By Calvin J. Butterworth
Detroit Free-Enterprise

May 15, 1924

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Yesterday's horrifying Detroit loss to the win-starved Athletics was a jolly May Day parade compared to the excruciating torture they put their fans through this afternoon at Shibe Park, and with the 6-5 extra-inning defeat, our Bengals deservingly dropped back below the .500 mark.

Shabby hurling and evaporating opportunities ruined them this time, and Johnny Bassler did most of the damage. The hefty backstopper, who Cobb has opted to bat third despite his walrus-like speed, popped out with a man on second to end the 3rd, grounded out with a man on first to end the 5th, hit into a double play with two on base to finish the 7th, and for good measure, grounded weakly to first with two men on to end the top of the 10th. For the game, Detroit batted into four twin killings so Bassler wasn't the only perpetrator, but every time we squeezed out a run, Holloway or Johnson or Dauss gave tallies right back.

To the Tigers' credit, it was 4-2 last-placers in the 9th when three singles, two walks and a passed ball gave us a 5-4 comeback lead, but Pratt ended the inning by rapping into another twin-killer. This proved deadly, when a Dykes triple and Miller double tied the score and sent the game into extra frames. Dykes singled to begin the Athletic 11th and Miller walked. Bert Cole replaced the ineffective Dauss, and Lamar moved them over with a well-spotted bunt. Hauser then hit a grounder to Rigney, who fired home to nail Dykes in a burst of dust. Miller went to third on the play, and Al Simmons dug in with two outs. Cole reared back, fired, and the ball sailed over the head of Bassler for the winning wild pitch.

This scribe must take it upon himself now to say a few words about these Tigers. Halfway through the month of May, they are proving to be a serious disappointment, and I would be shocked to find them part of the pennant flag hunt come July. They simply leave too many runners on the sacks, 279 in 29 games thus far, which computes to 9.62 per game, worst in either league. They have a .303 team batting average, which is reasonably good, but have scored less runs than four other American League teams, and herein lies the sticky issue.

Detroit has struck only seven home runs in a month and a half, one more than the lowly Boston Braves. This is undoubtedly due to the playing and managerial style of Ty Cobb, an aging, surly singles-ripper with a notorious distaste for the long fly. At times Cobb has been a firebrand on the field, but in a league where sluggers like Ruth and Goslin and Ken Williams propel spheres over fences with some regularity, Detroit has been trying to plate runs with rinky-dinkers, walks and donkers. Heilman has been an extra-base terror at times, and Manush has had a few big games, but they are the only large threats. The immortal Tyrus also seems to have little knowledge of pitching, as his moundsmen have conspired to allow 348 hits in 268 innings, and will carry a 5.31 earned run average into tomorrow's contest.

The reading public should not misinterpret my words, though. I am not suggesting Mr. Cobb should be sent a-packing; having him atop our lineup certainly provides a daily spark plug, and his many years of superior service to the Tigers has hardly been for naught. But his famed style of running, slappy play is not a suitable outfit for this current Tiger team to wear, and its continuing fashion may very well produce second division doom for 1924.

DET 000 010 013 00 - 5 13 1
PHA 000 020 021 01 - 6 16 2

Other American League contests:

at YANKEES 16-22-1, BROWNS 3-8-3
Bob Shawkey finally gets his second win as the Yanks pulverize, lambaste and boil the Brownies in a Bronx romp. Babe Ruth, naturally, drives in zero runs, and makes a three-base error to allow two St. Louis runs in the 9th to make his latest awful day complete. If the Bambino were playing the way he is capable of, his team might enjoy a five-game lead by now.

at SENATORS 7-12-2, INDIANS 1-4-3
Washington toys with the Tribe for five innings before putting them to sleep with two runs in the 6th and three more in the 8th. Big Train Johnson improves to 5-2 and lowers his earned run average to 2.38 as Washington surprisingly becomes the first club to notch 20 victories.

WHITE SOX 11-15-3, at RED SOX 10-12-1
Believe it or not, this game was 8-0 for Chicago into the 6th, but Robertson handed the Bostons eight runs in one inning with the help of two big misplays. The Pale Sox then scored three runs off reliever Buster Ross and withstood a two-run rally in the last of the 9th to stay just behind the Nats.

AMERICAN LEAGUE through Thursday, May 15
Washington Senators 2011.645
Chicago White Sox 1811.6211
New York Yankees 1812.6001.5
Detroit Tigers 1415.4835
Boston Red Sox 1316.4486
St. Louis Browns 1317.4336.5
Cleveland Indians 1219.3878
Philadelphia Athletics 1219.3878

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