Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 1948: Brecheen's Near Perfecto

     On May 8, 1948, a weak seventh inning single deprived Harry "The Cat" Brecheen of a perfect game during a 5-0 win over the Phillies at Sportsman's Park. The Cardinals lefty had retired 20 men before Philadelphia's leftfielder Johnny Blatnik hit a hopper down the third base line that Whitey Kurowski fielded perfectly and fired the ball to Nippy Jones at first, before Blatnik beat it out by a half a step. Brecheen moved right past the misfortune and retired the next seven men without allowing another baserunner. Jones provided the majority of the Cardinals offense that day with 4 RBIs in a 2 for 3 performance that included a home run.

     The 1948 season was one to remember for Brecheen. He posted a career high 20 wins, and led the league in several categories which included E.R.A. (2.24), shutouts (7), and strikeouts (149). Brecheen started 30 games for the Birds that season and completed 21 of them. Had the Cy Young award existed, it would be safe to say that the name of Harry Brecheen would have been in the mix. Brecheen spent 11 of his 12 years in the big leagues with the Cardinals. During that time he posted a 128-79 record along with a 2.91 E.R.A., and 857 strikeouts.

Check out the box score here:

The Cat's career numbers:

The 857 K's rank eleventh on the all time Cardinals list. That list can be viewed here:'R'&elem=%5Bobject+Object%5D&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+pitching&league_code='MLB'&page=1&ts=1399508376085

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