GAME 2 BURDETTE, BRUTON AND 7 RUNS
Bill Bruton had received a hero's ovation when he drove in the winning run of the first game, partly because it was the winning run, naturally, but partly, too, because Bill Bruton is a very popular man in Milwaukee. He hit the home run that won the first major league game played in County Stadium in 1953. Milwaukeeans remember those glorious, innocent days of second place with warmth and nostalgia, and they were delighted when Billy Bruton came through. Now on the next day, in the first inning of the second game, he was a hero again, but only for a moment, only to be obscured by a succession of other heroes, culminating in the majestic figure of one Lew Burdette.
Burdette, of course, is the man who. The man who beat the Yankees last year. The man who shut them out twice in three games. The man who carried a scoreless streak of 24 innings into this Series, only five shy of Babe Ruth's 40-year-old record. Yet in the first inning of the second game, the Yankees scored on Lew and shook him up a little. Trailing 1-0, the Braves came to bat, Bill Bruton leading off. Bruton promptly clouted a homer and the Braves were back in the ball game. Before the inning was over they were so far in front of the ball game that the last eight innings were a polite formality. Schoendienst doubled, Aaron walked, Covington singled. Casey Stengel took his 21-game winner, Bob Turley, out of the game and put in Duke Maas. Maas got Frank Torre on a fly to left field. That made two out, and it nearly turned into three. Aaron, on third, tagged up on Torre's fly and threatened to come in, but held his base. Elston Howard, in left, fired the ball home, five feet over Yogi Berra's head. Aaron again broke for the plate. Maas, backing up Berra, caught the ball, and seemingly had Aaron caught off third. But Henry was between Maas and Third Baseman Andy Carey, causing Maas to delay his throw just long enough to let Aaron get back safely. The missed third out seemed a shame to Yankee supporters, but nothing too serious. Maas proceeded to make it serious. He walked Crandall to load the bases, and then pitched to Johnny Logan, who had been hungering for the opportunity to come to bat in a crucial moment. ("I want to be a hero in at least one game," he complained the day before, after Fred Haney had lifted him for a pinch hitter.) Logan seized the opportunity nicely, breaking the game open to 4-1, Milwaukee, with a line single to left field. Maas tried again. There were still two men on base, still two out, but now the pitcher, Burdette, was at bat. Lew, who seems to walk into the heroic situations that Johnny Logan hungers for, took a big swing and lofted a fly ball that, unbelievably, carried over the left field fence for a home run. The crowd was ecstatic. The Braves led 7-1, and there was Stengel out on the mound again, bearing the taunts of the crowd, easing his belt away from his abdomen as he peered out once more to the bullpen in center field for something that looked like a pitcher.
GAME 3 THE POINT OF SOME RETURN
Oddly, Stengel was less glum after the second game rout (the final score was an embarrassing 13-5) than he had been after the close first game. Now he seemed almost optimistic about the Series, as if the worst had already happened. Yankee rooters shared the optimism. Suddenly finding that rare odds of 2-1 against the Yankees could be had, they bet with more enthusiasm than wisdom.
Hank Bauer and Don Larsen made the bet look good, for a day at least. Larsen pitched seven innings, gave up six hits, all singles, walked only two, allowed no runs, and went off for an early shower with a slightly stiff arm. Ryne Duren finished up to complete the first two-man shutout since Lefty Grove relieved George Earnshaw in the eighth inning against the Cardinals back in 1930. Bauer batted in all four Yankee runs in the 4-0 win.
The Braves, possibly envious of the Yankees' monopoly of bad base running (Bauer, hero or no, had been caught off first again by a pretty throw by Del Crandall), engineered a beautiful mess in the sixth inning. Red Schoendienst was on second and Henry Aaron on first when Wes Covington bounced a tremendously hard ground ball off First Baseman Bill Skowron for a base hit. The ball caromed toward the first base stands, Schoendienst turned third and headed home and Aaron turned second and raced to third. But the ball bounced off the stands and back to Skowron, who threw the ball in to Yogi Berra at home plate. Schoendienst braked halfway there and started back to third. Who was on third? Why, Henry Aaron, not only on the base but actually past it. There, too, was Yankee Third Baseman Jerry Lumpe, yelling at Berra to throw him the ball. To crib from the late Gertrude Stein, Aaron instead of going the way he was going went back the way he had come. Schoendienst took the opposite tack and headed for home again at the instant Berra threw the ball to Lumpe. Lumpe threw back to Berra, but badly, bouncing it on the ground past the catcher. Schoendienst was nearly home at this point, but Larsen, backing up the play, scooped up the wild throw and took off after Schoendienst. Back toward third went Red with Larsen chasing him. Halfway there, Larsen caught him. Aaron was snug at second, and Covington, aghast at what he had wrought, was on first. For all the help his hard smash had been to the Braves, Wes might as well have hit into a forceout. When Frank Torre followed with a fly out, the inning full of promise was over.
Another bit of Milwaukee brain-work had backfired in the fifth. With two out and a man on second, Fred Haney ordered Pitcher Bob Rush to walk Gil McDougald intentionally. Rush did so and then walked Larsen unintentionally to fill the bases. Bauer, up next, scooped a hit into short right that Aaron could not reach in time. Two runs came in, and in the seventh Bauer homered (his third in three games) to add two more.
That was about the game: Larsen's pitching, and Duren's; Bauer's hitting (the homer was the only clean hit of the Yankees' four); and Milwaukee's dubious thinking.
Stengel was cautiously hopeful after the game. "There were some bad plays, and bad plays add up in a ball game. Now we have to win tomorrow. That will be the real game."