Archive for the ‘Opponents’ Category

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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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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Less than two weeks after they finished the 1936 season tied for second place in the National League, the Cardinals and Cubs determined each had what the other needed in order to win a pennant.

lou_warnekeThe Cardinals, whose team ERA of 4.47 ranked seventh in the eight-team NL in 1936, needed a reliable starting pitcher to pair with their ace, Dizzy Dean.

The Cubs, whose 76 home runs ranked a mundane fifth in the league, wanted a slugger.

Eighty years ago, on Oct. 8, 1936, the Cubs traded a premier pitcher, Lon Warneke, to the Cardinals for power-hitting first baseman Rip Collins and pitcher Roy Parmelee.

The blockbuster deal between the rivals rocked the baseball world.

Cubs clout

The Cardinals and Cubs each had finished the 1936 season at 87-67, five games behind the champion Giants.

Cubs owner Phil Wrigley directed manager Charlie Grimm to make any trade necessary to improve the club’s chances of winning the 1937 pennant.

Grimm wanted more production from his first baseman. Phil Cavarretta hit nine home runs as the everyday first baseman for the 1936 Cubs. Grimm wanted to move Cavarretta to center field in 1937.

Collins, who had been the Cardinals’ everyday first baseman from 1932-35, had hit 35 home runs _ a franchise record for a switch hitter _ in 1934. He became expendable when Johnny Mize took over the position for St. Louis in 1936.

Collins, 32, batted .307 with 852 hits in 777 games for the Cardinals from 1931-36. His best season was 1934 when he led the NL in slugging percentage (.615), extra-base hits (87) and total bases (369). He batted .333 with 200 hits for the NL champions that season. In the 1934 World Series versus the Tigers, Collins batted .367 (11-for-30) with four runs scored.

According to the Associated Press, Grimm told Wrigley “he offered the Cardinals … every other hurler on the staff. The Cardinals, however, insisted on Warneke. Grimm, determined to get Collins, yielded.”

Said Collins to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “It’s a great break for me … The front office at St. Louis might have traded me to a second-division club, but they didn’t.”

Great addition

Warneke, 27, a right-hander, earned 100 wins for the Cubs from 1931-36. At the time of the trade, The Sporting News described him as “one of the few great pitchers in the league.”

Warneke compiled 20 wins or more for the Cubs three times between 1932-35. He was 16-13 with a 3.45 ERA in 1936.

“With Dizzy Dean and Warneke, the Cardinals assured themselves of a nucleus for what may be the best pitching staff in the major leagues,” the Associated Press wrote.

Said Dean to United Press: “Warneke is a good pitcher, a great player.”

Grimm said he “hated like hell to part with Warneke” and praised him as a “great pitcher and a loyal, faithful player.”

The Sporting News said the Cubs had “given up a lot in Warneke,” adding that “with the Cardinals, he should be even better. He’ll be pitching for a team able to give him some runs, a pleasure he seldom experienced as a Cub.”

The third player in the deal, Parmelee, 29, had posted an 11-11 record and 4.56 ERA in his lone season with the Cardinals after being acquired the year before from the Giants.

Coming up short

Even though Warneke and Collins delivered, the trade didn’t bring the results in the standings either team wanted.

The 1937 Giants repeated as NL champions at 95-57. The Cubs placed second at 93-61 and the Cardinals were fourth at 81-73.

Warneke had a stellar season, leading the 1937 Cardinals in wins with an 18-11 record. He would play six seasons (1937-42) with the Cardinals, posting an 83-49 record (a .629 winning percentage).

Collins batted .274 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI for the 1937 Cubs. In two seasons with Chicago, Collins totaled 29 home runs and 132 RBI.

Parmelee was 7-8 with a 5.13 ERA in 1937, his lone season with the Cubs.

Previously: Rip Collins was one-of-a-kind hitter for Cardinals

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Relying primarily on high fastballs, Larry Jaster got inside the heads of Dodgers batters and kept them from scoring a run against him.

larry_jaster3In a remarkable and underrated pitching feat, Jaster, 22, a Cardinals left-hander, made five starts against the 1966 Dodgers and tossed complete-game shutouts against them each time.

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 28, 1966, Jaster pitched the last of those five shutouts _ a 2-0 Cardinals victory at St. Louis _ and tied a major-league record.

Jaster became the third and last pitcher to shut out the same club five times in a season. He joined Senators pitcher Tom Hughes, who shut out the Indians five times in 1905, and Phillies pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, who shut out the Reds five times in 1916. Alexander was 8-0 with an 0.50 ERA in eight starts against the 1916 Reds.

However, Jaster is the only pitcher to achieve five consecutive shutouts against the same club in a season. Before Jaster, the record was held by Giants pitcher Fred Fitzsimmons, who had four shutouts in a row versus the Reds in 1929.

In his five starts against the 1966 Dodgers, Jaster, in his first full Cardinals season, pitched 45 shutout innings and limited them to 24 hits, all singles. He struck out 31, walked eight and hit a batter.

Stan Musial, a Cardinals vice president in 1966, had perhaps the best explanation.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times after Jaster shut out the Dodgers for the fifth time, Musial, the Cardinals’ all-time best hitter, said, “It gets to be a psychological thing with the hitters when a guy beats them one time after another.”

Beating the best

Jaster held the Dodgers to five hits or less in four of his five shutouts. He beat Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen twice each and Don Sutton once. Drysdale and Sutton would be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The 1966 Dodgers were an elite opponent. They were the defending World Series champions and they would repeat as National League pennant winners in 1966.

The first four shutouts by Jaster versus the 1966 Dodgers were:

_ April 25 at Los Angeles. Jaster pitched a seven-hitter and the Cardinals won, 2-0, versus Osteen. Boxscore

_ July 3 at Los Angeles. Jaster pitched a three-hitter and the Cardinals won, 2-0, versus Drysdale. Boxscore

_ July 29 at St. Louis. Jaster pitched a five-hitter and the Cardinals won, 4-0, versus Drysdale. Boxscore

_ Aug. 19 at Los Angeles. Jaster pitched a five-hitter and the Cardinals won, 4-0, versus Osteen. Boxscore

Baseball mystery

The Sept. 28 start for Jaster against the Dodgers at St. Louis would be his last of the season. He was matched against Sutton.

The Cardinals were looking to end an eight-game losing streak. The Dodgers, who had a three-game lead over the second-place Pirates with five remaining, were looking to secure the pennant.

In the fourth inning, with two outs and the bases empty, Jaster yielded singles to Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis. Dick Stuart walked, loading the bases. The next batter, Jim Lefebvre, flied out to right fielder Mike Shannon, ending the threat.

“This is a mystery,” Lefebvre said. “That ball Jaster throws looks good (to hit). It rises a little and it has a spin on it, but it still looks good. I could see the ball very well every time. I just can’t believe what happened. It’s beyond me.”

In the bottom half of the inning, Ed Spiezio hit a two-out, two-run double into the left-field corner off Sutton, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers threatened once more in the seventh. Tommy Davis singled and so did Dick Schofield. With two outs, Al Ferrara hit for catcher Jeff Torborg. Jaster struck him out.

The Dodgers were hitless in the eighth and ninth. Jaster finished with a four-hit shutout.

“You’ve got to be kind of lucky to do this,” Jaster told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I don’t feel I throw any differently against the Dodgers _ just up and down, in and out, 90 percent fastballs. I just try not to walk anybody and keep the leadoff man off base.”

Said Cardinals pitching coach Joe Becker: “Jaster just goes around the clock _ high inside, high outside, low inside, low outside. The same thing as (Sandy) Koufax, but, of course, he doesn’t have Sandy’s velocity.”

Said Koufax, the Dodgers’ ace: “Jaster makes it look easy.” Boxscore

Simply incredible

Jaster finished the 1966 season with an 11-5 record and 3.26 ERA. He was 5-0 with an 0.00 ERA versus the Dodgers; 6-5 with a 4.63 ERA against the rest of the National League.

“The kid has the same kind of motion and delivery that (Cardinals left-hander) Howie Pollet used to have,” Musial said to the Post-Dispatch. “The ball used to jump out of Pollet’s hand. Jaster throws a lot of balls high, but he keeps them outside.”

Said Dodgers outfielder Willie Davis: “He’s been throwing just one pitch, a fastball, but most guys try to keep the ball low and he’s keeping the ball up. I just don’t know.”

Jaster was a .500 pitcher against the Dodgers the rest of his career. He has a 9-5 career record and 2.81 ERA in 25 career appearances versus the Dodgers.

In 1991, on the 25th anniversary of his five-shutout performance, Jaster told John Sonderegger of the Post-Dispatch: “As time goes on, you think about it and you realize it was kind of an incredible thing.”

In 2011, 45 years after Jaster’s feat, Tim McCarver, the Cardinals’ catcher in each of the five shutouts against the 1966 Dodgers, told Dan O’Neill of the Post-Dispatch: “It was just one of those wonderful things to be a part of that you really can’t explain.”

Previously: Larry Jaster and his sparkling September with Cards

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