"When the Yankees got those three runs in the first inning," said Flood in the clubhouse, "it whacked our butts. We play better when we have to come from behind, because we're a team that just keeps bouncing. We've been bouncing all year."
Bob Gibson came out for the fifth game remembering how he had started so strongly in St. Louis only to tire in the late innings. This time he paced himself beautifully, relying on his curve instead of his fast ball for a long spell. He struck out 12 Yankees, dominating the power hitters for 8 1/3 innings, cutting them down whenever there were runners in scoring position.
And he did more. It was Gibson who started the Cards on their two-run fifth inning by blooping a single to left. Tresh could not get a jump on the ball, and it dropped for what seemed like a sure double. As Gibson swept around first and headed for second, however, he fell and had to return to first. Flood then bounced to Richardson, who messed up a possible double play. Lou Brock, hitless in his last 14 times at bat, singled to right, scoring Gibson and moving Flood to third. ("Before the game," said Brock later, "I decided to try breaking my slump by standing up straight in the batter's box.") White scored Flood with a grounder for his first RBI of the Series.
Gibson's trouble in the ninth started with an error by Groat on Mantle's lead-off grounder. After it happened Groat said to himself, "Every error in this Series has turned out to be costly," and he was quickly proved right. Pepitone hit a liner that bounced off Gibson's hip, and the pitcher made an astounding recovery to throw him out. But Tresh then slammed a long homer into the right-field bleachers, and the game was tied.
It was a seeming lifesaver for the Yankees, but in the 10th the Cards bounced back again and Tim McCarver won the dramatic game with another homer, driving in White and Boyer. "I was just trying to hit it deep enough to score White from third," said McCarver. "I couldn't believe it. In the dugout I started laughing like a crazy man."
The Yankees, behind three games to two, were not laughing. Their expected edge in home-run hitting in the Stadium had not materialized. They had won one game with a homer, but St. Louis had won two the same way. The Yankees headed back to St. Louis with a long hill to climb.