In the seventh game came Brock's second—and probably most costly—stumble. There still was no score when Brock started the Cardinal sixth with a single to left field. In the second game of the Series he had stolen second twice on Lolich. Now he took an enormous lead—at least 20 feet. "Before a game I always make an indention someplace—in the dirt, in the grass—that automatically tells me how far I can lead away and not worry about getting picked off," he had said earlier in the week. This time he exceeded his own safety limits.
"I heard Norm Cash and Dick Mc-Auliffe both yelling to me at the same time," Lolich said. "I didn't know whether they were telling me to 'step off' or 'throw over,' but I decided I'd better throw over to first." When Lolich made his move Brock bolted for second base—a play he had worked successfully against Lolich in the second game. However, Cash relayed the ball to Shortstop Mickey Stanley, covering second, and Brock was out—just barely. Then, a few minutes later, Lolich picked Curt Flood off first base—and the Cardinals began to die. "I can't remember picking off two men in one game—let alone one inning," Lolich said later.
These blunders were typical of the baseball St. Louis played for most of the season. The Cards had only a 24-21 record at the end of May, but they were 22-9 in June and 24-6 in July. They established a 14�-game lead; for all purposes the season was over, and the Cardinals went to sleep. They woke up only occasionally the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, the Tigers had to play consistently good baseball all year, because the Baltimore Orioles were seldom more than six or seven games behind them until the middle of September, when the Tigers ran off 11 straight wins to claim first place as theirs alone. So many of their games were late-inning wins that it was no surprise when they rose up to go ahead in the seventh inning of both the fifth and seventh games.
For the Tigers the season is over, and now Mayo Smith will search for a shortstop to replace Stanley, the American League's best centerfielder who became Smith's mighty experiment in the Series. Stanley, after Lolich and Kaline, was Detroit's finest hero. He will return to center field next year, and Jim Northrup, the man who hits grand-slam home runs, will move back to right field. Kaline? Never fear—he will play, but just where has not been determined. Expansion may take care of that since Detroit cannot protect everybody in trying to keep its Series winner together.
The Cardinals leave for Japan in a few days, bolstered by the recent addition of Cincinnati's Vada Pinson, who will replace retired Roger Maris in right field.
"We'll be going as the second best team in the world," Curt Flood said after the Series.
"And every time we play there," said Orlando Cepeda, "the pitcher's going to look like Mickey Lolich."