kaat was 19-16 with 10 saves in four seasons (1980-83) with the Cardinals.

He’s a Hall of Fame candidate primarily because his 283 career wins rank eighth all-time among left-handers and because he won 16 Gold Glove awards for fielding. He has more career wins than several Hall of Famers, including Jim Palmer (268), Carl Hubbell (253), Bob Gibson (251) and Juan Marichal (243).

Kaat and three other former Cardinals players _ Dick Allen, Ken Boyer and Minnie Minoso _ and former Cardinals general manager Bob Howsam are being reviewed by a 16-person Golden Era committee for Hall of Fame consideration. The other five on the ballot are former players Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

The Golden Era covers the period of 1947 to 1972. A Golden Era candidate must receive 75 percent of the votes (12 of 16) to earn election. Kaat received 10 votes when Golden Era candidates were considered in 2011.

Results will be announced Dec. 8, 2014. (Update: None of the 10 finalists was elected. Allen and Oliva each received 11 votes. Kaat got 10. Wills got nine. Minoso got eight. Receiving three or fewer votes were Boyer, Hodges, Howsam, Pierce and Tiant.)

Committee members are Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond and Bob Watson; and media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby.

Kaat was a teammate of Carew (Twins), Smith (Cardinals) and Watson (Yankees). Pepe co-wrote a book with Kaat.

Previously: Jim Kaat revived both his career and the Cardinals

Previously: Jim Kaat interview: 1982 Cardinals were most close-knit club

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Because he was the best at generating runs for a team at times desperate for offense, Matt Holliday is my choice for 2014 Cardinals Player of the Year.

matt_holliday6The United Cardinal Bloggers group annually asks members to cast ballots for a series of postseason Cardinals awards. Here are my 2014 selections:

Player of the Year: Matt Holliday

The left fielder led the 2014 Cardinals in key run-producing categories such as RBI (90) and total bases (253) and was second in runs scored (83).

Without Holliday, the Cardinals likely would not have been able to achieve 90 wins for the second consecutive season and earn a National League Central Division title. With 585 RBI and 619 runs, the Cardinals ranked below the league averages (607 RBI) and (640 runs) in those two categories. Holliday kept them competitive.

Holliday also ranked second on the Cardinals in hits (156), doubles (37), home runs (20) and walks (74).

His .370 on-base percentage ranked well above the team average of .327 for non-pitchers.

Pitcher of the Year: Adam Wainwright

The right-hander was the ace of the 2014 Cardinals, leading the club in wins (20), innings pitched (227.1), complete games (five) and shutouts (three).

In 2014, Wainwright had the lowest ERA (1.83) before the All-Star Game break for a Cardinals starting pitcher since Steve Carlton (1.65) in 1969.

Wainwright in 2014 became the first big-leaguer to have nine of his first 18 starts of a season be scoreless efforts of seven or more innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Game of the Year: Game 1 of National League Division Series

The Cardinals scored eight runs in the seventh, erasing a 6-2 deficit, and withstood a Dodgers rally in the last two innings to win, 10-9, on Oct. 3, 2014, at Los Angeles. The stunning outburst against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw set the tone for the series and gave the Cardinals momentum.

Left-handed batters hit .193 versus Kershaw in the regular season. Cardinals left-handed batters, though, pummeled Kershaw in Game 1 of the Division Series. In the seventh, Matt Adams and Jon Jay produced RBI-singles. Matt Carpenter, who had homered off Kershaw in the sixth, hit a three-run double against him in the seventh. Right-handed batter Matt Holliday capped the comeback with a three-run home run off reliever Pedro Baez. Boxscore

Surprising Player of the Year: Pat Neshek

Signed by the Cardinals at the start of spring training, Neshek initially was considered a longshot to make the team. Instead, he developed into a consistently reliable reliever. Neshek, 34, produced six saves for the 2014 Cardinals after having none in seven previous big-league seasons. The right-hander was 7-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 71 games. Right-handed batters hit .176 against him.

Disappointing Player of the Year: Peter Bourjos

After being acquired from the Angels, Bourjos was expected to ignite the Cardinals’ offense with his speed and provide consistent play in center field. Instead, he struggled to hit. Bourjos had more strikeouts (78) than hits (61) for the 2014 Cardinals. The right-handed batter hit .194 against left-handed pitching.

Cardinals Rookie of the Year: Kolten Wong

The second baseman recovered from a deep slump in June and finished the season with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Wong is the fourth Cardinals rookie to reach double figures in home runs and stolen bases in a season, joining Wally Moon (1954), Ken Boyer (1955) and J.D. Drew (1999).

Wong also became the first Cardinals second baseman to hit five home runs over a seven-game span since Frankie Frisch achieved the feat in July 1930, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Acquistion of the Year: Jhonny Peralta

The shortstop provided steady defense and power. Signed as a free agent after an American League career with the Indians and Tigers, Peralta led the 2014 Cardinals in home runs (21) and doubles (38). He ranked second on the club in RBI (75), total bases (248) and slugging percentage (.443).

Most Anticipated Cardinal: Stephen Piscotty

Poised, smart and consistent, the right fielder hit .288 with 32 doubles and 144 hits in 136 games for Class AAA Memphis in 2014. Piscotty committed just three errors in 113 games in right field.

Cardinals Moment of the Year: Matt Adams in Game 4 of Division Series

The Dodgers led, 2-0, after six innings behind Kershaw in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 7, 2014, at St. Louis. A Dodgers win would shift the series to Los Angeles for a winner-takes-all Game 5.

Kershaw appeared dominant. He had struck out the side in the sixth and he had held the Cardinals to one hit, a Randal Grichuk single in the fourth.

Then, in the seventh, magic happened for the Cardinals. Holliday and Peralta singled. Adams, who had hit .190 against left-handers during the season, followed with a three-run home run. The big first baseman did a jubilant dance along the first-base line as Cardinals fans roared.

The stunning blast carried the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory, earned them a spot in the National League Championship Series for the fourth consecutive year and symbolized the persistence of a franchise that continues to find ways to excel. Boxscore

No blogger votes

The United Cardinal Bloggers ballot also offers opportunities to vote for several best blogger categories. I’m choosing not to vote in those categories; rather I encourage Cardinals blogging colleagues to keep writing and posting and just enjoy the experiences.

Previously: Solly Hemus, Matt Holliday: Different sizes, similar skills

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Five months after it appeared he might pitch his way out of the starting rotation, Ray Sadecki earned his 20th win and propelled the 1964 Cardinals into first place in the National League.

ray_sadecki4This post is a tribute to Sadecki, who died at age 73 on Nov. 17, 2014.

On Sept 29, 1964, Sadecki got the win, his career-best 20th of the season, in the Cardinals’ 4-2 triumph over the Phillies at St. Louis. The victory was the seventh in a row for the Cardinals and moved them into a tie for first place with the Phillies, who lost their ninth in a row after building a 6.5-game lead with 12 to play.

The Cardinals moved into sole possession of first place on Sept. 30 and went on to win the pennant five days later by a game over the Phillies and Reds.

Early troubles

Based on his subpar beginning, few could have predicted Sadecki would be such a stellar pitcher for the 1964 Cardinals.

Sadecki was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three April appearances for St. Louis.

Wrote The Sporting News: “Sadecki looked terrible in spring training, was beaten his first three times out during the season and was booed consistently by the normally restrained Cardinals fans.”

Sadecki recovered, earning four wins in each of the next five months, with the last being the 20th on Sept. 29.

In a matchup of left-handers, the Phillies started Dennis Bennett against Sadecki. The Cardinals led, 3-0, after two innings and knocked out Bennett, who was lifted after recording just four outs. Sadecki gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Gus Triandos in the fourth. Bill White hit a home run in the sixth off John Boozer, extending the St. Louis lead to 4-2.

In the seventh, the Phillies had the tying runs on first and second, with two outs, when Cardinals manager Johnny Keane replaced Sadecki with Barney Schultz, who got Richie Allen to pop out to first. Schultz pitched 2.1 hitless innings in relief of Sadecki and earned his 13th save. Boxscore

World Series winner

Sadecki became the first Cardinals left-hander since Harvey Haddix in 1953 to win 20 in a season. Sadecki was the only National League left-hander to win 20 in 1964. (Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers won 19; Bob Veale of the Pirates and Sadecki’s teammate, Curt Simmons, each won 18.) The 1964 season was the only time Sadecki won more than 14 during an 18-year major-league career.

A week after winning his 20th, Sadecki started Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 7 against Whitey Ford and the Yankees. He gave up eight hits and five walks in six innings but earned the win in a 9-5 Cardinals victory at St. Louis. The highlight of Sadecki’s performance was when he struck out Roger Maris to end the second and struck out Mickey Mantle to open the third.

“I had a good curve and was putting it where I wanted, but I had all kinds of trouble with my fastball,” Sadecki said. Boxscore

Previously: How the 1964 Cardinals broke the heart of Gus Triandos

Previously: 1964 Cardinals were menace to Dennis Bennett

Previously: Battle of wills: Bob Gibson, Gene Maych play hardball

Previously: Five-game sweep of Pirates positioned Cardinals for pennant

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