By Calvin J. Butterworth
June 11, 1924
Today's "battle" at Navin Field begged the question: When two underachieving clubs square off, must one of them win?
With their often feisty, occasionally ferocious but usually moribund lineup, the Tigers are a perfect match for Babe Ruth and his over-ballyhooed boys from Broadway, a team with just a single Worlds' Championship to speak of but, if one were to read nothing but the base ball press, an outfit with a divine right to a king's crown year in and year out.
Each team's glaring flaws were on display for all to dissect this afternoon as Yankee ace Herb Pennock went up against Detroit's regal second man, Earl Whitehill. The Tigers were eager to avenge their visit to the Bronx last month when they dropped three of the four contests, and seemed to be on schedule for such when O'Rourke and Whitehill both singled to begin the lower 3rd. Haney then rifled a single to plate a run but was caught slumbering as he rounded the bag and tagged out by an alert Pipp. Cobb singled for the second run, Heilman and Woodall followed with singles but Pratt grounded out to end the small uprising. Leave it to the Tigers to collect six singles in one inning and only two runs.
The Bambino was in the leadoff spot once more, because against lefties he tends to merely walk. After he popped out weakly to begin the game, the Navin rowdies drenched him with non-stop barking for the first half hour of the game, but Ruth muzzled them when he opened the Yankee 4th with a deep drive that banged off the top of the right field fence for a double. As one could predict, Combs and Meusel fanned and popped out respectively, but Pipp sliced a double into left to score the Rotund One and cut the score to 2-1.
We moved to the top of the 7th, both hurlers calming down. Jumping Joe Dugan singled with one out, and with two retired, Aaron Ward tripled to tie the game. Schang singled Ward home and New York had a 3-2 lead. Pennock then singled and Ruth drew his second walk, but Combs skied out with the bases filled—a fatal mistake. Cobb singled and robbed second right away, Heilman singled him home and the game was knotted again.
Pratt went out with a foot ailment, and with Burke already filling in for the injured Rigney, Detroit's infield was porous at the wrong time. Burke booted a Meusel grounder to begin the Yankee 8th but Pipp, Dugan and Scott could do nothing with the opportunity. Walks to Ward and Ruth (his third) in the 9th gave Combs a chance to leave two more aboard, and he did not disappoint.
Then Burke flubbed another roller to start the 10th. Pipp singled, as did Dugan. The sacks were filled with nary an out and Whitehill was spent. If Cobb knows any team, though, it is the Yankees, and he surely knew how putrid they tend to perform against lefties. A tired Whitehill is a better bet than a snappy Bert Cole any day, so Earl was allowed to face the bottom of the Gotham lineup. Sure enough, Scott and Ward both grounded into killing home plate force-outs, Schang rolled to Burke, and the inning was over.
Lu Blue, who took over first base for Pratt, singled off Pennock to begin the Tiger 10th, It was our 14th hit off the beleaguered craftsman, all singles. Burke and O'Rourke both made out, but Whitehill, with Cobb showing devout faith in him, sizzled a hit between Ruth and Combs that bounced all the way to the fence! Here came Lu Blue circling third base, spikes churning up sod, as he slid across the glorious dish for the winner!!
So I suppose I stand corrected. Two flawed outfits can still stage a thrilling performance if they are evenly mediocre, one of the marvelous things about our beloved sport.
NYY 000 100 200 0 - 3 9 0
DET 002 000 100 1 - 4 15 2
Other American League games today:
at BROWNS 8-16-2, SENATORS 6-11-1
The good news for Washington is that Joe Judge returned to their lineup without hurting himself again. The rotten news is that with a 6-2 lead as late as the 6th, Firpo Marberry pitched like a vaudeville clown, giving St. Louis four tieing runs on four singles, a walk and wild pitch. He served up his sixth double of the game to begin the Brownie 8th before Bucky Harris' long cane went around his neck and yanked him off the mound. With Russell unavailable, in came Martina, and George Sisler crushed his first pitch over the fence for the shocking winning scores.
at WHITE SOX 11-13-2, ATHLETICS 5-12-2
Thankful that the annoying Red Sox are out of town, Chicago reverts to blistering form and plates seven runs in the 2nd inning off Sam Gray. Chicago's Fearsome Five are on base 14 of their 25 times to the plate, and Sloppy Thurston relishes the support for his seventh win.
at INDIANS 4-13-1, RED SOX 3-8-0
Sorry to be leaving Comiskey Park, the Bostons and Oscar Fuhr take a 3-1 lead to the 6th and get ambushed by the Tribe for three quick runs, the deciders coming in on a two-out single by Rube Lutzke. It finishes a clean four-game sweep today for the western clubs.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE through Wednesday, June 11|
|Chicago White Sox||34||21||.618||1.5|
|New York Yankees||27||28||.491||8.5|
|St. Louis Browns||25||30||.455||10.5|
|Boston Red Sox||24||30||.444||11|