The grudge World Series, Game Four

With Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn squaring off, Game Four of the 1958 World Series figured to be a low-scoring affair. And that’s how it played out. Through five innings neither team had scored and they had combined for only four hits (the Braves had three of them).

In the sixth inning, when the Braves finally scored a run, it was unearned. Schoendienst hit a lead-off triple and scored on an error by Kubek.

The Braves added a run in the seventh. Crandall walked, Pafko doubled him to third, and Spahn came through with an RBI single. Ford avoided further damage by inducing a double play ball from Schoendiest.

Logan and Mathews knocked Ford out of the game with back-to-back doubles to lead off the eighth. The Yankee’s deficit was now 3-0.

Spahn closed out the game with one-two-three innings in the eighth and ninth. He ended up with a tidy two-hitter.

The Braves now led the Series in games 3-1, with the final two games to be played in Milwaukee. Only one team had ever come back from 3-1 to win a Series (the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925 against the Washington Senators) and no team had ever done so by winning the final two games on the road.

A FOOTNOTE ON THE LINEUPS: Ford and Spahn had also been the starters in Game 1 and the Braves used the same line-up in Game 4 as they had in the opener. The Yankees, though, used an almost entirely different one. Norm Siebern replaced Elston Howard in left field (an odd move considering how well Howard hit left-handers, although Spahn was equally effective against lefty and righty hitters) and young Bobby Richardson replaced Andy Carey at third base. Moreover, Casey Stengel scrambled his batting order so thoroughly that only Kubek (and of course Ford) batted in their Game One slots.

These line-ups reflect a basic difference between the two managers. Stengel was a tinkerer — he liked to change things up. Haney was decidedly from the “dance with the one that brung ya” school.

JOHN adds: We did this tribute to Warren Spahn, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, when he died in 2003.

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