Tigers Finish Off Cardinals, 2-1.

Filed under World Series
October 6, 1968

The Detroit Tigers celebrate their second consecutive World Series’ title with another sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers are the first back-to-back title holders since the 1961-62 New York Yankees.
Detroit, Oct. 6 – The Detroit Tigers won their second consecutive World Championship in the same fashion as last season: a four game sweep of one run victories over the St. Louis Cardinals. It was not the humiliation that Tiger pitcher Denny McLain predicted, but humbling nonetheless for Red Schoendienst’s Redbirds.

Bob Gibson took his turn to face McLain in a rematch of the Series opener. Al Kaline hit a two-run home run in the first off Gibson, and the weight of another comeback was on the collective backs of the Cardinals. The pressure showed as St. Louis committed three errors, but Gibson refused to allow his teammates to throw this game away. Gibson kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, but McLain scattered ten hits and struck out eleven. McLain was named the Series MVP for his two victories against Gibson.

In the top of the fourth, Curt Flood opened with a walk, and advanced to second on a two-out single by yesterday’s goat, Tim McCarver. The Cardinals’ hottest hitter, Mike Shannon, singled in Flood, but McLain slammed the door shut by striking out Julian Javier to end the threat. St. Louis put runners on the corners with two outs in the next inning. But, Roger Maris could not solve McLain and popped harmlessly to center for the third out.

In the ninth, the Cardinals put up a last gasp effort against McLain. With one out, Javier reached first on a roller that just eluded defensive replacement Ray Oyler at short. Pinch hitter Phil Gagliano followed with a rope to right. The ball fell in front of a charging Kaline who attempted to one hand the skipping ball to his right. He juggled the ball, and Javier and Gagliano alertly advanced a base. Schoendienst called for Bobby Tolan to hit for Gibson. Tolan hit a grounder to second that Dick McAuliffe fielded and easily threw out Javier at home. The play was reminiscent of yesterday’s ninth inning when Freehan was out at home on a grounder to second. Lou Brock watched McLain’s first pitch for a strike. Freehan held on to the pitch, and any similarities to yesterday’s ninth were gone. McLain and the Tigers would not let this Series slip through their hands. Brock swung and missed a curve for strike two. McLain followed with two fastballs outside to even the count. Brock swung through the next fastball, and McLain leapt for joy. The infield of Tiger Stadium swelled with a celebration long overdue for this troubled city.

10/6/1968, STL68-DET68, Tiger Stadium

                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
1968 St. Louis         0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0     1 10  3     9  0
1968 Detroit           2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  x     2  8  1    10  1

St. Louis            AB  R  H BI   AVG    Detroit              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Brock             lf  4  0  1  0  .353    McAuliffe         2b  4  1  2  0  .267
Flood             cf  3  1  2  0  .400    Stanley           ss  3  0  0  0  .333
Maris             rf  4  0  0  0  .167    Kaline            rf  3  1  2  2  .333
Cepeda            1b  4  0  0  0  .063    Cash              1b  4  0  1  0  .286
McCarver          c   4  0  1  0  .125    Horton            lf  4  0  1  0  .313
Shannon           3b  4  0  2  1  .500     Oyler            ss  0  0  0  0  .000
Javier            2b  4  0  1  0  .063    Northrup          cf  4  0  0  0  .313
Maxvill           ss  3  0  1  0  .250    Mathews           3b  3  0  2  0  .667
 Gagliano         ph  1  0  1  0  .333     Tracewski        pr  0  0  0  0  .000
Gibson            p   3  0  1  0  .200     Wert             3b  0  0  0  0  .091
 Tolan            ph  1  0  0  0  .333    Freehan           c   4  0  0  0  .067
                     35  1 10  1          McLain            p   4  0  0  0  .429
                                                               33  2  8  2

St. Louis                        INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Gibson           L 0-2           8.0  8  2  2  2  5 127  83  2.12
                                 8.0  8  2  2  2  5 127  83

Detroit                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McLain           W 2-0           9.0 10  1  1  2 11 124  80  1.00
                                 9.0 10  1  1  2 11 124  80

STL: Gagliano batted for Maxvill in the 9th
     Tolan batted for Gibson in the 9th
DET: Tracewski ran for Mathews in the 8th
     Stanley moved to cf in the 9th
     Oyler inserted at ss in the 9th
     Northrup moved to lf in the 9th
     Wert inserted at 3b in the 9th

E-Brock, Flood, Shannon, Kaline. 2B-Brock(1). HR-Kaline(1). RBI-Shannon(4),
Kaline 2(3). CS-Brock. K-Brock 2, Flood, Maris 2, Cepeda, McCarver, Javier 3,
Maxvill, Stanley 2, Horton, McLain 2. BB-Brock, Flood, Kaline, Mathews.
SH-Stanley.
GWRBI: Kaline
Temperature: 54, Field: wet, Sky: threatening, Wind: out to left at 9 MPH.

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