August 25, 1924
Benny couldn't wait for us to get to Forbes Field. "Nine in a row, pal. And Bucs are gonna make ten. " After checking to be sure he wasn't high on reefer, I pretended to agree to keep him in a good mood, and hurried into the visiting club house to dress up in my batboy gear.
All the players were excited, because playing the league leaders always sharpens you like a pencil, and Johnny Couch who can sometimes be great was throwing for us against Wilbur Cooper, who is 13-9 despite pitching awful much of the time.
I heard some grumblings during the batting practice from Pirates who felt let down by not being able to face our colored brothers again—after all, they were the only NL team to beat the Black Phils—but all that did was get me excited because the Reds had felt the same way and then gone out and dropped three in a row to us.
The big problem here, though, was that slugging backstop Earl Smith was back in their lineup after a long injury, so beating these guys would be even tougher. But after Hod Ford singled with one out, a ball squirted past rusty-looking Smith and got him to second. Holke then got him in with a single and we had a 1-0 lead.
The amazing Cuyler doubled to lead their 2nd, and Wright got him home to tie the game, but the inning ending when Rabbit Maranville doubled and Cy smoked him at home plate with a perfect throw. A Max Carey single and steal and Moore single put them up 2-1 in the 3rd, but then Lady Luck gave us another big kiss. Holke singled to start the 4th, and when Cy poked one out to center, Carey lost it in the sun for a three-base error!
After a Jimmie Wilson single we had a 3-2 lead, and that's when Couch laid down for no one. Four innings went by with the Bucs only getting one single (by Cuyler, of course), and when Mokan bombed a ball over the left fence in the 8th we had a miracle two-run lead.
But Pittsburgh is where 1924 miracles have been dying all year, and we all should've known better. With two on and two out in their 8th and the unstoppable Cuyler up, an easy grounder got under Ford's glove for an error to load the bases, and Smith made it 4-3 with a single. We loaded the bases with two gone in the 9th, but Art Stone relieved Cooper to face Cy, who popped weakly to right and strand everybody. And you don't gotta be a baseball genius to know what that means.
Yup, with one out in the last of the 9th, the Rabbit ripped a ball that chewed up the grass between Cy and Mokan for a huge triple. Johnny Gooch, who played catcher while Smith was out and batted about .440, pinch-hit for Stone and popped an easy scoring fly to Mokan and the tie game.
This brought in secret Buc weapon Babe Adams, the stingiest relief man around, and he stingied us for no hits in three innings until Kiki Cuyler added to his legend by clubbing a two-out homer off Betts in the last of the 12th to end our win streak and turn our club house into a funeral parlor.
I wished they'd beaten us 16-2 like they usually do, but what the heck. At least we'll be home in a few days.
Good night, reader-people!
PHI 100 200 010 000 - 4 12 1
PIT 011 000 011 001 - 5 12 2
Other sad National League games today:
BRAVES 3-10-0, at REDS 1-13-3
How bad is it for Cincy these days? Try 13 hits and only 1 run against the worst team in the western hemisphere. And Carl Mays loses by giving up one flurry of hits in the 3rd inning.
at CARDINALS 10-14-0, ROBINS 0-5-0
Joining the Reds' swan dive are the Robins, losers of three straight as Art Decatur ruins a great scoreless duel with Sherdel by giving the Cards six runs in the 5th and four in the 6th. Speedless St. Louis catcher Vince Clemons racks up two triples and a double in the hideous romp.
GIANTS 11-16-4, at CUBS 10-13-1
New York does everything they can to throw the game away but the Cubs keep throwing it right back. With Mule Watson knocked out in the 2nd inning, Wayland Dean takes over, gives up homer-bombs to Hollocher and Hartnett (another one!), but George Kelly has probably his biggest game of the year, mashing two clouts and a double off Kaufmann and knocking in six of the eleven Giant runs. With Jonnard unavailable, Rosy Ryan relieves the exhausted Dean in the 7th and tosses two and a third scoreless innings. Do we sense a late resurgence in the McGraw camp here? Don't put your hard-earned money on it.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Monday, August 25|
|New York Giants||67||55||.549||12|
|St. Louis Cardinals||59||63||.484||20|