Sunday, February 18, 2024

Lefty's First Win


TRIVIA WINNER:  Jerry Adair and Ron Hanson accounted for 31 errors in 1961 and Henry Black of New York City, had the correct answer. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

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NEW TRIVIA QUESTION: What was the pitch count when Bill Mazeroski hit his walk-off homer in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series?

 While Steve Carlton came up to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965 and pitched in 15 games, it wasn't until 1966 he picked up his first win. And it was a doozy. On August 5th at Shea Stadium in front of 33,000 fans, Lefty as he would become known, was spot on.

Facing veteran Bob Shaw, Carlton pitched a perfect first inning but another veteran, Ken Boyer led off the second with a double. Jerry Grote would manage an infield single but Boyer did not score. A three up and three down third would follow. When Tito Francona took Shaw deep for a solo shot, it gave Carlton his first lead, 1-0.

The Mets would tie it in the fifth on singles by Grote and Shaw plus a sac-fly from Al Luplow, 1-1. A Julian Javier blast with a man aboard gave the Cards a 3-1 lead and they never looked back. Carlton breezed the rest of the way and while he was wild enough to walk three and sail a Wild Pitch, his signature was missing. The only batter the great left struck out was Luplow in the third, looking.

He gave up six hits and one earned run, facing just 34 batters in what was a look see of a future to come. It was his first win with 328 more to follow. In that season he would pitch nine games, all as a starter and finish with a 3-3 record and a 3.12 ERA and a Whip of 1.42. His rookie season he pitched in 15 games but only started two.

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