In a matchup against the Giants, Cardinals ace Bob Gibson pitched a complete game, including seven hitless innings, struck out 14 batters and slugged a home run. Still, it wasn’t enough to win.
On Aug. 30, 1972, the Giants beat the Cardinals, 3-2, at St. Louis despite Gibson’s dominant performance.
Forty-four years later, on Aug. 29, 2016, another Cardinals right-hander, Carlos Martinez, struck out 13 Brewers in six innings at Milwaukee, but didn’t get a win even though St. Louis prevailed, 6-5. Martinez departed with the Cardinals ahead, 2-1. The Brewers rallied against the St. Louis bullpen for a 5-3 lead before the Cardinals stormed back. Miguel Socolovich got the win and Martinez got a no-decision. Boxscore
Martinez became the first Cardinals pitcher to strike out 13 and not receive a win since Gibson versus the Giants in 1972.
Gibson, 36, carried a 10-game, three-year winning streak against the Giants into his 1972 start versus them. He hadn’t lost to the Giants since Sept. 17, 1968, when Gaylord Perry pitched a no-hitter against the Cardinals at San Francisco. Since then, Gibson had posted records versus the Giants of 3-0 in 1969, 3-0 in 1970 and 4-0 in 1971.
After holding the Giants hitless in the first inning on that Wednesday evening in 1972, Gibson yielded three singles, resulting in a run, in the second.
In the sixth, Gibson struck out the side: Bobby Bonds, Jim Howarth, Chris Speier. Then, Gibson led off the bottom half of the inning with a home run into the left-field seats off starter Jim Willoughby, tying the score at 1-1. It was Gibson’s fifth home run of the season and matched the career high he first achieved in 1965.
Price is right
Through eight innings, Gibson had recorded his 14 strikeouts. Each of the nine Giants in the starting lineup struck out at least once against him that night. He held the Giants hitless from the third inning through the eighth.
“Gibson may be close to 37, but he still amazes me every time he gets out there,” Giants coach Joey Amalfitano told the Associated Press. “He’s one guy I’d pay to watch.”
The Cardinals, however, were unable to break though against Willoughby, a rookie right-hander, and the score remained tied at 1-1 through eight.
In the ninth, a tiring Gibson yielded a walk and three singles, including RBI-hits by left-handed batters Dave Rader and Tito Fuentes that gave the Giants a 3-1 lead.
Bernie Carbo hit a solo home run off Willoughby in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals. Boxscore
“I’d trade those 14 strikeouts for a win anytime,” Gibson said.