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Remembering Bob Forsch’s greatness

As most already know, former St. Louis Cardinals pitching great Bob Forsch passed away late Thursday night at the age of 61. He had just been in St. Louis, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.

Researcher Tom Orf pulled several of Forsch’s career highlights.

First is the top post-season pitching performances in team history, as determined by Game Score. This metric was created by sabermetric pioneer Bill James to measure the strength of the pitcher’s result in a given outing.

On October 7, 1982, in Game 1 of the NLCS, Forsch tossed a three-hit shutout at the Atlanta Braves. His Game Score of 87 tied the great Bob Gibson for the second-highest in the long post-season history of the Cardinals franchise. It is just ahead of Chris Carpenter’s Game 5 NLDS gem over Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies last month. Forsch and the 1982 Cardinals went on to win the World Championship.

Here are the top ten pitching outings in Cardinals post-season history.

Rk Pitcher Date Series Gm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc BF
1 Bob Gibson 10/2/1968 WS 1 DET W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9 5 0 0 1 17 0 93 32
T2 Bob Forsch 10/7/1982 NLCS 1 ATL W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9 3 0 0 0 6 0 87 30
T2 Bob Gibson 10/12/1964 WS 5 NYY W 5-2 CG 10 ,W 10 6 2 0 2 13 1 87 39
T4 Chris Carpenter 10/7/2011 NLDS 5 PHI W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9 3 0 0 0 3 0 84 31
T4 John Tudor 10/23/1985 WS 4 KCR W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9 5 0 0 1 8 0 84 33
6 Mort Cooper 10/8/1944 WS 5 SLB W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9 7 0 0 2 12 0 83 36
T7 Chris Carpenter 10/24/2006 WS 3 DET W 5-0 GS-8 ,W 8 3 0 0 0 6 0 82 26
T7 Bob Gibson 10/8/1967 WS 4 BOS W 6-0 SHO9 ,W 9 5 0 0 1 6 0 82 33
T7 Bill Hallahan 10/2/1931 WS 2 PHA W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9 3 0 0 7 8 0 82 37
T7 Pete Alexander 10/3/1926 WS 2 NYY W 6-2 CG 9 ,W 9 4 2 1 1 10 0 82 31

Forsch is one of only 28 pitchers in Major League Baseball history to throw multiple no-hitters. His first was on April 16, 1978 versus the Philadelphia Phillies with his second occurring on September 26, 1983 against the Montreal Expos. Those no-hitters were the only two ever thrown at Busch Stadium II, where Forsch won more games and pitched more innings than any other pitcher.

(The above links will take you to the boxscores for each of the no-hitters.)

In addition, here is Mike Shannon’s call of the final out of Forsch’s second no-hitter, courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals: link to audio.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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6 Responses to “Remembering Bob Forsch’s greatness”

  1. LarryBird says:

    One of my all time favorite Cardinals. I was very happy when I saw him throw out the 1st pitch in game 7. He will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers to his family and all Cardinal nation.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Bob Forsch was also a work horse for many years. It was a time when the Cards did not have enough pitching, IIRC. It seemed like Forsch and then pray for 4 days of rain. Forsch manned up and carried a heavy workload in eating innings. This helps everyone else on the staff.

    Forsch may have been a 3rd baseman as an amateur and a low round draft pick. A switch to the mound enabled a long and highly respectable ML career.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I’ve listened to the interview. Matheny is not a poker player. He has been preparing his position, with help from Mo for months I’d say. This is your new coach and he really can’t hide his excitement. 1yr deal with a team options. the interesting part involves who they bring up, or whether Oquendo even survives this process. The exciting part is the parade of candidates the marched through for show. Kind of looks like Francona is not stupid. He knows the hiring, if at all will happen in 2013. It looks bad to be refused and he likely knows that. So it appears to me anyway.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      In baseball, the leading guy is a manager, rather than coach. You seem to be suggesting Matheny will be the new manager.
      This is possible. Mike would make an excellent choice. Oquendo still has the inside track, however. Mike could become the bench coach in a few years and position himself to be the next manager, after Jose.
      We shall just have to see what Mo decides, once he decides.
      The Cards are fortunate to enjoy several superb candidates from inside the family.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    401 starts for the Cards by Forsch. About 2, 660 innings pitched. A huge workload.

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