May 13, 1924
Well, the Chrysler was all packed up and ready to head for Pittsburgh after the game, but ain't it funny how things change whenever Benny is part of the story?
We were ready to give those Reds a beating after yesterday's hitless tragedy, and for a while it looked like it could happen. Our biggest winner Bill Hubbell was pitching, and they had Pete Donohue, who's their worst. We were in the upper right field stands for the last game, and the place was pretty crowded for a Tuesday because the Reds were only one game out when the day started, and we were able to move to seats with a good view not blocked by lady-hats. Anyway, two singles, a walk and a big double from Sand in the leadoff hole gave us a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, before doubles from Harper and Wilson and a single by Cy Williams made it 4-0 an inning later!
Cincy has this knack for building rallies out of nothing, though, and sure enough they did it again, Chick Shorten, a spare outfielder batting second because Roush was out along with four other regulars, doubled past Mokan with two outs in the 5th. Then a ball squished past Wilson behind the plate to get Shorten to third. Then Boob and the Rube went to town, a triple from Fowler and a single by Bressler to make it 4-2. I got all worried but Benny said don't worry, this is our lucky day because we deserve one.
How do you explain the 7th inning, then? Shorten singled to start, and Huck Betts came in for Hubbell. Boob and the Rube both singled. So did Pinelli, followed by a sacrifice pop by Bubbles Hargrave, and the game was tied. Then Cliff Lee began the Cincy 8th with a dumb and stupid and lucky homer off the foul stick in left, and we were behind. Dang it to hell! Benny still had faith, though, and cheered himself a little by yelling at the celebrating crowd to shut up.
Then Sand singled off Red reliever Jakie May to begin the 9th. Holke lined out and Harper grounded Sand to second with two outs. Here came Cy, with three singles already, his best game in weeks. And what does he do? Smoke a two-strike pitch between Lee and George Burns and it rolls all the way to the fence for a game-tieing triple! "HUZZAH!" we shouted and jumped so high our heads almost hit the grandstand roof.
We went into extra innings, which naturally had to happen on the day we had to leave early, but they didn't last that long. With two outs in the Red 10th, Betts lost everything he sort of had. May singled, Hugh Critz doubled him to third, and lousy little Chick Shorten ran out an infield hit to give them the stinkin' game.
At least we put up a good battle, Benny said, and I agreed, but now we had a bigger problem because the Over-the-Rhine Boys were on us again. Were we really cheering that loud? They caught us from behind right near our car, dragged us back to their neighborhood. But this time they were laughing and happy and telling us in their weird thick voices that they weren't going to let us leave town without showing us a "gut" time at their "Bock-skellar", whatever that was.
What it was was a private beer cellar of their own down some narrow winding stairs inside a dark apartment house. They had four large kegs down there and long tables set up and German travel posters up on the wet stone walls, and German music played on a phonograph and an old guy with an apron brought down plates of sausages and then a half dozen big German girls showed up to join the party and Benny was suddenly in nervous heaven.
This beer actually tasted lots better than the Mecklenburg stuff, and it wasn't long before I was patting people on the back more than they did on mine. Three guys actually named Muellerschmidt were surrounding Benny and asking him what village in Bavaria his ancestors were from and Benny had to make up a name that sounded more like a pig snort. I had this 20-year-old fraulein named Ute all over me trying to speak English and butchering every word but I didn't care because she smelled like a morning meadow and kept petting my head like I was her little schnauzer. After my fourth mug of Bock I wrote down my address for her and stupidly said she could write me, which was right before we were forced to stand on a table and sing a few German songs we had to fake so that they'd let us leave. We hugged them and Ute slurpy-kissed me and then we were somehow back on the Over-the-Rhine street and stumbling back to the ball park.
Benny drove like a kook like I figured he would, and I begged him to pull off the road so we could sleep for a while and not kill ourselves, but he said it's easier to drive in the dark because there's less cars on the road and I was too soused to argue with him.
Which is why I woke up at sunrise with the car stuck in the middle of some farmer's muddy field, and Benny snoring on top of the wheel. The farmer came out with his rifle but was laughing too hard to shoot us and finally helped us push the car back onto the highway. Thank God Cincy to Pittsburgh will be one of our shortest drives on this trip. Good evening I mean morning. People-readers...
PHL 022 000 001 0 - 5 11 0
CIN 000 020 210 1 - 6 18 -1
Other National League games today:
at CUBS 5-6-1, ROBINS 3-9-1
Shocking beyond words. Dazzy Vance takes a 3-1 lead into the Chicago 8th inning and Jigger Statz sparks a huge rally on the best hurler around with a pinch single. A walk and three more singles follow, and the Brooklynites lose three straight at Wrigley after taking the opening games. Oh, will Rachel be upset when she reads this account tomorrow! Pete Alexander had his worst stuff, which made the winning rally even more of a surprise.
at PIRATES 4-11-0, BRAVES 0-9-0
So this is where we're now headed to recuperate from Cincinnati? Ray Kremer blanks the feeble Braves and the Bucs sweep them out of Forbes and are now in first by a whole game.
at CARDINALS 5-14-1, GIANTS 4-8-2 (10 innings)
Nothing is going right for McGraw's men, as they once again get a dice roller's worst luck in St. Louis. Kelly finally hits his first homer of the year, but is given a triple the next time up when the ball bounces off a post behind the left field wall, a bad scoring that might have given New York the lead. Instead Jonnard loses his second rough outing of the series on two singles, a strange balk call, and two-out Bottomley single in the 10th.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Tuesday, May 13|
|New York Giants||14||13||.519||3.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||14||14||.500||4|