DWINDLING LEAD RE-FATTENED WITH PLUCKED CARDINALS
By C. Jedediah Butterworth
Base Ball Freescriber
September 3, 1924
PITTSBURGH—After a memorably foul night in a Chicago hotel room, brought about by a massive consumption of steer at the Berghoff, I contact Master Spanelli once again to return his favor and give him a day's break from National League reporting.
Also, with the Senators idle again and me having quite enough of Comiskey Park for a while, I desire ribald pennant race action, and the Steel City is where it occurs this week. The Cubs are gone, to the gratefulness of the locals, and the lead that was recently nine games has been slimmed to six. The usually-swatting Cardinals have replaced them, and Flint Rhem faces Johnny Morrison in the opener.
Now Morrison has had the Irish luck since April, fashioning his lukewarm talent into a sizzling 12-4 mark, and everything falls right for him again in the early frames at Forbes. The usual devastating and timely injury to the opposition occurs in the 2nd when Sunny Jim Bottomley is hit on the ankle by a pitch and will be out for three of the four games here. St. Louis gets a rash of runners aboard but double play balls by the sterling combo of Wright and Maranville quickly extinguish them.
For his part, Flint Rhem is throwing wonderfully for the visiting nine, and the game is still scoreless going to the last of the 7th. A fat 6-0 lead for Philadelphia over the Robins has been on the score board for some time, and the Forebesian throng is getting restless. The Cardinals have wasted enough chances, say the base ball gods, and it is time to make them pay. Thus, Wright walks and Maranville singles. Thus a bouncer by third-string catcher Walter Schmidt clanks off Cooney's glove at short for an error. Morrison plates the first run with a deep fly, Carey shoots a ball to deep right-center for a triple and the Pirate lead is abruptly 3-0.
Morrison strolls back out to the hill to relax in his 8th inning lawn chair, but he never should have raised his feet, for Cooney makes good on his muff with a searing lead triple. Wattie Holm pinch-bats a single. A wild pitch gets Holm to second, two grounders get him home and it is 3-2.
Then the 9th arrives—oh, the dramatic, gloriously tragic 9th—and the mystifyingly dormant Hornsby erupts with a lead walk. Two outs go by and the denizens rise to their feet, waving hats. But Cooney singles to hush them, catcher Mike Gonzalez doubles in both runners to mute them, and St. Louis has a 4-3 lead!
It is at junctures like this that Pittsburgh has awed and shocked the base ball world for months. No lead, whether big or small, has been safe here in the Buccaneers' maritimes. Even with Cardinal relief expert Jesse Fowler at the wheel, even after Clyde Barnhart bats for Morrison and skies out to begin things, no one is ruling out a fresh uprising.
And like most Pirate ambushes, this one happens with four slashes of a bloody cutlass. Carey doubles, Grimm singles, Moore singles, Captain Kiki Cuyler fires a whistling liner over Douthit's head in center, and Pittsburgh is awash in noise and delirious revelry once more.
Saddened as I am for today's chapter in the pennant race, I am honored to be here and witness the latest local miracle, even though it still has my mind buzzing hours later. At the hotel, a fetching young female table servant named Gretchen slips me a tiny glass of homemade liquor to calm my nerves, and I am more than grateful to her...
STL 000 000 022 - 4 9 1
PIT 000 000 302 - 5 12 1
Other National League games:
at PHILLIES 6-6-0, ROBINS 1-4-1
One day after winning twice at Baker, Brooklyn is hoodwinked by Hal Carlson. Decatur pitches nearly as well, but one horrific 2nd inning, when the Quakers bunch four singles and a Carlson 3-run homer together, does them in and knocks them seven games out again.
GIANTS 8-14-1, at BRAVES 1-7-3
at BRAVES 7-14-0, GIANTS 5-13-1
McQuillan has his way with the Beaneaters in the opener, thanks to a huge Bill Terry home run early on, but even with Kelly returning to the fore in Game Two, the patched and weary Giant pitching parade of Ryan, Baldwin and Jonnard cannot stem the Boston hitting tide. Ed Sperber's 8th inning blast off Jonnard nullifies a wonderful New York comeback after Terry homers again in the top of the inning to briefly give the Giants the lead.
at REDS 5-8-0, CUBS 4-8-3
Having fallen under .500 in their home park, the Reds desperately need a win and get one from the shockingly undefeated Rube Benton, now 8-0 on the campaign. A 2-run clout from George Burns off Jacobs knots the game in the 6th, and a two-out gaffe by Spark Adams puts the winner across in the 8th as Chicago is suddenly and strangely missing Pittsburgh.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE through Wednesday, September 3|
|New York Giants||73||58||.557||9.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||64||67||.489||18.5|