Monday, October 27, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

Jeremy Guthrie is the only pitcher to start a Fall Classic game, win it, and fail to get a K or issue a walk.

Taking the hill in San Francisco for the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, someone had to win this game and take the Series lead. The two teams had split the first two in Kansas.

Guthrie, only 13-11 on the season for Kansas, need to win this one, however. The underdog Royals were already short a man with this game in San Fran. No DH. And Guthrie had to bat.

But Jeremy, who has twice led the league in losses (17 in 2009 and 2011) had no intention of letting his team down in this crucial affair. Having won game three of the ALCS against Baltimore with a three-hitter, two K's and one walk, he was pitching better than his regular season record showed.

Kansas scored a run for him in the top of the first, and Guthrie got 'em 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame. Better still, he got 'em on just nine pitches. But no strikeouts, of course!

In the bottom of the second inning, with the Royals still up 1-0, Pablo Sandoval stepped up to the dish for San Francisco. The count did go to three and two, but Sandoval then flied out. The next batter, Hunter Pence, also went 3-2, but the stroked a single. Pence, though, was caught stealing. Guthrie did permit another single, but issued no more than two balls to the next three batters. And Jeremy got out of there with the lead intact!

The first two batters in the bottom of the third were no sweat. Then things got tough. Gregor Blanco, the leadoff hitter, came to the plate. This is someone you don't want to put on base, even with two outs. Three straight balls seemed to indicate that was going to happen. But Jeremy got a called strike, then got Gregor to fly out to centre and end a 1-2-3 inning.

Tim Hudson, the Giants' starter, was starting to settle down. He had a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the top of the frame. Then, he added another in the top of the fourth. Things just don't come easy in October, eh?

But in the bottom of the fourth, Jeremy did make things look easy. He got ahead of all three batters he faced 1-2, then retired them on the very next pitch. Twelve pitches, and a nice 1-2-3 inning!

Hudson, though, trumpet that. He retired all the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth on just six pitches. He threw one pitch, total, that missed the strike zone.

Guthrie was equal to the task in the bottom of the frame. First, he got Hunter Pence out on a liner to second, despite falling behind two balls and one strike. Then, he got Brandon Belt out on another liner. When Travis Ishikawa was retired on a grounder to first, that Guthrie himself made the putout on, the inning was over, 1-2-3. And it was over on eight pitches.

The Royals scored two more runs in the top of the sixth. But in the bottom of the frame, things finally fell apart for Guthrie. First, Brandon Crawford singled on an 0-1 pitch. Mike Morse pinch hit for Hudson. Guthrie got ahead 0-2, and then Morse fouled off two pitches. Then, disaster. Three straight balls. Oh, no!

Guthrie might have been better off walking Mike, but what happened was worse. On the next pitch, Morse hit a double to left to score a run and send Jeremy to the showers. Eventually, Morse scored himself that inning.

The Royals, though, hung on to win. And Jeremy Guthrie got his first World Series win. One for the record books. 5 IP, 2 (E)R, 4 H, 0 K, 0 BB!

World Series: Did You Know?

Ned Yost, prior to managing the 2014 Kansas City Royals, faced the other Missouri baseball team in the Fall Classic.

Ned was not much of a player. In fact, the most games he ever played in a season was 80, less than half the season. In 1982, he was a catcher for 39 games and a DH for one game. His team, the Milwaukee Brewers, made it all the way to the World Series that year. Ned even made the postseason roster.

And he sat on the bench and waited. Even in the ALCS against California, he watched. Watched as the Brewers fell behind two games to zero. It looked like Ned and his mates were not going to make it to October's Classic!

But they rallied to win the next three games. Then, in game one of the World Series against St. Louis, it was all Milwaukee. They crushed 'em, 11-0.

But the Series went back and fourth, which each team alternating wins through five games. But after those five games, all Yost had done was ride the pine. The Brewers, though, could not have cared less. They were one win away from their first World Series championship. And the city's first since 1957. They never got that one more win, however.

Game six was all St. Louis. The Cardinals were not going to lose it at home. It was like game one again, but in reverse. After five, it was 7-0 for the Cardinals. Then six more runs in the bottom of the sixth made it 13-0, St. Louis.

Ted Simmons, the regular catcher on Milwaukee, made the last out of a 1-2-3 top of the seventh for The Brew Crew. Ned Yost was inserted for him in the bottom of the frame. It seemed unlikely that Yost would make it to the dish. All three St. Louis batters flied out to left. There were only nine pitches thrown in that inning. Yost caught only five of them!

A runner reached in the top of the eighth for the Brewers, as they tried to at least break the shutout. But the other three batters were retired without any advancement. The Brewers also committed an error in a thirteen-pitch, bottom of the frame. But again, no advancement.

So the stubborn and defiant Brewers came up for their last hurrah in the top of the ninth. They made it an interesting final frame, to say the least.

Jim Gantner got things going with a double. Paul Molitor singled him to third. A wild pitch to Robin Yount and it was 13-1. But Yount grounded out to third. However with Molitor at second, Yost was now in the on-deck circle. And there was only one out. Cecil Cooper grounded out to centre and Molly did not try for third. Ned Yost came to the dish. Paul better not try for third here, right?

He got ahead in the count, 2-1, then fouled off a pitch. When the next pitch missed, it was full. Another foul ball prolonged the plate appearance. But Yost was one pitch away from being retired. The Brewers, as a team, were on strike away from losing the game. The next pitch, from Cardinal starter John Stuper (on his way to a fine four-hitter) missed. Ball four!

But Ben Ogilvie flied to the centre to end that. When St. Louis took game seven, 6-3, The Milwaukee Brewers had lost. Ned Yost never made it back to the World Series as a player.

But this year, as a manager, many of his players are in the same situation that he was in as a player. Yost himself obviously knows that you can never be sure if it's going to happen to you again, so make the most of it. While his only World Series appearance may have been brief, what he took from that is undoubtedly rubbing off on his team. Down 3-2, Kansas is coming back home for games six and (if necessary) game seven of the 2014 Fall Classic. Ned, I'm sure, wants to win just as much as his players do. Nothing like winning for the first time ever, eh?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

The 1964 World Series had two National Basketball Association players in it. Dick Groat of the Cardinals and Steve Hamilton of the Yankees, both played in the NBA.

Steve Hamilton was a pitcher for New York. Yet he played on the Minneapolis Lakers (They moved to Los Angels in 1960/61) for two seasons, 1958/59 and 1959/60. Jerry West did not arrive until 1960/61, so Hamilton did not get to play with the man who eventually became the NBA Logo. But Elgin Baylor was there. They got to the finals in 1959, despite having a sub .500 team. Hamilton was also in a "finals" in baseball, 1963. And then, for good measure, the next year. But he was not the only former NBA player in that Fall Classic.

Dick Groat played one season in the NBA, 1952/53. But it was for just 26 games. Baseball was more to his liking. And in 1960, he won a World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Four years later, he was back in the Fall Classic.

After five games, it was Groat's St. Louis Cardinals with a three to two edge over Hamilton's New York Yankees. Steve was up and ready in the 'pen in game five as Tim McCarver won the game with a three-run home run in the top of the tenth. Not only were the Yankees down, but Hamilton had not pitched yet!

So in game six in St. Louis, New York broke a 1-1 deadlock on home runs by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, who went back-to-back. When Elston Howard singled home a run in the top of the eighth, it was 4-1. A grand slam by Joe Pepitone then put this one out of reach.

St. Louis clawed back with a run against Jim Bouton in the bottom of the frame. When Bouton could get only one out in the top of the ninth, out came Steve Hamilton to nail this one down. But Bob Skinner greeted him with a single to score a run. 8-3. Hamilton induced Curt Flood to ground into a game-ending double play. The Yankees had forced a game seven. Would the two former NBA stars finally face each other in this World Series?

The Cardinals seemed to have this one in the bag. They raced in front 6-0 after five. But Mickey Mantle's three-run home run in the top of the sixth off a tired Bob Gibson cut the lead in half. Hamilton was on the hill to start the seventh.

He fanned both Curt Flood and Bill White, making it look easy. Ken Boyer, though, put a damper on any comeback thoughts by the Yankees by going over the fence in left. It was 7-3, St. Louis. Dick Groat was the next batter. Hamilton got him to ground out to Kenny's younger brother Clete at third.

New York seemed to fade against Gibson in the top of the eighth, as they went 1-2-3. Mantle hit the ball hard, but right to Flood in centerfield. And St. Louis came at Hamilton hard in the bottom of the frame.

Tim McCarver singled. Mike Shannon reached on an error by Boyer at third. A bunt moved both runners up. Hamilton's day was over. Pete Mikkelsen somehow got New York out of the inning without any runner getting home.

New York them scored twice in the top of the ninth on home runs by Boyer and Phil Linz before Bob Gibson finally got 'em out of there.

Neither Groat or Hamilton ever made it back to the World Series. But baseball players, no matter what team you are on, always seem to share a common dinominator with each other in some ways. Both Hamilton and Groat were obviously gifted athletes, and in 1964, they took to the field as two-sports stars in the World Series.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

Darrell Porter twice faced his ex-mates in the World Series. And this covers three different teams.

Porter, the catcher, started his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. But in 1980, he was on the Kansas City Royals. The Royals made it to the Fall Classic for the first time ever that year.

Darrell, who had his first taste of postseason in '77 with George Brett and some others, struggled in 1980. He managed just one hit in the ALCS, but Kansas finally found a way to beat New York, having twice lost to them in the late 70s. In the World Series against Philadelpha, he was hitless until collecting a pair of singles in game six. The Phillies won it, right then and there.

So it was on to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 for Porter, and this time, he delivered. He collected two hits in game one, and another pair in game two. The Milwaukee Brewers, his old team, won game one without a sweat, 10-0.

In game two, Porter collected his first World Series RBI and the Cards squared things.

Porter did not collect more than one hit in the remaining five games, but he picked the right spots to deliver.

In game three, Darrell failed to get a hit, but the Cardinals had an easy time of their own, 6-2. His teammates only collected six hits total, however. The next game saw Milwaukee square this thing at two games with a 7-5 win. The Brew Crew erupted for six runs in the bottom of the seventh. Porter got a walk in addition to his hit.

Milwaukee took game five as well, 6-4. The Cardinals scored twice in the top of the ninth to try and come back. Porter, 0-4 at this point, singled. That put runners on first and second. Darrell was removed for a pinch runner. But neither of the baserunners would score.

But in the next game, St. Louis stayed alive and Darrell had a huge hit. In the bottom of the fourth, it was his two-run home run that put the Cardinals up 4-0. They added nine more runs, while the Brewers managed a meaningless run in the top of the ninth. The 13-1 win sent this thing to a seventh and decisive game.

St. Louis came back in game seven from 3-1 down to take a 4-3 lead. Then, batting for what turned out to be the last time in 1982, the Cards got the insurance they were looking for. Last of the eighth. And it was our boy that delivered it.

Porter's single scored a fifth run, and when Steve Braun followed with one of his own, the Cardinals had the breathing room they needed. Porter, who finished with a .351 average in the Fall Classic that year, took home MVP honours.

In 1985, Porter faced another former team, the Royals. And after four games, it looked like he'd have another World Series ring.

In game one in Kansas, Porter got only one hit. He did not knock in a run or score one. But the Cardinals won it, 3-1. And despite being held hitless in game two, St. Louis staged a dramatic ninth inning rally and won 4-2.

It was on to St. Louis for Porter and his mates. But home cooking did not change Porter's slump as he was again held hitless. Worse still, St. Louis lost, 6-1. Porter would be a spectator for the next two games.

St. Louis, stuck Tom Nieto in behind the plate. He, too, was held hitless. But he walked, had a sac bunt, and drove in a run as St. Louis won 3-0. One more win by the Cardinals and this thing was over!

But St. Louis never got that win.

Nieto was back behind the plate in game five, but Kansas won by the same score they had won game three here, 6-1. The Cardinals were not hitting. Nieto went 0-4.

In game six in Kansas, Porter was back behind the dish. In the top of the sixth, he hit a single to send a runner to second with no outs. The Cardinals stranded both runners. But in the top of the eighth, they broke the scoreless deadlock with a much-needed run.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Royals got the leadoff man to first as Jorge Orta beat out a ball where pitcher Todd Worrell was a little slow getting to first. Replays showed that Orta was out. Steve Balboni popped to first, but Jack Clark, could not get to it in foul territory. A bunt attempt resulted in an out at third. But then Porter allowed a passed ball. After Hal McRae was walked to load the bases, Dane Iorg won the game with a single to right. Balboni scored as the throw from right was just a split second too late. Balboni was just ahead as Porter got the ball.

Darrell was back behind the dish in game seven, but St. Louis imploded. John Tudor, looking for his third win for St. Louis, got roughed up and was gone after 2 1/3 innings. Kansas City led 3-0. Two more runs scored before the inning was over and this thing was a laugher. Well, except for St. Louis.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, things got worse. Porter caught one of Joaquin Andujar's pitches that Joaquin, Porter and manager Whitey Herzog thought was a strike. However, that's not what home plate umpire Don Denkinger thought. Joaquin, quite the character, wasn't about to forget that Denkinger made the call at first in game six where Orta was clearly safe. Andujar let Don know that game seven would not be happening if not for his bad call. So Andujar did a little showmanship to go along with that and got ejected. So did an irate Herzog. The whole Cardinal team was mad. Joaquin and Whitey did not go into the night quietly. But Kansas tacked on six more runs. This thing was really over.

The Cardinals got a hit in the top of the sixth by Ozzie Smith but he was stranded. Porter then came up in the top of the seventh with two on and two out and was retired on a fly. The Cardinals and Royals went down 1-2-3 in the next two innings. Kansas had won this one in a laugher, 11-0.

Darrell Porter never made it back to the World Series. He played a bit with Texas in the next two seasons, but did not do much. His much publicized drug problems caught up to him in his later years, and he died far too young.

But Porter, who "got around" the big leagues, was also a player who could come up big when it mattered the most in baseball. When I think of Darrell Porter, I'll think back to some memorable moments in three World Series in the 1980s. And hey, don't we always love facing our old team on the big stage in sports? Always seems to add some inventive to win!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

The Kansas City Royals have NEVER won the first game of a Fall Classic!

Last night I was kind of rooting for them, but San Francisco proved to be too strong. Madison Bumgarner proved to be too strong.

In their first ever World Series appearance in 1980, Kansas took on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Series was a marque matchup between two of the greatest third basemen of that, or any era: George Brett and Mike Schmidt!

A pair of two-run home runs by Willie Aitkens and Amos Ortis put the Royals up 4-0 early. But the Phillies, who also had Pete Rose, weren't about to let Kansas come to their neck of the woods and steal one.

The Phillies, at home, erased the four-run deficit in the bottom of the third to take the lead. The Phillies got two runs in as Bob Boone hit a double to put Philadelphia on the board. When Lonnie Smith hit a double to cash in Boone, the lead had been sliced in half. Pete Rose was hit by a pitch and Schmidt drew a walk. When Bake McBride went yard, Philadelphia suddenly had a 5-4 lead!

The Phillies did not stop their and scored twice more in the game, with their great third basemen scoring on a sac fly in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 7-4 lead. That was all for Philadelpha, but as it turns out, they needed both those runs! The Royals came back in the top of the eighth.

George Brett got 'er going for Kansas City with a double off Bob Walk. After one out, Aitkens cleared the fence again to cut the lead to just a single tally, 7-6. But Tug McGraw came in and got Darrel Porter out on a fly to left. A single by Ortis put the tying run on first. But John Wathan hit into an inning-ending double play. Tuggy got 'em 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth for the save.

Five year later, it was the Royals at home, facing the St. Louis Cardinals in the I-70 Series. Game one was at home, but there was no designated hitter. In any event, a single by Steve Balboni in the bottom of the second put Kansas City up 1-0. But Cardinal pitched John Tudor settled down after that. Although he gave up seven hits and two walks in only 6 2/3 innings, he allowed not another run. Todd Worrell came on to pitch the last 2 1/3 inning and shut out Kansas.

Willie McGee's groundout in the top of the third scored the tying run. A pair of doubles put St. Louis up for good in the top of the fourth. Another double, this one by Jack Clark, scored the third and final run for the Cardinals in the top of the ninth. Kansas City had played well but come up empty, 3-1.

Kansas had a 29-year wait to play again in the World Series after 1985, but last night they charged on the field looking to end the jinx. But the San Francisco Giants had other ideas. The Royals were at home and with the DH, but it did't seem to matter.

Pablo Sandoval got the Giants going with a double to knock home the game's first run in the top of the first. When Hunter Pence followed with a two-run home run, it was 3-0, San Fran, right off the bat!

In the top of the fourth, Michael Morse hit a single to score another run for the Giants. It was 4-0, no outs and two runners on. James Shields, the Royals starter, was done for the night. San Francisco didn't stop there. Two more walks and it was 5-0, Giants.

Joe Panik's triple scored another run for San Francisco in the top of the seventh. Sandoval's single scored Panik, making it a 7-0 game. Mercifully speaking, that was all for the Giants' scoring on the night. What about Kansas.

They seemed handcuffed by Madison Bumgarner, who was sailing right along. In the bottom of the seventh, Kansas City finally pried lose a run of him when Salvador Perez took him over the fence. But it was a solo job, so it didn't seem to do much.

Winning a World Series is never easy. You have to overcome obstacles. Winning four out of seven isn't easy. Winning four out of six is even harder. The Royals came up empty in 1980 when they lost the opening act. They came through in 1985 despite repeating the same mistake. What will 2014 bring us? We'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

Johnny Rutherford was the first Canadian to take the hill in the Fall Classic. It was also during his sole major league season.

The 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers looked poised to win it all. Not only did they have the team, they also had the home-field advantage! And after five games, it looked like more than enough! But in order to get to game five, the Dodgers played game four. The New York Yankees were there again, making a win in this Fall Classic, all the more sweeter!

Joe Black, who won the opener, took the hill. This game was in Yankee Stadium with Brooklyn ahead two games to one. A win in this or the next game would help the cause.

And Black helped the cause! He motored through the Yankees at the cost of only one run. The Big Cat, Johnny Mize, took him out of the park in the bottom of the fourth, but that's the Yankees got off him in seven strong innings. But his mound opponent, Allie Reynolds, held Brookly scoreless through that same stretch.

So in the top of the eighth inning, Brooklyn, down a run, needed some offence. Carl Furillo led off with a single and Black was the next scheduled hitter. George Shuba went sent to the dish to hit for him. But all George could do was fly out to Mickey Mantle in centre. The Yankees then sent up another pinch hitter, Rocky Nelson, but Reynolds got him on a K. When Pee Wee Reese was retired, the promising inning was over as easy as 1-2-3!

So in to the game hopped our boy, Johnny Rutherford. The native of Belleville, Ontario (where I camped in 1986) had to stop the Yankees to give the Dodgers a chance in the top of the ninth. But the first batter he had to face was Mantle.

The Mick was not about to take anyone lightly at this point. New York needed a win here or they'd be behind three games to one.

Rutherford had gone 7-7 in 22 games. Eleven of them had been starts. He had also finished eight games, picking up a pair of saves. His ERA was high, though, 4.25.

The Mick greeted him with a long triple to left, batting from the left side of the dish against Rutherford. When the relay came back into the infield to Reese at short, he tried to nail Mantle at third. In his haste to get him, Reese made a throwing error and Mantle wound up scoring. Even when he didn't go yard, The Mick could put a run on the board with one swing of the bat. Johnny Mize, The Big Cat, walked.

Rutherford got Yogi Berra to line out. Gene Woodling grounded out, with Mize taking second. But Rutherford fanned Hank Bauer and the inning was over. One run, one hit, one error, and one runner left on base. One walk, as well. New York, 2, Brooklyn 0 after eight.

Reynolds got Duke Snider out on a fly to Mickey in centre. Jackie Robinson looked at strike three. When Roy Campanella grounded out to Gil McDougald at third, the Yankees had squared this World Series at two games. And although Brooklyn won game five, New York went to Ebbet's Field and captured games six and seven.

Johnny Rutherford did not get into any of the remaining three games. The next season, he went an impressive 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA for the Newport News of the Piedmont League. Class B Level baseball. Then, Johnny went 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA for Fort Worth of the Texas League. AA Level.
He then spent the 1954 season with St. Paul and Montreal at AAA, Rutherford called it a career following the 1955 season with St. Paul. The Dodgers now had Roger Craig, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in their organization. It was extremely unlikely that Rutherford could have made a better impression then those guys!

The World Series is full of individuals who have long careers and many appearances. And there are those who play for many years and only get that one appearance. Some never make it at all. For many major leaguers, you are lucky if you make it your first (and only) season. Rutherford did that. And while he only lasted one season and only one World Series appearance, he has a unique niche in Canadian sports history. Johnny Rutherford did a lot more than pitch in the Fall Classic, he made a pitch for more Canadian hurlers in October!

Monday, October 13, 2014

World Series: Did You Know?

Elroy Face was the first pitcher to record more than two saves in the Fall Classic.

The stat, which was introduced by writers and historians in the 1950s, took on a meaning in as writer Jerome Holtzman put together a more meaningful way of assessing it. Previously, a save was given by some in baseball to pitchers who did little more than finish the game for the winning team but not pick up the win.

So Larry Sherry had pickup up two in 1959, looking great to go along with two wins. That regular season it was Elroy with an 18-1 record in relief. He added 10 saves, going along with the creteria for them at the time. But four of the wins were from blown saves, as was his lone loss. Also, Face blew four additional saves where he failed to pick up a decision.

So in some ways, Elroy was better in 1960. He won 10 games, still a pretty good total. But none of them were the result of blown saves. He also saved 24 games. He blew three saves in his losses, which totalled eight, but only two additional lost saves were in no decisions. Face ended 1960 with more games pitched (68) and innings pitched (114 2/3) then in 1959 (57 and 93 1/3). His ERA rose from 2.70 to 2.90, and the Pirates went 33-23 (one tie) in games Elroy pitched in 1959. In '60 it was actually a little worse. Pittsburgh went 39-28 (again, one tie) in his appearances.

But that should not detract that Elroy Face was clearly the man out of the 'pen in Pittsburgh. Years before Kenny Tekulve (who record three saves of his own in the 1979 Fall Classic) it was Elroy nailing down the last outs when the Pirates needed it the most.

Face had something huge going for him, though, that Tekulve did not. It was still the old system of saves being used. I'm not quite sure when the "new" criteria came into play. I suspect 1969, as that's when saves became an official stat.

Elroy hopped into the first game of the 1960 World Series, in which Pittsburgh was facing the New York Yankees. It was 6-2, Pirates at home. The first two batters had reached base in the top of the eighth. There were no outs. This actually is a save situation by today's standards as the Yankees had the tying run on-deck. But it was Mickey Mantle at the dish and Yogi Berra next. Mantle was not the type of guy to hit into a double-play.

But Face got The Mick to look at strike three. Then it was Berra's turn, as Moose Skowron looked on as the tying run. But Berra could only fly out. Neither Hector Lopez, at second, or Roger Maris at first, advanced. Skowron then became Face's second K.

In the top of the ninth, after Ryne Duren (who posed a 1.88 ERA himself in 1959 and 32 consecutive shutout innings that year from the pen) held Pittsburgh at bay, the Yankees got to Face.

Elston Howard went yard with a man on, and it was now 6-4 Pirates with only one out. Next, Tony Kubek hit a single. The tying run was at the dish!

It was Hector Lopez. He had two weaknesses. 1) He was poor defensively (which didn't matter here) and 2) He was slow (which did matter here).

Face got him to ground into an inning ending double play. So it went into any and all record books, then and now, as a save. But for a while, it didn't look like Elroy would get another in this World Series. The Yankees had too much firepower, you see.

They showed in game two, as New York won 16-3. Then Whitey Ford started his legendary shutout streak with an all-too-easy 10-0 shutout. Mantle, who Face fanned in game one, hit three home runs in those two games. Games four and five would be at Yankees Stadium, where Ford and his mates seemed unstoppable.

But Pittsburgh won game four, 3-2. Face came into pitch in the last of the seventh with Pittsburgh clinging to that 3-2 lead. Then, the Pirates looked done like dinner.

Johnny Blanchard batted for Bobby Shantz and singled. Then, Bob Cerv, crushed one of Face's offerings to deep right centre. It was up to Bill Virdon to make the catch. Joe DeMaestri, who was running for Blanchard, tagged and made it to third. It were two outs, but the tying run was ninety feet away. Kubek grounded back to Face. The inning was over. As was the Yankees offence.

Face got 'em 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth as Roger Maris went down on a fly, Mantle fanned and Berra grounded out. When Elroy had another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the ninth, the 1960 World Series was square at two, and Elroy Face's name was alongside Larry Sherry's with most saves in a single World Series. After game five, he had that record, all to himself.

Harvey Haddix, went out and held New York to just two runs. Pittsburgh had only four themselves as New York batted in the bottom of the seventh. But they had two more runners on as Lopez moved Kubek (who had singled) to second with a single. Richardson had been retired by Haddix to start the inning, but it was the last out he recorded. The Pirates needed Face to save face and the game.

A grounder by Gil McDougald forced Kubek. And then Face fanned Maris to get out of there. From there on in, all New York got was a walk to Mantle (The Mick's third of the game.). The Pirates scored on Duren in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch.

With a 5-2 win, Pittsburgh was back ahead in the 1960 Fall Classic for the first time since game one. And although the dropped game six back at home, the Pirates ultimately won game seven.

Elroy Face may have not pitched that well in the 1960 World Series, as New York scored four earned runs off him in game seven for good measure. Bill Virdon's catch in game four was also needed. But regardless, when Pittsburgh needed Face, he came in and did the job more often than not in 1960, from April to October!