RECENTLY, IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: Rachel's Robins edge Vinny's Phils 13-12, and Vinny ain't talking...Bucs steamroll Cubs again after falling behind 4-0 again...Giants beat the Braves for a change...

June 27, 1924

Rachel was just a chipper little June bug in the morning, sitting with Mama and talking about shoes. I never quite got what girls find so interesting about feetwear, but get them started and you might as well go out for a walk yourself. Today I still needed one after losing yesterday's slugging party, but I had told myself lying on the downstairs couch that it was just over a dumb game, and that getting on good with Rachel was much more important.

So after breakfast I took her for a stroll along the Schuylkill River, where the trees were nice and shady. We sat for a while and watched some tugboat captains and Schuylkill Navy rowers sweat their way by us, and it was a nice way to mend things up before heading back to the ball park. I apologized for being such a bad sport yesterday and she said it was no big deal, and agreed with me that we should just enjoy the game together and not let the fact we're going for different teams bug us. What we actually did was hold hands and make a pact to make it through nine innings without once letting one thing on the field get us upset. We both knew that would be tough, but if we were going to stay close friends and especially any kind of romantic ones we had to learn how to do that every day.

Dutch Ruether was facing Bill Hubbell, two pitchers who can either be hot or cold, and Hubbell was the first cold one. Three singles, a walk and hit batter put Brooklyn up 2-0 in the 2nd, and I patted Rachel on the shoulder and said "Good for you!" when she managed to not jump out of her seat with a cheer.

Joe Schultz knocked in a Philly run with a single in the 5th, and in the last of the 7th, with two of our guys aboard, Sand grounded one out to Mitchell at short, but Johnny first kicked the ball, then whipped it over Fournier's head and into the seats for a tie game! Rachel's face turned purple and crinkled up like a bad plum but she kept a frozen smile and pretended everything was just fine.

But then the game ended some kind of zone that was almost like weird twilight. Ruether kept putting us on the bases but we kept hitting into double plays, while Hubbell turned into Houdini himself. Fournier and Wheat were getting aboard almost every time but the last five spots in the Robins' lineup couldn't buy a hit for a thousand dollars. The game went into the 10th, then the 11th, then the 12th, Rachel buying one lemonade after another from the vendor to keep from fainting, while I just kept nervous-munching on pretzels.

"Amazing game, isn't it?" I asked her when we went into the 13th. "Yeah, sure is," she said, afraid to look at me too. Wilson doubled in the 13th for us after Williams singled, but Cy got gunned out at home plate and we didn't score. Two Robins got on with singles in the top of the 14th but Fletcher walked Wheat on purpose and Griffith grounded out. Woehr pinch-ran for Parkinson at second in our 14th, but got thrown out at home two outs later. It was clear that me and Rachel were either going to not see each other again after this game or be together forever.

Steineder finally took over for Hubbell in the 15th inning and got Brooklyn 1-2-3. Then Holke walked to lead off our half. Wilson singled him to third with one out and up stepped Mokan. I peeked at Rachel and saw she had her eyes shut, the sick smile still stuck on her face. Mokan lined a single over a jumping Mitchell, Baker Bowl went loony, I yelped out a small huzza and threw my arms around Rachel. "I'm so sorry, beautiful", I said, words I didn't even know could come out of me. She turned with her eyes all wet, gave me a real three-second kiss and whispered, "Thanks Vinny..."

We held hands all the way to Reading Terminal for that ice cream we ditched yesterday, and we glanced at each other all through another Mama spaghetti dinner, and afterward I ripped some boards off an upstairs door so we could get up to my roof and sit on a wall to look at the city lights and a bunch of bright stars off to the west. We'd made it through another punishing game, and tomorrow there would be two, but for now there was just us, and sweet dreams all ready to go. Good night, reader-people!

BRK 020 000 000 000 000 - 2 13 3
PHL 000 010 100 000 001 - 3 16 0

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 9-18-2, CUBS 8-18-4 (14 innings)
Make it THREE straight games the Cubs give up a four-run lead at Forbes Field. This time they're up 8-4 in the 9th with Aldridge pitching, and it still ain't enough. Grantham botches a grounder, Cuyler homers and it's 8-6. Gooch singles and Wheeler relieves. Wright doubles, Ens pinch-hits a single, and Grimes boots another one to tie the game. Unhittable Babe Adams takes over for a terrible Kremer, who gave Chicago 16 hits and still didn't lose, and the game drags into the 14th, when Butch Weis drops a fly, Carey and Moore walk and Cuyler proves again he's the best player in a pinch in the league with a deep single to win it.

at GIANTS 10-16-2, BRAVES 5-11-2
Mule Watson pitches the distance, and the bottom of the Giant lineup drives in six of the ten runs, with Hack Wilson throwing in a homer and double.

at CARDINALS 1-8-0, REDS 0-10-1
Johnny Stuart rises out of the St. Louis bullpen graveyard, takes the mound due to Alan Sothoron's injury, and pitches a solid 10-hit shutout. Hornsby's sacrifice fly in the 8th off the even tougher Carl Mays is the game's only run.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Friday, June 27
Pittsburgh Pirates4522.672
Cincinnati Reds4130.5776
Brooklyn Robins3830.5597.5
New York Giants3830.5597.5
St. Louis Cardinals3731.5448.5
Chicago Cubs3136.46314
Philadelphia Phillies2643.37720
Boston Braves1751.25028.5

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