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Friday, June 09 2023 @ 11:48 am UTC
1960 Revisited - October 9   
By Bobster

Sunday, October 9, 1960---Game 4 was pivotal for the Pirates. They would either tie it at 2-2 or go down 3-1 in the series. Vern Law took the mound for the Pirates on 3 days rest and a sprained ankle. Ralph Terry made his first appearance in the series for the Yankees. The 24-year old Terry was 10-8 in the regular season with a 3.40 ERA. He had pitched both as a reliever and a starter for the Yankees. Terry had struggled out of the bullpen with a 7.58 ERA in 12 appearances. But in his 23 starts, Terry had an impressive 2.86 ERA. The Bucs started meekly against Terry. Virdon flied to Mantle in CF, Groat popped to short and Clemente struck out. Cerv opened the first for NY with a single and took third when Kubek followed with a double. Maris flied to Clemente in short RF. Cerv, at third, took a few steps toward home. But Clemente fired a strike to Burgess and Cerv retreated. Mantle walked to load the bases with one out. Berra then hit a hard ground ball to Hoak at third. Hoak stepped on the bag and threw to Stuart for an inning ending double play. It appeared Berra beat the throw to first. But the Pirates caught a break as Law escaped the jam.

In the second, Stuart popped to McDougald at third, Cimoli bounced back to Terry, Burgess walked and Hoak flied out to Cerv in LF. For NY, Skowron bounced back to Law, McDougald flied to Clemente, Richardson doubled and Terry bounced back to the mound.

Terry whiffed Mazeroski and Law to open the third and retired Virdon on a grounder to Richardson at 2B. Law kept pace by getting Cerv to ground to Groat, Kubek to pop to Mazeroski and Maris to ground out to Maz. No balls were hit out of the infield in the third inning.

Groat started the fourth with a fly out to Mantle in CF, Clemente struck out and Stuart hit one off Ford that was retrieved by Kubek at SS who threw Stuart out. Law whiffed Mantle to open the bottom of the fourth and Berra bounced back to Law. But Moose Skowron gave NY a 1-0 lead with a HR before McDougald struck out to end the inning.

Trailing 1-0, Cimoli opened the fifth with a single. It was the first hit off Terry. Burgess hit a grounder to Skowron at 1B who threw to Kubek at 2B attempting to force Cimoli. But Cimoli went in hard, knocking Kubek over on a close play, and was called safe. With Cimoli at second, Burgess at first and no outs, Hoak tried to bunt but popped to Richardson for the first out. Mazeroski swung away but popped to Skowron at 1B. But with 2 outs, Vernon Law got around on a Terry pitch and ripped a double down the LF line, scoring Cimoli with the tie run and sending Burgess to third. Virdon blooped a single to CF that scored both Burgess and Law to make it 3-1 before Groat popped to Richardson to end the rally. In the bottom of the fifth, Law gave up a single to Richardson and then struck out Terry, Cerv and Kubek in succession.

Clemente opened the sixth with a single. But Stuart grounded out to McDougald at 3B and Mazeroski grounded out to Richardson at 2B. Clemente advanced around to third on the ground outs but Burgess ended the inning with a fly to Mantle in CF. Law had another easy inning in the sixth, getting Maris to ground to Maz, Mantle to fly to Clemente and Berra to ground to Maz.

Hoak singled to start the seventh and Mazeroski sacrificed him to 2B (Terry to Richardson covering). Law, who had the key hit in the third, singled to send Hoak to 3B. That brought lefty Bobby Shantz out of the Yankee bullpen to pitch to Virdon. Virdon struck out and Groat grounded to Kubek who forced Law at 2B for the third out. Skowron opened the bottom of the seventh with a double and went to third when McDougald singled. Richardson grounded to Mazeroski, who forced McDougald at 2B as Skowron scored to make it 3-2. John Blanchard pinch hit for Shantz and singled, sending Richardson to 2B. That ended Lawís day as Face came in. Joe DiMaestri ran for Blanchard at 1B. Bob Cerv hit a shot to very deep right-center. Virdon ran it down, catching it with a leap in front of the wall at the 407í marker. That was probably the defense play of the series. Anything less than that all-out effort from Virdon would have resulted in an extra base hit that would most likely have scored both runners. Instead, they remained on base with 2 outs. Face then got Kubek on a comebacker to end the threat with the Bucs still ahead 3-2.

Jim Coates pitched the eighth for NY. Clemente grounded to Richardson at 2B, Stuart popped to Richardson and Cimoli bounced back to the mound. Face got Maris to fly to Virdon in CF, struck out Mantle (with Burgess throwing the dropped third strike to Stuart for the out) and got Berra to ground to Hoak at 3B.

In the ninth, Burgess grounded out, Skowron to Coates covering at 1B, Hoak flied to Mantle in CF, Mazeroski singled and Face struck out. Bob Oldis, the Pirates best defensive catcher, took over for Burgess behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth Skowron opened with a long foul ball to RF. Then he sent a shot over 3B that Hoak backhanded and threw to Stuart at 1B for the out. McDougald lined to Groat and Dale Long, pinch hitting for Richardson, flied to Clemente to end the game.

The 3-2 win knotted the series at 2-2 and guaranteed a return trip to Forbes Field. Despite losing the previous 2 games by a combined score of 26-3, the Pirates played game 4 hard. Gino Cimoliís slide into Kubek in the fifth opened the door to a 3-run rally that would represent all the runs the Pirates got against a very tough Ralph Terry. Virdonís all out sprinting, leaping catch of Cervís ball saved the game and, in all probability, the series. Had that ball not been caught, the Yankees would likely have taken the lead, and a win would have put them up 3 games to 1. Law wasnít just a pitching star, he was also the Piratesí hitting star with 2 hits including the key fifth-inning double. Elroy Face, with significant defensive help from Virdon and Hoak, retired all 8 batters he faced.

Lineups: Pgh-
Virdon CF
Groat SS
Clemente RF
Stuart 1B
Cimoli LF
Burgess C
Hoak 3B
Mazeroski 2B
Law P

Cerv LF
Kubek SS
Maris RF
Mantle CF
Berra C
Skowron 1B
McDougald 3B
Richardson 2B
Terry P

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