Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pirates Win Battle of Pennsylvania

May 3, 1968
Blass vs Wise
Pittsburgh 7 Philadelphia 1

Steve Blass gave up a run in the first and scattered 8 hits as he tossed a complete game in beating the Phillies 7-1.   Pittsburgh jumped to an early lead in the first on RBI singles by Manny Mota and Matty Alou.  The Pirates added single runs in the 5th and 6th innings before putting up a 3 spot in the 7th on another Alou single and a Bill Mazoroski single that plated 2 runners.  Meanwhile, Blass continued to pitch well. After allowing the only run he would give up on the day on a SF from Johnny Callison, Blass shut Philadelphia out over the next 8 innings to earn his 2nd victory of the season.

May 4, 1968
Sisk vs Short
Pittsburgh 5 Philadelphia 2

Game two proved to be a hard fought game for both teams as the starting pitchers, Tommie Sisk for the Pirates and Chris Short for the Phillies, locked into a pitching duel for the first 5 innings.  After sitting the potent Pirate bats down in the 6th, Philadelphia finally got to Sisk in the bottom of the inning when Tony Taylor doubled home the first run of the game and Cookie Rojas followed with a double of his own to give the Phils a 2-0 lead.  The lead didn't last long as Short tired in the 7th and gave up a one out single to Manny Mota followed by a rare Bill Mazeroski homerun down the left field line that just cleared the wall to tie the game at 2.  John Boozer came on in the 8th to try to keep the game tied but was unsuccessful as he gave up singles to Gene Alley and Roberto Clemente before Donn Clendenon put the game out of reach with a 3 run dinger.  Elroy Face came on to pitch the last 2 innings and earn his third save of the year.

May 5, 1968
Walker vs Jackson
Philadelphia 3 Pittsburgh 2

The Phillies turned to right hander Larry Jackson to try and salvage the get-away game of the series while Pittsburgh offered up southpaw, Luke Walker, to try and get the sweep.  Both pitchers looked sharp through three innings before the Pirates nicked Jackson for a run in the 4th with small ball.  Speedster Maury Wills lead off the inning with a bunt base hit and then immediately stole 2nd.  One out later, Roberto Clement singled him home and the Pirates were up 1-0.  The score remained like that until the 7th when the Pirates added an insurance run on a Donn Clendenon blast to left center field.  Elroy Face came on in the 8th to try and duplicate a 2 inning save like he had done the previous day but it was not to be.  After getting through the 8th unscathed Face had trouble in the 9th.  Dick Allen lead off the inning with a hard single to center and Bill White did the same one out later.  Allen moved to 3rd on a long out by Callison.  Down to their last out, Tony Gonzalez pinched hit for Mike Ryan and lined a single between third and short to score Allen and make it a 2-1 ballgame.  Gary Sutherland, who had pinched hit in the 8th and remained in the game at shortstop, singled to left field scoring White from second and tying the game at 2-2.  The game moved to the 10th and after Matty Alou reached base on an error he was sacrificed to second and stole 3rd.  With Alou on 3rd and only one out the Pirates had an excellent chance to retake the lead but Jerry May lined out to Sutherland at short and PH Willie Stargell flied to deep left center field for the third out.  LH'er Juan Pizzaro came on in the bottom of the 10th and quickly got the first two batters out before Dick Allen hit a walk off homerun.

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