ST. LOUIS — You don’t have to be an all-time Cardinals great to have an all-time great game for the Cardinals — although some of the greats have certainly had standout performances. One legendary game can put a player in the record books and provide a lifetime of memories, no matter the season or career he went on to have.
St. Louis has seen its share of pitchers dominating the mound on any given game. Here are some of the top individual pitching performances in Cardinals history:
1. Bob Gibson, Oct. 2, 1968: Game 1 of the World Series
Key fact: 17 strikeouts remains a playoff record
It was a pitching matchup about as epic as they come, with both leagues’ eventual Cy Young and MVP winners meeting on the mound to open the 1968 World Series — Gibson was coming off a historic 1.12 ERA season, while the Tigers’ Denny McLain went 31-6 in baseball’s last 30-win season. Gibson won the duel with a masterpiece: a 17-strikeout shutout that broke Sandy Koufax’s single-game postseason record set in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series.
This magnificent performance from Gibson earned him a Game Score of 93, a concept devised by Bill James in order to assign a single statistic to a pitcher’s outing. It wasn’t the highest-ever Game Score for a Cardinal — that belongs to Roy Parmelee’s 116 after a 17-inning shutout on April 29, 1936 –…