1969: Padres Fall Short in Comeback, Drop Series to Cardinals

May 18, 1969, San Diego: Cardinals 6, Padres 5 (box score)

The Padres jumped out to a quick lead in the rubber match against the visiting Cardinals, touching starter Dave Giusti for two runs in the first. After a single, walk, and passed ball put runners on second and third with two out, Ollie Brown singled to left to drive home Roberto Pena and Nate Colbert.

St. Louis got one of the runs back in the second. Then, in the fourth, the Cardinals took a lead they would not relinquish. With one out, Joe Hague doubled to right, scoring Mike Shannon. Later in the inning, Lou Brock singled home Hague to make the score 3-2.

The Cardinals added single runs in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings to extend their lead to 6-2. In the bottom of the eighth, San Diego’s offense finally showed up to the party. After Ed Spiezio led off with a double to left, Cito Gaston and Chris Cannizzaro hit back-to-back triples to cut the lead to 6-4. With Ron Willis now on in relief of Giusti, the Padres scored one more run on an Ivan Murrell fly ball that brought home Cannizzaro.

The Padres had one final chance in the ninth, but couldn’t capitalize. With two on and two out, right-hander Gary Waslewski came on for the Cardinals to face Gaston, who promptly struck out to end the game. San Diego had lost its second straight at home and seen its record fall to 16-23.

Trivia: For the first time in his career, Gaston struck out four times in a single game. He would repeat the feat less than a month later (June 12 against the Expos).

Elsewhere in the world: In Minnesota, Rod Carew stole second, third, and home in the third inning of the Twins’ 8-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

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3 Responses »

  1. Geoff,

    Great job on the game by game notes of the Pads inaugural season.

    Do you ever miss Jack Murphy Stadium when you see observe this very mediocre Padres offense scoring, 7, 6, even 5 runs against tough NL pitchers throwing off a higher mound. I know I do.

    I guess I just enjoy the offensive side of baseball a little more than the defensive.

  2. Thanks, SB. I’m glad you’re enjoying these! I miss the history that the Padres left behind at the Q. Being a relative newcomer to the scene, that mostly means ’96 & ’98 as well as Tony’s chase of 3000 hits. Seeing all the former players take the field after the final game at Qualcomm remains one of my favorite Padres memories.

  3. 1: We’re scoring more at home this year (3.8 runs per game) than we did in 1969, when it was 2.95. We’ve scored in the high 3 to low 4 range per game since Petco opened. It could be that our scoring now is more flat – more 3 run games, fewer shutouts, where it was more shutouts but more explosions back in 69. But whatever, we’re scoring more.

    1969 was the first year of the lowered mound, btw.

    Jack Murphy was a rough place to hit before 1973. You had to really storm the castle walls to get one out. It wasn’t easy after that, but at least the ball didn’t have to be 18 feet high when it reached the fence.