Lights Out: Larry Jaster Blanks Los Angeles for the Fifth Time … in One Season
When: September 28, 1966
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Game Time: 2:27
Pitcher Larry Jaster won 35 games during his seven-year major league career. Five of those victories came in a single season, against a single team: the team that would claim the National League pennant.
The left-handed Jaster was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1962 and made his debut with the Cardinals in 1965, pitching a scoreless inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game St. Louis lost 3-2.
Jaster made three starts after that initial appearance, going 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA. The Dodgers were the only team Jaster faced but didn’t beat in 1965. That would be rectified – repeatedly – in 1966.
Jaster was 1-1 when he first faced the Dodgers in 1966, beating them 2-0 on a seven-hit shutout, striking out seven batters and walking none. He faced the Dodgers again on July 3, and shut them out again on three hits.
On July 29, Jaster faced the Dodgers again and pitched another shutout, winning 4-0 on a five-hitter. When Jaster faced the Dodgers for the fifth time that season, they were still fighting off the Pittsburgh Pirates for the National League pennant. The Dodgers started 12-game winner Don Sutton against the Cardinals and Jaster, who was 10-5 coming into his final start on the season. Both teams were scoreless after three innings. Jaster retired the first 11 Los Angeles batters.
In the bottom of the fourth, Curt Flood reached base on an error and Tim McCarver walked. Two outs later, both runners scored on Ed Spiezo’s double. Jaster retired the Dodgers in order in the fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the seventh, Jaster gave up two singles, but struck out Al Ferrara to notch another scoreless inning. In the top of the eighth, Jaster gave up a walk but no runs. In the top of the ninth he retired the Dodgers in order.
Jaster’s four-hitter was his fifth shutout of the Dodgers that season: five starts, 45 innings, no runs. Over the rest of his career, which would last only five more seasons, Jaster would be 4-5 with a 4.21 ERA against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers survived Jaster to win the 1966 National League pennant by 1.5 games over the San Francisco Giants.