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In a span of about 24 hours, Grover Cleveland Alexander twice held the fate of the 1926 Cardinals in his right hand. With a loss meaning elimination of the Cardinals from the World Series, Alexander delivered a win and a save against the Yankees of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at New York.

grover_alexander2Alexander’s save, one of the top five iconic moments in Cardinals lore, was accomplished on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 10, in Game 7 with 2.1 innings of hitless relief, including the storied strikeout of Tony Lazzeri with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, in a 3-2 Cardinals victory.

Alexander’s win, accomplished a day earlier on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 9, in Game 6, was just as impressive, but often overshadowed by the Game 7 drama.

Ninety years ago, with the Yankees in position to clinch the championship with a victory, Alexander, 39, got a complete-game win for the Cardinals in Game 6. He remains the oldest player to pitch a complete game in the World Series.

Displaying remarkable command of his pitches, Alexander kept Ruth from hitting a ball out of the infield and limited Gehrig to a single in the 10-2 Cardinals victory.

In a report by the Associated Press, Cardinals player-manager Rogers Hornsby said of Alexander, “(He) has left a mark for the next generation to aim at.”

Wrote The Sporting News: “(Alexander) has been pitching a long, long time, but it is doubtful if he ever rose to the heights he ascended in this Series.”

Duel of veterans

On Oct. 3 at Yankee Stadium, Alexander started and won Game 2 of the 1926 World Series, pitching a complete-game four-hitter and striking out 10 in the Cardinals’ 6-2 triumph. That win evened the best-of-seven Series at 1-1.

The Yankees won two of the next three at St. Louis.

With Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, Alexander was matched against Bob Shawkey, 35, who had pitched primarily in relief during the regular season. Shawkey was making just his third start since Aug. 1. During the regular season, Shawkey was 4-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 19 relief appearances and 4-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts.

Yankees manager Miller Huggins was confident Shawkey could deliver a strong start against the Cardinals. Shawkey had pitched in relief in Game 2 and Game 3 and hadn’t allowed the Cardinals a baserunner over 3.2 total innings. Huggins also believed Alexander wouldn’t be as sharp in Game 6 as he had been in Game 2.

Under control

As Shawkey took the mound for the start of Game 6, “the sun was shining but there was an October chill in the air,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It was no contest.

The Cardinals scored three in the first, led 4-1 through six and secured their grip with a five-run seventh.

“While my pitching helped, it was great hitting that won the game for us,” Alexander said in an article that appeared under his byline in the Sunday Post-Dispatch.

Alexander never gave the Yankees a chance to rally. He threw 104 pitches, including 75 for strikes. In four of the nine innings, Alexander threw only one pitch out of the strike zone.

“It was remarkable to watch the old master put the ball almost where he wanted to,” wrote the Post-Dispatch. “It was the finest exhibition of control seen in many a day.”

Said Alexander: “The day was cold and at times I had trouble in cutting loose with my fastball, but my control was exceptionally good with men on the bases and that was what helped me.”

Besting The Babe

Alexander especially was effective against Ruth, who had hit 47 home runs during the regular season and three against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series at St. Louis.

Ruth was 0-for-3 with a walk against Alexander in Game 6. Twice, Ruth batted with two runners on base. Both times, Alexander got Ruth to ground out.

In the third inning, Ruth batted with runners on first and second, two outs, and grounded out to first baseman Jim Bottomley. In the seventh, with runners on second and third, two outs, Alexander pitched to Ruth and induced him to ground out to shortstop Tommy Thevenow.

“It was my control that kept Ruth from hitting,” Alexander said. “Every ball that Babe hit broke on the inside of the plate, close enough so that the big fellow could do no damage.”

Said Huggins: “Alexander had a better game left in his system than we thought.”

Alexander was supported by the hitting of Les Bell (four RBI, three hits, including a two-run home run), Hornsby (three RBI) and Billy Southworth (double, triple, three runs). Boxscore

“I want to thank the fans of New York for the way they have treated the Cardinals at the Stadium,” Alexander said. “They have been fair and square, ever ready to applaud when a good play was made.”

Previously: How Cardinals got Grover Cleveland Alexander

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If not for a slump at the start of September by Stan Musial in his best big-league season, the Cardinals, not the Braves, might have been the National League champions that opposed the Indians in the 1948 World Series.

eddie_dyer2The Indians, American League champions in 2016, are trying to earn a World Series title for the first time since winning four of six games versus the Braves in the 1948 World Series.

The 1948 Indians finished first in the AL at 97-58, one game ahead of the Red Sox. The Braves won the NL pennant with a 91-62 record, 6.5 games ahead of the second-place Cardinals (85-69).

St. Louis had gotten within a game of the first-place Braves on Aug. 21, 1948.

Led by Musial’s torrid hitting, the Cardinals entered September at 68-57, two games out of first place.

Hot pursuit

Musial, the Cardinals’ all-time greatest player, was at his peak in 1948. At 27, he would win his third NL Most Valuable Player Award that season and lead the league in runs (135), hits (230), doubles (46), triples (18), RBI (131), batting average (.376), on-base percentage (.450), slugging percentage (.702) and total bases (429).

Musial was the first NL hitter to achieve a .700 slugging percentage in a season since Hack Wilson of the 1930 Cubs. His total bases were only 21 behind the league mark of 450 established by Rogers Hornsby of the 1922 Cardinals. No big-league player since 1948 has achieved as many total bases in a season as Musial did that year.

The 1948 Cardinals also received a stellar season from pitcher Harry Brecheen, who led the NL in shutouts (7), strikeouts (149) and ERA (2.24) and was second in wins (20) and complete games (21).

Many thought the Cardinals were poised to pass the Braves in the standings in September 1948 and win their fifth pennant of the decade.

Under manager Billy Southworth, the Cardinals had won three pennants and two World Series titles from 1942-44. When Southworth left the Cardinals after the 1945 season and accepted a more lucrative offer from the Braves, Eddie Dyer replaced him and led St. Louis to a pennant and World Series crown in 1946.

Entering September 1948, Southworth had the Braves in first place and Dyer was the manager who had the Cardinals in hot pursuit.

On the skids

Musial, however, went into his only slump of the season at the start of September. Entering the month with a batting average of .378, Musial produced just three hits in his first 24 at-bats in September. The Cardinals lost five of those seven games and fell into fourth place at 70-62, 5.5 games behind the front-running Braves.

In The Sporting News, Bob Broeg wrote, “It was Musial’s first man-sized slump during the first week of September that caused the Cardinals to lose all but a thread-slender flag chance.”

The height of frustration for the Cardinals during that stretch occurred in a three-game series against the Pirates at Pittsburgh.

In a Labor Day doubleheader on Sept. 6, the Cardinals hit into eight double plays _ six in the opener and two in the second game _ and lost both games to the Pirates by scores of 2-1 and 4-1.

The next night, in the series finale on Sept. 7, the Cardinals threatened in the first inning against Pirates starter Fritz Ostermueller. Red Schoendienst led off with a walk and Marty Marion singled, bringing Musial to the plate.

Musial ripped a line drive that was snared by shortstop Stan Rojek, who stepped on second to double up Schoendienst and fired a throw to first baseman Johnny Hopp before Marion could get back to the bag, completing a triple play. The Pirates rolled to a 6-2 triumph. Boxscore

Said a defiant Dyer: “That series was a body blow, but we’re still in the race.”

Just short

Indeed, the Braves wouldn’t clinch the pennant until Sept. 26. The Cardinals finished strong, winning seven of their last 10 to edge the defending champion Dodgers for second place. After their 2-5 start to September, the Cardinals won 15 of their last 22 games.

Dyer pointed to injuries that limited Schoendienst to 95 starts at second base and Whitey Kurowski to 62 starts at third base as difference makers in the pennant race.

“Except for our infield injuries, I believe we would be out in front,” Dyer said. “Too often we missed that potential punch and the ability to make the double play.”

Previously: How Stan Musial got his 4th 5-hit game of 1948

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In the first World Series game played in St. Louis, nine future inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby, appeared in the starting lineups. The player who delivered the masterpiece performance was the pitcher among that stellar cast, Jesse Haines of the Cardinals.

jesse_hainesNinety years ago, on Oct. 5, 1926, in Game 3 of the World Series at Sportman’s Park, Haines pitched a complete-game shutout and hit a two-run home run, carrying the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory.

Haines and Bucky Walters of the 1940 Reds are the only pitchers with a shutout and a home run in a World Series game. Walters achieved his feat in Game 6 against the Tigers.

Impossible dream

With his performance, Haines defied the odds. Consider:

_ The 1926 Yankees featured the famed “Murderer’s Row” lineup of Ruth, Gehrig, two other future Hall of Famers, Tony Lazzeri and Earle Combs, and standouts Bob Meusel and Joe Dugan.

_ The Yankees, who led the major leagues in runs scored (847) in 1926, had been shut out just three times during the regular season.

_ Haines, in his eighth big-league season, had hit one career home run. It occurred six years earlier on Aug. 11, 1920, at Philadelphia against former Cardinals pitcher Lee Meadows of the Phillies.

Seeing red

Haines also had to deal with the heightened expectations of a city stirred into a frenzy by the thrill of hosting its first World Series game.

“Classes in public schools were dismissed at 1:30 and the pupils assembled in the auditoriums to hear the Cardinals-Yankees scores by radio,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“Buildings in the neighborhood of the (ballpark) held many long-distance fans, who cocked ears and craned necks, some leaning out windows, others standing on roofs,” the newspaper reported. “Many a chimney top was dusted off to make a seat for a fan.”

In the New York American, Damon Runyon observed, “The city is jammed with wide-hatted Missourians and fat-waisted Ohioans and thin-flanked Illinoisans and other of the citizenry of the Mississippi Valley.”

A crowd of 37,708 _ the largest to attend a baseball game in St. Louis at that time _ stuffed into Sportsman’s Park.

“When the teams took the field, there was not a vacant seat in lower stand, upper stand, pavilion or bleachers _ row upon row of humanity splashed with red,” the Post-Dispatch wrote. “It was the only color visible. Women wore it in their hats. Men in their neckties. Red scarfs, red shirts, red dresses, red flowers _ Cardinal red.”

Go crazy, folks

The Cardinals and Yankees had split the first two games of the World Series in New York. Haines had appeared in Game 1 on Oct. 2, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in relief of starter Bill Sherdel.

Three days later, he was starting Game 3 behind a Cardinals lineup that included fellow future Hall of Famers Jim Bottomley, Chick Hafey, Billy Southworth and Hornsby. (Unlike the others, Southworth, though an outfielder with pop, would be elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager, not a player.)

In the top of fourth, the game was delayed for a half-hour by a downpour that left the infield a mess.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals ahead, 1-0, Haines batted from the right side against starter Dutch Ruether with a runner on first and two outs.

Ruether, a left-hander, threw a pitch high and outside. Haines swung at the curveball and connected with what Runyon described as “a line wallop over Bob Meusel’s head into the laps of the fans in the long, low green pavilion in right field.”

Wrote the Associated Press: “It was a towering blow, worthy of a Ruth or a Southworth.”

Haines’ home run gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead and created bedlam.

“Screams, shrieks, whoops, bawls, howls, hollers, roars swept the muddy ballyard with the weird noises raised by cow bells, auto horns, whistles, rattles and musical instruments mixed with the medley,” wrote Runyon.

Battling The Babe

In the fifth, the Cardinals added a run on a RBI-groundout by Bottomley, making the score 4-0.

Three innings later, Haines walked pinch-hitter Ben Paschal to open the eighth. With the top of their batting order coming up next, the Yankees sensed this was their chance to get back into the game.

“Even the Cardinals betrayed a little concern,” wrote the Post-Dispatch. “They gathered about Haines to steady him.”

Haines struck out Combs. The next batter, Mark Koening, grounded out to first, moving Paschal to second.

That brought to the plate Ruth.

“Ruth was an enemy and they didn’t like him and nobody made any attempt to conceal the fact,” James R. Harrison of the New York Times reported. “… Ruth was met in St. Louis with a frank chorus of boos, groans and hisses.”

With first base open, some expected Hornsby, the player-manager of the Cardinals, to order an intentional walk.

The first two pitches from Haines to Ruth were outside the strike zone. “It was evident that Jess was trying only to keep the ball out of the home run circle,” wrote the Post-Dispatch.

On the third pitch, Ruth looked at a called strike.

The Bambino swung at the next delivery and pulled a grounder to Hornsby at second for the third out of the inning.

The threat was over and the Cardinals prevailed. The final line for Haines: 9 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts. All of the Yankees’ hits were singles: two by Gehrig and one each by Ruth, Combs and Dugan. Boxscore

Haines got his next start in Game 7. He pitched 6.2 innings and earned the win in a game best remembered for Grover Cleveland Alexander striking out Lazzeri with the bases loaded and getting the save.

Previously: How Cardinals got Grover Cleveland Alexander

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After a season in which he ranked among the National League leaders, no one would have figured Cardinals ace Mort Cooper would do better as a hitter than as a pitcher in the 1942 World Series.

mort_cooper5Cooper, who led the NL in wins (22), shutouts (10) and ERA (1.78) and placed among the top two in strikeouts (152), starts (35) and innings pitched (278.2), started Games 1 and 4 of the 1942 World Series against the Yankees.

To the surprise of most, the right-hander posted an 0-1 record and 5.54 ERA in those two games.

However, in Game 4, Cooper delivered a two-run single off starter Hank Borowy and scored a run, contributing to a 9-6 Cardinals triumph and putting the Yankees on the brink of elimination.

In the ninth inning, Cardinals reliever Max Lanier, who got the win, produced a RBI-single off Tiny Bonham, the Yankees’ 6-foot-2, 215-pound pitcher.

Pitchers with pop

With the run-scoring hits from Cooper and Lanier, the 1942 Cardinals are one of five teams that have had two pitchers produce RBI in a postseason game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The others:

_ Jack Bentley and Hugh McQuillan for the Giants versus the Senators in Game 5 of the 1924 World Series.

_ Lefty Gomez and Johnny Murphy for the Yankees versus the Giants in Game 6 of the 1936 World Series.

_ Steve Avery and Mike Stanton for the Braves versus the Pirates in Game 2 of the 1992 NL Championship Series.

_ Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood for the Cubs versus the Giants in Game 2 of the 2016 NL Division Series.

Cooper contributes

Cooper was the losing pitcher in the 1942 World Series opener on Sept. 30. He yielded 10 hits, three walks and five runs in 7.2 innings.

After the Cardinals won Games 2 and 3, manager Billy Southworth opted to start Cooper in Game 4 at Yankee Stadium on three days’ rest on Oct. 4 rather than Lanier, a 13-game winner who hadn’t yet appeared in the 1942 World Series.

Lanier, a left-hander, had made 20 starts for the 1942 Cardinals, but he was 5-0 with a 1.25 ERA in 14 relief appearances that season.

The Yankees led, 1-0, in Game 4 before the Cardinals scored six runs in the fourth. Stan Musial opened the inning with a bunt single. The Cardinals took the lead on Whitey Kurowski’s two-run single and Cooper, who batted .184 with seven RBI during the regular season, increased the advantage to 4-1 with his two-run hit.

“Cooper found an outside pitch to his liking and blooped a single to right that sent (Johnny) Hopp and Kurowski home and moved (Marty) Marion to third,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Run-scoring hits by Terry Moore and Musial capped the inning and gave the Cardinals a 6-1 advantage.

Manager misjudgment

Cooper, though, couldn’t shut down the Yankees. He surrendered five runs in 5.1 innings.

Cooper “went into the classic too tired to show at his best,” wrote columnist Dan Daniel in The Sporting News. “After he had been batted out of the first game, he decided that his troubles traced to his fastball. When again he encountered the Bombers (in Game 4), he tried to get by on his curve and it was nothing much. He just didn’t have it.”

Fortunately for the Cardinals, Lanier, who followed Cooper and relievers Harry Gumbert and Howie Pollet, pitched three scoreless innings for the win.

The Cardinals clinched the title with their fourth consecutive victory in Game 5.

“About my only regret was that the Yankees did not see the real Mort Cooper,” Southworth said. “In Mort’s first game, he just wasn’t sharp. He was too careful. In his second start, he should have had another day’s rest. I was to blame. But Mort wanted to go and I admit I wanted him to. I should have waited another day.” Boxscore

Previously: Big-game losses haunt Mort Cooper, Justin Verlander

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In Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Mets, Scott Spiezio and So Taguchi symbolized the grit, determination and teamwork of the 2006 Cardinals.

so_taguchi3After the Mets won the opener at Shea Stadium in New York, they had a chance to take command of the best-of-seven series with a victory in Game 2.

Many expected them to do so.

The Mets had finished the 2006 regular season with the best record in the NL at 97-65. The Cardinals at 83-78 had the worst record of any of the eights teams that qualified for the major-league postseason.

When the Mets took a 6-4 lead into the seventh inning of Game 2 at New York, the odds seem stacked against the Cardinals.

That’s when role players Spiezio and Taguchi came through.

Ten years ago, on Oct. 13, 2006, Spiezio tied the score with a two-run triple in the seventh and Taguchi knocked in the go-ahead run with an improbable home run in the ninth, carrying the Cardinals to a 9-6 victory and tying the series at 1-1.

Saved from having to overcome a deep deficit, the Cardinals won the series in seven games and went on to clinch the World Series championship, their first since 1982.

Coming back

Guillermo Mota, the fourth Mets pitcher used in Game 2, entered in the seventh to protect the 6-4 lead. Mota had posted a 3-0 record and 1.00 ERA in 18 regular-season appearances for the Mets.

He retired the first two batters of the inning, David Eckstein and Chris Duncan.

Albert Pujols then worked an 11-pitch at-bat, hitting a single after fouling off six pitches. Mota, either rattled or worn down by the duel with Pujols, walked Jim Edmonds on four pitches.

That brought Spiezio to the plate.

Soap opera

Manager Tony La Russa had given Spiezio the start at third base, batting him fifth in the order, in place of slumping Scott Rolen, who had produced one hit in 14 at-bats in the 2006 postseason.

“There’s something in his (batting) stroke that’s not right,” La Russa said of Rolen to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Miffed, Rolen said he was “very surprised” by and “very disappointed” in La Russa’s decision.

Wrote columnist Bernie Miklasz: “It’s never entirely about baseball, the Cardinals have to introduce a new soap opera plot, ignite a feud or smolder through a psychodrama.”

Spiezio validated La Russa’s move. With the count at two strikes, Spiezio hit a triple to right, scoring Pujols and Edmonds and tying the score at 6-6. Right fielder Shawn Green prevented Spiezio’s smash from being a home run by leaping over the fence and deflecting the ball back onto the field with his glove.

“It does give me a lot of confidence because Tony puts me in a situation and knows that I can have some big at-bats for him,” Spiezio said. “Whenever you have a manager that has confidence in you, it boosts the whole morale of the team.”

So sweet

With the score still deadlocked at 6-6, Mets closer Billy Wagner, who posted 40 saves in 2006, was brought in by manager Willie Randolph to pitch the ninth.

The first batter he faced was So Taguchi, who was pinch-hitting for Duncan. Though Duncan had hit 22 home runs in 2006 and Taguchi had hit two, La Russa preferred to have a right-handed batter face Wagner, a left-hander.

Wagner got ahead in the count 0-and-2 against Taguchi. Then, like Pujols did versus Mota in the seventh, Taguchi frustrated Wagner by fouling off four pitches and working the count to 3-and-2.

Wagner threw a fastball and Taguchi hit it over the left-field wall for a home run, giving the Cardinals a 7-6 lead. Video

Said a stunned Taguchi: “I don’t know what to do, so I just run.”

The Cardinals scored two more runs off Wagner. Pujols doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Spiezio’s double. Juan Encarnacion singled, scoring Spiezio and extending the lead to 9-6.

In the bottom half of the inning, Tyler Johnson struck out Carlos Delgado. With two right-handed batters due up, Adam Wainwright relieved and got Green and David Wright to ground out, ending the game. Boxscore

Previously: Scott Spiezio replaced John Mabry as Cards utilityman

Previously: Is Daniel Descalso as good in clutch as So Taguchi?

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Foreshadowing what would be an exceptional postseason for him, Harry Brecheen prevented the Cardinals from experiencing an epic collapse, saving the victory that carried them into the 1946 World Series.

harry_brecheen2Seventy years ago, on Oct. 3, 1946, the Cardinals beat manager Leo Durocher’s Dodgers, 8-4, at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in Game 2 of a best-of-three playoff series that determined the National League champion. The Dodgers trailed by seven runs before mounting a ninth-inning rally that threatened to steamroll the Cardinals until Brecheen relieved and put a stop to it.

In the ensuing World Series against the American League champion Red Sox, Brecheen, a left-hander nicknamed “The Cat,” continued his poised mastery, earning three of the Cardinals’ four wins.

Dickson delivers

The Cardinals and Dodgers completed the 1946 regular season tied for first place in the NL with records of 96-58.

In Game 1 of the playoff series on Oct. 1, 1946, the Cardinals won, 4-2, at St. Louis. Joe Garagiola was 3-for-4 with two RBI and Stan Musial tripled, walked and scored twice for the Cardinals. Howie Pollet earned a complete-game victory.

The starting pitchers for Game 2 were Murry Dickson for the Cardinals and Joe Hatten for the Dodgers. Each entered the game with 14 wins that season.

After yielding a run and two hits in the first inning, Dickson held the Dodgers hitless over the next seven innings. The Cardinals, meanwhile, scored five runs in five innings against Hatten and added three more off Dodgers relievers. Whitey Kurowski, Enos Slaughter and Marty Marion contributed two RBI apiece for the Cardinals. After eight innings, St. Louis led, 8-1.

Dickson “turned in a magnificent pitching job as the Redbirds put the squelch on the loud-mouthed Dodgers of Brooklyn,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch opined.

Brooklyn frenzy

Dickson, though, as he later admitted to The Sporting News, was tired.

The Dodgers scored twice against him in the ninth, cutting the St. Louis lead to 8-3, and had runners on first and second, one out, when Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer went to the mound to replace Dickson with Brecheen. Dickson “didn’t want to quit,” the Post-Dispatch observed, but “it was as plain as the nose on Durocher’s face that Dickson was weary.”

Brecheen primarily was a starting pitcher for the 1946 Cardinals, though he had earned two saves in five prior relief appearances that season.

The first batter he faced, Bruce Edwards, hit a curve for a single, scoring Carl Furillo from second and getting the Dodgers within four at 8-4.

When Brecheen issued a walk to Cookie Lavagetto, loading the bases and bringing the potential tying run to the plate, the crowd of 31,437 “almost went into convulsions,” The Sporting News reported.

According to the United Press, the crowd “was roaring with all the bloodthirsty ferocity of ancient Romans watching the kill.”

Admitted the Post-Dispatch: Brecheen “threw a scare into the faint-hearted and raised high hopes among Dodgers partisans.”

Under pressure

Though he later told The Sporting News he never was worried, Brecheen said to Oscar Fraley of United Press, “It felt like being under a microscope with a million horns blowing in your ears.”

Eddie Stanky, who led the NL in on-base percentage (.436) and walks (137) in 1946, batted next for the Dodgers.

When he swung, Stanky usually made contact. He had struck out 55 times in 482 previous at-bats that season.

Brecheen struck out Stanky looking at a fastball.

Up next, Howie Schultz, a 6-foot-6 slugger who had produced two hits, including a home run, in Game 1 of the playoff series.

Working the count to 3-and-2, the tension increasing with each pitch, Brecheen struck out Schultz swinging at a screwball, ending the game and silencing the throng. Boxscore

Brecheen’s effectiveness carried over into the World Series. Brecheen started and won Games 2 and 6. He held the Red Sox to a run in 18 total innings in those complete-game performances.

Dickson got the start in Game 7 and yielded three runs in seven innings. He was relieved by Brecheen. The Cardinals snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth when Slaughter made his marvelous mad dash from first to home on a hit to center by Harry Walker. Brecheen pitched two shutout innings and got the win in the championship clincher, giving the Cardinals their third World Series title in five years.

Previously: 2014 Giants followed World Series script of 1946 Cards

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