By Calvin J. Butterworth
June 4, 1924
The esteemed Walter Johnson took his 8-2 mark into Navin Field today, and most were confident he would further Washington's winning ways with ease, but the pesky Bengals had a different plan. Two of the Big Train's three losses have now come against Detroit, and the base ball world is all a-twitter about it.
The Nats were offensively handicapped with Judge and Ruel still out, but they fare well against southpaws, and Ed Wells' last outing was a thing of ugliness. Sure enough, after run-scoring singles from Bassler and Cobb gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead, Doc Prothro tripled to open the 3rd. A flurry of walks and singles followed, a standard run-scorer by Goslin among them, and the game was knotted up.
What's worse, Heilman was removed from the game after being plunked on the hand back in the 1st, so things looked grim for the hometowners. But after a Wells single and Manush double in the 4th, Peckinpaugh muffed a Cobb grounder and Detroit was back in front. But this didn't last, either. Singles by reserve Nats Mule Shirley and Tommy Taylor, a Prothro double and singles from Rice and Goslin gave Washington a 6-4 cushion in the 6th.
But Johnson's sweeping arm was a half speed off today, for he was inviting runners onto the sacks at an appalling rate. Les Burke singled off him to begin the Tiger 6th, was bunted to second by Wells, and scored on a Lu Blue double to close the score to 6-5. Two walks and two bloop singles the next inning then re-tied the game, and both starters fought their way out of subsequent pickles until Burke got his third straight single to open the bottom of the 9th. The Train retired the next two men but then Manush lined his fourth hit, a single between McNeely and RIce, to send Burke to third.
Up stepped Cobb, hands grinding into his bat handle, spikes gouging the batter box earth. Johnson peered into Bennie Tate, got the sign and twirled. Cobb swung fiercely, stroked the sphere over the head of Harris and Burke skipped home with the winner.
"I blame no one but myself," Johnson said after, "For some reason the Tiger lineup pecks me like no other." Gentleman to the end, the Train will have to wait a while to avenge this one in his notoriously silent and deadly fashion.
WAS 003 003 000 - 6 16 1
DET 210 101 101 - 7 14 0
Other American League games today:
at WHITE SOX 4-8-1, YANKEES 3-8-1
Not even Bullet Joe Bush can save the New Yorkers from another devastating loss, their sixth in succession. Ruth is moved to the leadoff spot to secure him as many at-bats as possible, and all he gets is buzzard's luck, missing a homer when the ball hits the very top of the Comiskey fence. Faber and Bush pitch equally well into the 9th but 15 of the final 16 Yankees go down meekly as they wait around for the inevitable cheap Chicago winning rally: three walks and a Bibb Falk single.
at BROWNS 8-15-1, RED SOX 3-7-2
After painting the walls Brown the day before, Boston plays a pitiful game with their best pitcher Ehmke on the hill. Veach and Harris errors in the 6th lead to the three runs that tilt the game for good.
ATHLETICS 16-19-2, at INDIANS 2-6-2
Coveleski is the latest hurler to be lambasted by the rampaging A's, who believe it or not are now a scant one game out of third place. Two six-run innings are on their dance card today against Stan Coveleski and his useless follow-ups Metivier and Yowell. Poor League Park has become little more than a visitor's shooting range.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, June 4|
|Chicago White Sox||32||16||.667||0.5|
|New York Yankees||24||24||.500||8.5|
|St. Louis Browns||21||27||.438||11.5|
|Boston Red Sox||19||28||.404||13|