10.06.2009

OUR VERY OWN HOUDINI


July 17, 1924

There was scattered drizzles all day in Chicago, which is pretty rare in summer here but darn refreshing after all the heat we've been playing in. The crowd was a little less but because they were afraid of the game getting called off everyone was yelling at the players and umps more to try and keep it moving.

And what better pitcher to throw for us on a dark and stormy day but The Amazing Carlson, scoring rally escape artist extraordinaire! Hal had given up 168 hits in just 120 innings, but his record somehow was still 6-7 with a not that awful earned run average of 4.71. How did he do it, you ask? Well, let's go to Cubs Park's center stage and watch!

Heathcote began the Cubs 1st with a wicked single, but Carlson got a double play grounder from Friberg. Grantham then walked and Grimes singled, but Hack Miller flied out for Escape No. 1. With one out in the 2nd, Weis walked and Adams singled. Pitcher Keen bunted them over, but Carlson got a grounder out of Heathcote for Escape No. 2.

In the top of the 4th, we went to work on Vic Keen, who's been pitching great lately but looked like his 5-12 record in this one. Cy Williams led with a booming triple, Wrightstone followed with a banging double, and Wilson pinged a single for a 2-0 lead. After Mokan grounded out, Ford doubled and The Amazing Carlson chipped in with his second single for a 4-0 lead.

Hartnett and Weis doubled to begin the bottom half, but after Adams walked and Keen bunted, Carlson got Heathcote and Friberg on infield balls for Escape No. 3. Want some more? Okay. Weis and Adams singled to start their 6th, but Carlson got Keen on a whiff and Heathcote and Friberg on grounders again. If they made a new statistic called PPF (pitching in a pickle factor), Carlson would lead the league every year.

And Keen would be at the bottom of the list. He has three times the talent Carlson does but always throws the wrong pitch at the wrong time, and it happened here in the 7th to put the game to bed. Holke and Cy got on base with two outs, and Jimmie Wilson picked a fat fastball and rammed it over the left field wall for a 3-run smash and 7-1 lead! Carlson gave up a scoring fly to Miller, got out of another jam, then got his fourth hit of the game, a long homer which got the Cubs Park crowd booing like I've never heard. A bunch of hits and walks later Keen was gone and we had ten runs on the board, the most we've scored in ages.

Hal was the toast of the club house of course, and everyone wanted to take him out for food and illegal drink. The party started in Harper's room at the Knickerbocker but we ran out of whiskey bottles before long and headed out. I got stuffed into the back of a taxi with Heinie and Holke and Henline and we ended up at a chop house that had a speakeasy in the back over on North Broadway, where Benny and me incredibly bumped into Rachel at a dancing club back in May.

As usual, I had too much to eat and even more too much to drink, and the cigar smoke was making me gag and I had to step out the back door of the place, where I saw Heinie kissing some waitress to death under a lamp post. At least he was happy again, though we'd all be paying for it tomorrow. Heck, though, when you're seventh place material you gotta get your good times whenever you can.

Good night—hic!—reader-folks!
—Vinny

PHI 000 400 330 -10 14 0
CHI 000 100 110 - 3 13 1

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 6-11-0, GIANTS 1-8-6
So much for McGraw's boys playing well in Pittsburgh. Thanks to their convenient Travis Jackson injury right before they got to town, Frisch is forced to play shortstop and makes two big flubs in the Bucs' four-run 1st. O'Connell, forced to play second, makes two of his own, and Lee Meadows has an easy time with the suddenly-yucky Giant bats.

at REDS 6-12-3, ROBINS 4-8-3
Another slop festival, naturally won by the Reds because the Pirates also won. Neither Osborne or Luque have anything to offer, but Pedro Dibut is great in relief for Cincy, getting them out of two big jams.

at CARDINALS 9-11-0, BRAVES 2-6-1
Dickerman beats Marquard in what is a close game until the Cards get bored and score six times in the 7th on three hits, four walks, a double and hit batter. The Braves? They ain't too good.










NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, July 17
Pittsburgh Pirates5729.663
Cincinnati Reds5436.6005
Brooklyn Robins5238.5787
New York Giants5037.5757.5
St. Louis Cardinals4444.50014
Chicago Cubs3949.44319
Philadelphia Phillies3555.38924
Boston Braves2366.25835.5

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