Friday, October 12, 2018

10/12 Postseason: Two WS Wins; Reds Oust Bucs in '90; Last Polo Grounds Game

  • 1909 - The Tigers, behind George Mullin’s five-hit whitewash, evened up the World Series at two games with a 5-0 win at Bennett Park. Deacon Phillippe tossed four shutout innings for Pittsburgh after relieving starter Lefty Leifield, who gave up three runs in the fourth with the bases empty and two outs, to give the Pirates a chance, but the bats never warmed up. Pittsburgh fielders didn’t help out as they committed six errors during the contest although none led to a score. 
Vic Aldridge 1925 (photo Conlon Collection)
  • 1925 - Five different Pirates banged out a pair of knocks as Pittsburgh used a 13-hit attack to defeat the Washington Senators 6-3 at Griffith Stadium and stay alive in the World Series, although down two games to three. Vic Aldridge went the distance for the win. Clyde Barnhart had a pair of hits, two RBI and a run scored (Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Glenn Wright and Earl Smith also had two raps) while Washington’s Joe Harris, who would play for Pittsburgh’s 1927 WS club, homered to lead the Sen’s offense. 
  • 1960 - Whitey Ford again owned the Bucs in the World Series, tossing a seven-hitter as New York blanked Pittsburgh 12-0 at Forbes Field to stave off elimination and force a seventh game. Bobby Richardson tripled twice and had three RBI as the Bronx Bombers amassed 17 hits against Bob Friend and a beleaguered bullpen. Roberto Clemente and Hal Smith had a pair of hits each for the Pirates, who added to their misery by bouncing into three double plays. 
  • 1963 - The final baseball game at the Polo Grounds was the Hispanic American All-Star game, the only one held in MLB history. The roster of Latino stars included Pirates Roberto Clemente, Manny Mota, who delivered a clutch two-run pinch-hit single, and Alvin McBean, who got the win in a 5-2 NL victory. 
  • 1971 - The Bucs broke open a duel between Mike Cuellar and Steve Blass by scoring three times in the seventh on the way to a 5-1 World Series win at TRS in front of 50,403 fans. Bob Robertson blasted the deciding three-run homer after he missed a bunt sign (Roberto Clemente was aboard and tried to call time when he saw Big Red had missed the sign, but Cuellar was already into his motion so his effort was ignored). Steve Blass was sitting next to Danny Murtaugh in the dugout at the time, and told the skipper: "If you fine him (Robertson, for missing the bunt sign), I'll pay." Murtaugh didn't. The three-hit victory left Pittsburgh with a pulse, as they were now down two games to one in the Fall Classic.
  • 1979 - The Pirates brought the World Series back to TRS and 50,848 fans, but were run off the field 8-4 by Baltimore, which lit up John Candelaria with a five-run fourth inning. The Birds were led by Kiko Garcia, who drove in four runs with four hits. For the Bucs, Willie Stargell had a pair of raps and scored twice while Phil Garner chipped in with two RBI and Omar Moreno added a pair of doubles. It was too little, too late against Scott McGregor as the Orioles went up two games to one. 
  • 1990 - Danny Jackson‚ Norm Charlton‚ and Randy Myers combined on a one-hitter as Cincinnati beat the Pirates 2-1 to win the NLCS in six games. 1B Carmelo Martinez had the only Bucco hit, a double that scored Barry Bonds (aboard on a walk) as Zane Smith took the loss at Riverfront Stadium. Jim Leyland started a back-end reliever, Ted Power, in order to keep the Reds from using their favored platoon lineup (he followed him with LHP Smith in the third) and it almost worked. The game clincher was an over-the-fence catch by RF Glenn Braggs, robbing Carmelo Martínez of a two-run homer with an out in the ninth, to preserve the win in dramatic fashion. The Reds would go on to sweep Oakland in the World Series. 
  • 1991 - The Braves returned to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and pasted the Pirates 10-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. Pittsburgh had 10 hits, but stranded 11 runners as John Smoltz took the win from John Smiley. Jay Bell and Orlando Merced homered for Pittsburgh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a four-run first and a three-run pinch hit homer by Sid Bream in the eighth frame.

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