Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 1974: Simba and Torre Provide a Late Punch

     On August 5, 1974, a ninth inning two run shot by Ted Simmons tied it, and a bases loaded single by Joe Torre in the 13th led the Redbirds to a 3-2 victory over the Phillies at Busch.

     The game was a duel, as Bob Gibson went head-to-head with Wayne Twitchell. Gibson allowed a run in the first, was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth, then watched another Philadelphia score with Al Hrabosky on the bump. Meanwhile, Twitchell was carving up batters until he allowed a single to Bake McBride in the ninth, then served up a big fly to Ted Simmons. It was a new ballgame, and even though the Philadelphia starter had let the lead slip away he pitched through the eleventh, piling up 11 strikeouts.

      Pete Richert took over in the twelfth, worked through the frame unscathed, then ran into trouble in the thirteenth when he began the frame by allowing a double to Ted Sizemore. He then put Bake McBride on with an intentional walk, which was followed by a pickoff attempt by the Philadlphia backstop Bob Boone who threw the ball into center, which put Sizemore and McBride on second and third. It was the end of the day for Richert, as he handed the ball off to Mike Garman, who wanted none of Ted Simmons, so he walked him intentionally to get to Torre, who ripped the ball into left to push in the game winner. It was a pick your poison kind of deal with that one-two punch and either way it went, Garman was going to get poisoned.

Check out the box score here:

     The victory put the Cardinals two games ahead in the N.L. East. They would contend into the final week of the season, but fell just short. While that may have been the case, that club played their hearts out and sent the fans home happy many times throughout that season. That season may have had a much different ending if not for a lunatic that threatened the lives of Lou Brock and Bake McBride. It seems that it took a toll late, and they stumbled across the line. We'll never know of that happening is the reason why they did not make it to the postseason, but I do know that it had to have a pretty harsh psychological effect on the men in that clubhouse. Especially those who were threatened. You can read about it here:

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