Mike Flanagan (3-3) vs Vern Law (6-3)
Pirates 6, Blue Jays 0
|3 hit shutout plus a 2 run homer|
Down three games to none the Jays put the ball in the hands of late season acquisition Mike Flanagan. Pittsburgh turned to the 1960 Cy Young award winner, Vern "The Deacon" Law. Flanagan, who stumbled a bit down the stretch was tasked with the unenviable job of trying to break the momentum of a Buc team that got hot at just the right time. Pittsburgh started out fast in this game and never looked back. With runners on 1st and 3rd in the bottom of the first Roberto Clemente hit a deep fly to the warning track to score Alou easily. Flanagan was able to get Stargell to hit in to a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning without any further damage. The bottom of the 2nd would turn out to be Flanagan's Waterloo. The crafty lefty walked the lead off batter (Clendenon), then served up a 1 out single to Pagan to put runner's on the corners. Maz lifted a sac fly to left to make it 2-0, but with 2 outs Flanagan looked to have limited the damage once again. With the opposing pitcher Law batting Flanagan let his guard down and threw a straight change right down the middle of the plate. Most ordinary pitchers would have swung through that pitch for strike one. Law, who is an accomplished batsman, jumped all over the crippled pitch and sent it high and far over the ivy in left center to make it 4-0. Law, who had his up's and down's on the mound all season long never had such troubles at the plate hitting a crisp .444 in 10 starts. Facing a 4-0 deficit in the game and a 3-0 deficit in the series, the Jays looked very much down and quite possibly out. In the bottom of the 6th Roberto Clemente (the eventual series MVP) hit a solo blast to make it 5-0. Four batters later Jose Pagan narrowly missed hitting a 2 run shot, but settled for a sac fly to score Clendenon to make it 6-0. Those six runs began to loom large as Law was completely locked in on the mound. Toronto would manage to get just 3 hits off of he Deacon with 2 of them coming in the top of the first. No Toronto baserunner advanced past first over the final 8 innings of play. With 2 out in the 9th George Bell refused to be the final out of the series by lining a single to right. Ernie Whitt had the dubious honor of being the final out as Law threw him high heat and struck him out on 3 pitches to clinch the Series for the Bucs. Clemente, who hit .353 would be the star of the series, but Law who tossed a tidy 3 hit shutout would be the star of the day.
Pirates win series 4-0
|World Series MVP with a .353 avg|
Editor's Note: The poor fans attending this series were treated to rain during all 4 games. The "Lake Erie" series had it's share of precipitation. George Bell was the lone Blue Jay who came to hit. Collectively the Jays hit .189. Pittsburgh hit well over 100 points higher. Special nod to Blue Jays manager Robert Chisholm, who did a masterful job getting to the series in just his second full season behind the bench. No manager could have overcome a collective team batting drought like the Jays exhibited. "Chis" made all the right moves, but in the end his players let him down. With 2 complete game shutouts (Fryman & Law), and one almost shutout (Blass), the much maligned Pirate rotation managed to make their manager look good and take the focus away from the team's overworked pen that only saw mop up duty in limited action. Closer Pete Mikkelsen, who saved 10 games this season didn't even get to warm up in the pen. Only Al McBean saw action in relief. Matty Alou, who hit over .400 in the regular season was injured in the 5th sliding into 3rd and was replaced by Manny Mota.