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Monday, January 30 2023 @ 08:19 am UTC
1960 Revisited - August 26   
By Bobster

Friday, August 26, 1960---In St. Louis, Bob Friend, who had gotten off to a 9-3 start, now saw his record fall to 13-11, as the Cardinals defeated the Pirates (75-47), 3-1. Friend and Ernie Broglio (16-6) both went the distance. St.Louis took a 1-0 lead in the second, and Bill Virdonís sac fly scored Don Hoak, who had doubled, to tie it at 1-1 in the fifth.

But Stan Musialís 2-run HR in the seventh, his 13th of the year, provided the winning margin. The Pirates managed only 4 hits against Broglio. Mazeroski (.265) had 2 of them. Musial, 39 and on a path to the Hall-of-Fame was from Donora, PA and had turned down a basketball scholarship to Pitt to sign with the Cardinals. Oddly, Musial would share a birthday (November 21) with Ken Griffey Jr, who was also born in Donora.

As was often the case in his career, Bob Friend was a hard-luck pitcher. Despite his modest 13-11 record, he had an impressive ERA of 2.97. In 230 innings he had walked a mere 35 batters and struck out 156. He had given up fewer hits (217) than innings pitched (230) and had 13 complete games. The Pirates had scored a total of only 18 runs during Friendís 11 losses. He had lost games by scores of 2-0, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-2, 4-1, 5-1 and 6-1. If the Pirates had hit enough to win when Friend held the opposition to 3 or fewer runs, his 13-11 record on August 26th could have been 18-6. Only 2 years earlier in 1958, Friend had won 22 games for the Bucs to lead the majors (along with the Bravesí Warren Spahn). In 1955, Friend led the N.L. with a 2.83 ERA. Overshadowed in 1960 by his own teammate, Vern Law who would win the CY Young Award, and often overlooked because he did not play in a large media market, Bob Friend was one of the premier pitchers in baseball.

Starting lineup:

Virdon CF
Groat SS
Cimoli LF
Stuart 1B
Clemente RF
Burgess C
Hoak 3B
Mazeroski 2B
Friend P

While the Pirates were losing to the Cardinals. Warren Spahn improved to 16-7 with a 3-2 win for the Braves over the Giants. The Braves now trailed the Bucs by 5.5 games and the Cardinals were 7.5 behind. The Yankees led the Orioles by one game and the White Sox by two.

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