Tigers defeat Cardinals
4 games to 3
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 2||STL 4||DET 0|
|2||Oct. 3||DET 8||STL 1|
|3||Oct. 5||STL 7||DET 3|
|4||Oct. 6||STL 10||DET 1|
|5||Oct. 7||DET 5||STL 3|
|6||Oct. 9||DET 13||STL 1|
|7||Oct. 10||DET 4||STL 1|
Managers: Mayo Smith, DET; Red Schoendienst, STL
MVP: Mickey Lolich, DET: 3-0, 1.67 ERA, 27 IP, 21 K
1968 was the Year of the Pitcher, and two shining examples pitched for World Series teams. The St. Louis ace was Bob Gibson, who went 22-9 with a microscopic 1.12 ERA in the regular season. The Tiger staff was led by Denny McLain, who at 31-6, became the first 30-game winner in Major League Baseball since Dizzy Dean won 30 games for St. Louis back in 1934.
Game 1 in St. Louis matched Gibson and McLain, but there was no contest, as Gibson set a World Series record with 17 strikeouts and beat McLain, 4-0. The Tigers took Game 2 easily, 8-1, behind Mickey Lolich's complete game (Lolich pitched in McLain's shadow during the regular season, going 17-9).
The World Series moved to Detroit for Game 3, and the Cardinals captured an easy 8-3 decision thanks to Orlando Cepeda's and Tim McCarver's two-run homers. Game 4 was a repeat of the opener, Gibson again beating McLain, 10-1, this time. Lou Brock led off the game with a homer, and later doubled and tripled, driving in four runs. The next day, Brock led off Game 5 with a double, and soon came around to score the first of three first-inning Cardinals runs, the latter two coming on Cepeda's second two-run homer in as many games. After that, though, Mickey Lolich shut St. Louis down for the next eight innings. In the meantime, the Tigers reached Nellie Briles for two runs in the fourth, and then they scored three more in the seventh off Briles and Joe Hoerner, and the final was 5-2 Detroit.
The clubs traveled back to St. Louis for Game 6, and McLain finally regained his regular-season form, scattering nine Cardinal hits and allowing just one run. That was plenty good enough, as the Tigers exploded for 10 runs in the third inning on their way to a 13-1 romp. Al Kaline and Jim Northrup both knocked in four runs, Northrup hitting a grand slam.
The climactic Game 7 matched the well-rested Bob Gibson against Mickey Lolich, working on just two days rest. They matched shutout innings until the top of the seventh. After two men were out, Kaline and Norm Cash singled. Northrup followed with a long fly to center field, where defensive standout Curt Flood misjudged the ball. Northrup got a triple, both runners scoring. Bill Freehan then doubled in Northrup. Both clubs scored a single run in the ninth to make the final Detroit 4, St. Louis 1 Lolich racking up his third World Series victory.