Archive for the ‘Records’ 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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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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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.

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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An effective combination of quality and depth in the starting rotation enabled the 1941 Cardinals to win their first 12 road games. That streak remains the franchise record for most road wins in a row.

howie_kristEight different Cardinals pitchers accounted for those 12 consecutive road wins. Ten of those wins were achieved by starters, including eight complete-game efforts.

Mort Cooper earned three of the dozen road wins. Lon Warneke and Max Lanier had two apiece. Five Cardinals pitchers each got a win during the road streak: Johnny Grodzicki, Sam Nahem, Howie Krist, Hank Gornicki and Ernie White.

The streak was achieved in two parts _ from April 15-17 and from April 26-May 5 _ in five cities. Of the dozen road wins, three were accomplished at Cincinnati against the Reds, two at Chicago against the Cubs, three at New York against the Giants, two at Philadelphia against the Phillies and two at Boston against the Braves.

Sweeping the champs

The 1941 Cardinals opened the season on April 15 at Cincinnati against the defending World Series champion Reds. Ernie Koy, Enos Slaughter and Johnny Mize each hit a home run and the Cardinals won, 7-3. Warneke, who pitched a complete game, yielded 10 hits, but walked none and was helped by a defense that turned three double plays. Boxscore

In the second game of the series on April 16, Cooper pitched a five-hitter and the Cardinals won, 4-2. With the score tied at 2-2 in the ninth, Jimmy Brown hit a two-run, two-out double off Johnny Vander Meer. Boxscore

Another ninth-inning rally enabled the Cardinals to complete the series sweep on April 17. With the Reds ahead 6-5, Slaughter scored from third base with the tying run on a Bob Logan wild pitch. Marty Marion walked and scored the go-ahead run on a triple by Frank “Creepy” Crespi.

In the bottom of the ninth, reliever Hersh Lyons, making his debut in what would be his only big-league appearance, loaded the bases with one out. Lanier replaced him, induced two groundouts without allowing a run to score and was credited with the win in a 7-6 Cardinals triumph. Boxscore

The Sporting News hailed the Cardinals for a “sensational three-in-a-row start in Cincinnati.”

From there, the Cardinals went to St. Louis for a six-game homestand with the Cubs, Pirates and Reds. The Cardinals won three of those games, giving them a 6-3 record as they embarked on a 14-game road trip to six cities.

Rolling along

The journey began on April 26 at Chicago with a 6-2 Cardinals victory over the Cubs. Lanier started and pitched a two-hitter for the win. Mize and Marion each drove in two runs for the Cardinals. Boxscore

The Cardinals completed the two-game series and earned their fifth consecutive road win with an 8-5 victory over the Cubs on April 27. Cooper got the win, even though he yielded four walks and eight hits, including a three-run home run by Bill “Swish” Nicholson. Slaughter had three RBI and the Cardinals compiled 13 hits. Boxscore

After a day off, the Cardinals began a three-game series at the Polo Grounds in New York.

In the opener on April 29, the Giants scored three runs in the first two innings off Bill McGee. Johnny Grodzicki, making his fourth big-league appearance, relieved, pitched six innings and limited the Giants to a run on three hits. He got the win when the Cardinals rallied and prevailed, 5-4. Boxscore

On April 30, Sam Nahem, acquired a year earlier in the trade that sent slugger Joe Medwick to the Dodgers, made his second Cardinals start, pitched eight innings and got the win in a 6-4 Cardinals triumph over the Giants. Slaughter and Mize each hit a home run. Boxscore

The Cardinals extended their road win streak to eight with a 5-0 victory over the Giants on May 1. Warneke pitched the shutout, even though he surrendered nine hits and a walk. The Giants stranded nine. Brown and Marion each hit a two-run home run for the Cardinals. Boxscore

Fine fiber

Warneke’s gem was the start of a dominant stretch for Cardinals pitchers. In the last five road wins of the streak, the Cardinals yielded a total of four runs.

On May 2 at Philadelphia, the Cardinals beat the Phillies, 4-2. Howie Krist, in his first start of the season, pitched a five-hitter for the win. He held the Phillies scoreless for the first eight innings. Boxscore

The Cardinals got their 10th consecutive road win in a most unexpected manner. Hank Gornicki, 30, made his first big-league start and pitched a one-hitter in a 6-0 Cardinals triumph over the Phillies on May 3. Stan Benjamin broke up the no-hit bid with a single in the sixth. Boxscore

Boston was the next stop for the Cardinals.

On May 4,  the Cardinals beat the Braves, 3-1. Cooper got the win, shutting out the Braves over the last six innings. The Cardinals scored all of their runs in the eighth, with Cooper’s brother and batterymate, Walker, contributing one of the RBI. Boxscore

The 12th consecutive road win for the Cardinals was a 5-1 victory over the Braves on May 5. Ernie White, making his first start of the season, pitched a five-hitter. Slaughter hit a two-run home run for St. Louis. Boxscore

In The Sporting News, Dick Farrington wrote, “When a team can win away from the friendly surroundings of its home playgrounds, it is always considered a rather definite sign of class and fiber.”

Second best

On May 6, the road win streak ended at Boston. The Braves scored all of their runs in the fifth off Grodzicki, making his final appearance of the season for St. Louis, and won, 5-4. The Cardinals had 11 hits and received seven walks, but stranded 13. Boxscore

The 1941 Cardinals finished in second place in the National League at 97-56, 2.5 games behind the Dodgers. The Cardinals were 44-32 on the road and 53-24 at home.

Previously: Who is Shelby Miller like? How about Hank Gornicki?

Previously: How Joe Medwick got traded by Cardinals to Dodgers

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One month after being released and having to return to the minor leagues to prove his worth as a pitcher, Ray Burris joined the Cardinals and showed them his bat was as valuable as his arm.

ray_burrisThirty years ago, in May 1986, Burris joined Dizzy Dean of the 1936 Cardinals as the only Redbirds pitchers to produce three RBI or more in consecutive games.

In 2016, Adam Wainwright matched the feats of Dean and Burris. Wainwright had three RBI for the Cardinals in their 11-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on April 27, 2016. Boxscore In the next game in which he batted, May 2, 2016, against the Phillies, Wainwright again had three RBI in a 10-3 Cardinals triumph. Boxscore

Eighty years earlier, Dean drove in three runs for the Cardinals in their 8-5 victory over the Braves on July 26, 1936. Boxscore In the next game in which he batted, July 31, 1936, against the Dodgers, Dean again had three RBI in an 8-6 Cardinals triumph. Boxscore

Like Bob Gibson and Bob Forsch, Dean and Wainwright are considered to be among the best-hitting Cardinals pitchers.

Burris didn’t have that kind of reputation. His performance was most unexpected.

Just hacking

Burris, 35, was released by the Brewers on April 1, 1986. The Cardinals signed him 10 days later and assigned him to Class AAA Louisville. He last had pitched in the minor leagues in 1974.

After producing a 1-1 record and 2.41 ERA in four starts for Louisville, Burris was called up to the Cardinals. “We got him because he can throw strikes,” St. Louis manager Whitey Herzog said to United Press International.

Burris, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-hander, was the starting pitcher in his Cardinals debut against the Giants on May 10, 1986, at St. Louis.

In the second inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Burris came to bat in the big leagues for the first time since 1983 when he was in the National League with the Expos. His career batting average was .152.

Facing Giants starter Roger Mason, Burris swung at the first pitch, a ball down and in, and pulled it along the left-field line for a three-run double.

“Because I was having control troubles, I thought he’d be taking,” Mason said to the Sacramento Bee. “I was wrong.”

Burris: “I swing if the ball is in the vicinity of the plate … I guess it’s just hacking.”

Herzog: “I might bat Burris cleanup. It was nice to see that double.”

Burris pitched seven innings, departing to a standing ovation from the Saturday night crowd of 44,795, and got the win in a 6-3 Cardinals victory. Boxscore

“He’s just a crafty guy,” said Giants catcher Bob Brenly. “He takes off a little on a pitch, then puts it back on.”

Dream performance

The next game in which Burris batted was in a start on May 24, 1986, against the Braves at St. Louis.

Just like in his Cardinals debut, Burris batted in the second inning with the bases loaded. Again, he doubled along the left-field line, sending a shot past third baseman Ken Oberkfell for a three-run double off starter David Palmer.

“What I could have done was gotten ahead of him and made him hit my pitch,” Palmer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Instead, I got behind him and had to come in with one. He hit it where he should have hit it.”

Burris: “It was a flashback. It’s all a dream and I’m glad it’s happening … How can you explain it? I’m no Jack Clark.”

Herzog: “I think my pitchers are leading the team in RBI. Burris is doing the job at the plate.”

In the fifth, Burris produced his fourth RBI of the game, a run-scoring single off Duane Ward.

“The ball just keeps hitting my bat,” Burris said.

Burris pitched six innings and got the win in a 9-5 Cardinals triumph. Boxscore

Fading out

After winning his first two decisions for the Cardinals, Burris lost five of his next seven.

He was 4-5 with a 5.60 ERA in 23 appearances, including 10 starts, when the Cardinals released him on Aug. 27, 1986.

Burris produced a .148 batting mark (4-for-27) for the Cardinals, with three doubles and seven RBI.

Previously: Dizzy Dean’s dazzling RBI season for Cardinals

Previously: How Dizzy Dean did his David Freese impersonation

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Steve Trachsel played a prominent role in two record-setting home run performances by the Cardinals. He was the starter the last time the Cardinals hit seven home runs in a game. Two years later, he yielded the home run to Mark McGwire that broke Roger Maris’ single-season big-league mark.

steve_trachselThe Cardinals’ team record for most home runs in a game is seven. They’ve done that twice.

The first time was May 7, 1940, in the Cardinals’ 18-2 victory over the Dodgers at St. Louis. Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Don Padgett, Eddie Lake and Stu Martin each hit a home run off starter Hugh Casey. Mize and Lake also each hit a home run off Max Macon. Boxscore

Fifty-six years later, the Cardinals did it again. On July 12, 1996, Gary Gaetti and Ron Gant each hit two home runs and John Mabry, Ray Lankford and Brian Jordan had one apiece in the Cardinals’ 13-3 victory over the Cubs at Chicago. Boxscore

On April 15, 2016, the Cardinals came close to matching the feat. They hit six home runs in a 14-3 victory over the Reds at St. Louis. Matt Holliday hit two and Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk, Brandon Moss and Matt Adams each hit one. Also, Matt Carpenter hit a ball that was caught by center fielder Billy Hamilton, who reached over the wall to deprive him of a home run. Boxscore

All-star foe

The 1996 performance at Wrigley Field was surprising.

The Cardinals entered the game with the fewest home runs (71) in the National League, according to the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald.

Trachsel, the Cubs’ starter, was considered an emerging ace.

Three days earlier, Trachsel had pitched a perfect inning for the NL in the All-Star Game, retiring Sandy Alomar, Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez.

Trachsel’s career record against the Cardinals then was 5-1.

“I know how good that young man is,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I wouldn’t have bet a dime we’d hit one (home run), much less seven.”

Redbirds rip

Trachsel yielded four home runs that day. In the third inning, Mabry hit a two-run shot and Gaetti followed with a solo home run. In the fifth, Lankford and Gant hit solo back-to-back shots, knocking Trachsel out of the game.

“They hit high pitches, low pitches, off-speed stuff, fastballs,” Trachsel said to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Said Cubs manager Jim Riggleman: “Even the elite have bad days.”

Rodney Myers relieved Trachsel and gave up the third home run of the fifth inning, a two-run shot by Gaetti, who was playing in his second career game at Wrigley Field.

“We haven’t been hitting like this,” Gaetti said to the Associated Press. “This ballpark is conducive to this, though.”

The sixth and seventh Cardinals home runs were a three-run shot by Jordan off Tanyon Sturtze in the sixth and a solo shot by Gant off Terry Adams in the eighth.

No. 62

Trachsel was the Cubs starter again on Sept. 8, 1998, against the Cardinals at St. Louis. In the fourth inning, McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the season, surpassing Maris’ total of 61 with the 1961 Yankees and linking Trachsel to one of baseball’s treasured records.

Lankford and Gant also hit home runs off Trachsel that day in a 6-3 Cardinals triumph. Boxscore

Trachsel yielded 28 home runs in 28 career starts vs. the Cardinals. Lankford hit four career home runs off Trachsel and McGwire hit three.

Previously: The strange case of Hugh Casey vs. 1940 Cardinals

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