Thursday, October 26, 2017
World Series game #2
TRIVIA QUESTION: Only two of the regular starters for the 1961 Yankees failed to hit double figures in home runs. Who were they?
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: In the 1960 Series the Yankee powerhouse scored 38 runs in their three wins over Pittsburgh. During those three games the Yanks didn't hit for power. They only belted four homers in the three wins, three by Mickey Mantle and the other by Bobby Richardson.
Since this is 2017 World Series Week, we'll be taking a look at the matching World Series games of the 1960's. Each of the next 10 blogs will deal with a corresponding game where possible. This blog deals with the second game of the 1961 series while the next will deal with Game 3 of the 1962 series and so on. If the 2017 series is shorter than seven games we'll continue the series on here.
1961 (Game Two)
Cincinnati Reds at the New York Yankees
Game two of the 1961 World Series was a real pitchers duel with two guys few fans beyond little kids collecting baseball cards would remember. Joey Jay of the Cincinnati Reds was a decent pitcher. He did win 21 games in both 1961 and 1962 but other than that his career was rather unremarkable. His lifetime ERA was 3.77 and even in those 21-win years he gave up a lot of runs. His biggest down fall in his 99 career wins were walks and gopher balls. He average giving up a homer per 10 innings, which when combined with a 1.3 WHiP, can be pretty devastating.
The Yankees Ralph Terry was another steady but unremarkable pitcher. He also had his two best seasons in 1961 and 1962. In "61 he was 16-3 with 3.15 ERA and two shutouts. The following year he was overworked. While pitching 299 innings and giving up 40 homers he leading the league in the number of batters faced. He was on the mound a long time in winning 23 games.
In Game Two of the 1961 series these two pitchers faced off and matched each other pitch for pitch. Through three innings each pitcher had given up a lone single. Terry broke first however. In the fourth, an error on a ground ball by usually sure handed Clete Boyer at third opened the door. Gordy Coleman belted a high drive to right center which cleared the wall at Yankee Stadium, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth New York came right back after a walk to Roger Maris, Yogi Berra went deep to tie it at 2-2.
In the fifth the Yankees woes continued with a pair of two out singles by Elio Chacon and Eddie Kasko with Chacon motoring to third. With Vada Pinson at the plate Terry fired off a pitch Elston Howard couldn't handle and it got by him for a passed ball, Chacon scored to make it 3-2.
Meanwhile Jay was striking out Yankee hitters (he ended up with six) despite issuing six walks. In the sixth after a double by Wally Post and an intentional walk to Gene Freese, Johnny Edwards got one of his two hits to drive home Post to make it 4-2.
In the eighth the roof caved in. Luis Arroyo was now pitching and he issued a lead off walk to Frank Robinson. Gordy Coleman hit a weak ground ball in front of the plate which Arroyo threw down the right field line. Robinson scored all the way from first. Before the inning ended there was a misjudged flyball to left which went for a three base error, an intentional walk and another RBI double by Edwards. The game was pretty much over with the Reds leading 6-2.
Jay had pitched a remarkable game going the distance while giving up two runs on just four hits, despite walking six. Terry went seven and only gave up two earned runs walking two and striking out seven. Yankee D failed him. Berra, Boyer and Arroyo committed errors and a passed ball by Howard let in a run as well. Of the four runs he allowed only two were earned and only one of the two Arroyo allowed was earned, despite his own key error.
The Yankees won 109 games in 1961 and are a team considered by many as the Second Best Team of All Time, second only to the 1927 Yankees. They would not be deterred. Despite the 6-2 loss in Game Two, they would go on to win the series in five games. They got revenge in the final game beating Joey Jay 13-5, knocking him out with four big runs in the first inning capped by a Johnny Blanchard dinger.
Terry would fair little better giving way in the third after giving up three earned runs. Bud Daley relieved him and went the rest of the way for the win. The Reds would use eight pitchers in the game. This time the errors were committed by the Reds. Three errors led to two unearned runs but when you score 13 total and the other guys only score five, it kinda doesn't matter.
Please pick up a copy of my book "Tales of My Baseball Youth; A Child of the 60's" at www.bobbrillbooks.com, or on Amazon.