Greatest Moments, No. 27: What A Relief

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(Editor's Note: Fourth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

The Cubs didn't provide their fans with much to cheer about for much of the 1960s, but an extraordinary effort by starting pitcher Bob Buhl and three relievers on May 23, 1965 was one of those rare occasions as the North Siders fell behind early but rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.


Bob Buhl contributed the first six of 15 consecutive scoreless innings by Cubs pitchers against the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on May 23, 1965.

The Dodgers scored twice against Buhl in the first inning as Wiilie Davis (single) and Ron Fairly (double) each drove in a run. But Buhl settled down and limited Los Angeles to no runs and just two hits over the next six innings.

The Cubs finally got on the board against Los Angeles starter Johnny Podres in the sixth inning when Ron Santo smacked a two-out solo homer.

The Dodgers were still clinging to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth when reliever Stu Miller issued a leadoff walk to Santo. Ernie Banks followed with a single to advance Santo to third and the Cubs third baseman scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Doug Clemens.

After reliever Ted Abernathy turned in two shutout innings, Cubs head coach Bob Kennedy handed the ball to Lindy McDaniel to start the 10th. The Dodgers threatened in the 11th and 13th, but McDaniel pitched out of those jams and limited Los Angeles to just three hits while striking out eight over five innings of outstanding relief.

Dodgers relivers Ron Perranoski (2 innings) and Jim Brewer (4 innings) countered with shutout extra-inning baseball.

The Cubs squandered a leadoff double by Santo in the 11th and leadoff walks by Roberto Pena in the 12th and Clemens in the 14th.

With a small portion of a Sunday crowd of 17,139 still on hand, Banks smashed a one-out double off Dodgers reliever Howie Reed in the bottom of the 16th. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. Los Angeles manager Walter Alston elected to intentionally walk Clemens and Vic Roznovsky to load the bases but his strategy was foiled when pinch hitter George Altman walked to force in Banks with the winning run.

Dick Ellsworth, who had earned a complete-game victory over Don Drysdale just two days earlier, pitched the final two innings for the Cubs. The North Siders held Los Angeles scoreless for the game's final 15 innings.

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