Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30

New York Wins 2 of 3 in Minnesota
August 28: New York 8, Minnesota 4
August 29: New Yor 20, Minnesota 3
August 30: Minnesota 2, New York 1

The Yanks won the first two games of the set on the strength of mammoth hitting. In game one, Minnesota starter George Mogridge made his Rhubarb debut and performed admirably for his seven innings of work and handed the bullpen a 4-3 lead. Joe Nathan quickly coughed up the lead in the top of the eighth on a two-run Derek Jeter jack, and Joe DiMaggio added a three-run dagger to the seats in the ninth. Lou Gehrig tacked on three more hits and a walk to his ludicrous season totals. Dellin Betances made an appearance from the New York bullpen to become the first player in the Rhubarb to take the field with 2017 stats factored into his card.

In game two, the biggest offense in the league had their biggest offensive game of the season as a string of Minnesota hurlers got bashed. Gehrig reached four times again and knocked his 33rd dong, and Babe Ruth collected his and the league’s second cycle of the season. The Babe first pulled the trick on May 13th in Seattle. Ruth singled in the first against Dutch Leonard, flew out in the third against Leonard, launched a three-run homer in the fourth against Firpo Marberry, drove in two with a double in the fifth against Marberry, drew a walk in the seventh off Al Worthington, and collected his sixth RBI of the game with a triple off Rick Aguilera in the eighth.

The finale could not have been much different. Minny starter Camilo Pascual managed to hold the NY bats to one run in seven innings, and Eddie Guardado nailed down two shutout innings to make the Twins’ two runs hold up.

Oakland’s Amazing Run Gains Momentum With Suffocating Sweep of Detroit
August 28: Oakland 3, Detroit 2 (16 inn.)
August 29: Oakland 3, Detroit 0
August 30: Oakland 7, Detroit 0

The Swingin’ A’s won their fifth straight series and are on a 17-4 roll that has them within two games of the division-leading Red Sox.

Detroit started the series in good shape, taking a 2-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning in game one. Starter Schoolboy Rowe made his season debut for the Tigers and did not allow an earned run in seven innings. But center gardener Al Kaline erred on a Bert Campaneris fliner to start the eighth, and the Tigers were doomed for the rest of the series. The two runs Detroit plated in the second inning of game one were the first and last they would score in the whole three-game, 34-inning series.

But game one was far from over after Campaneris reached in the eighth. Campy came around to score, and the A’s tied it up in the top of the ninth on the strength of a Jason Giambi walk and singles by Home Run Baker and Mickey Cochrane. The two bullpens dug in from there and it took seven extra innings to decide the competition. Oakland starter Chief Bender was strong for eight innings, and then Huston StreetDennis Eckersley, Rube Walberg, and Eddie Rommel came out of the Oakland pen for eight shut-down frames.

Dizzy Trout mowed down Oakland in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th and was still going in the 16th when Cochrane started it off with a single and Campaneris frozen-roped a triple to finally break the stalemate. In the bottom of the 16th, the Tigers got runners on the corners with just one out against Walberg, who was pulled in favor of Rommel. Rommel whiffed Hank Greenberg and grounded out Travis Fryman to end the saga.

Detroit looked dejected and done with their disappointing season in the next two games. Barry Zito twirled a shutout for the A’s in the middle game and Rube Waddell turned the same trick in game three. Jimmie Foxx provided fireworks on offense for Oakland with a homer in game two and three hits that included two doubles in game three.  Continue reading “Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30”


Boston Stomps Seattle in Meeting of First-Place Teams

August 25: Boston 2, Seattle 1

Erik Hanson valiantly dueled Cy Young, but a couple of Boston second-stringers at the bottom of the order were his undoing. Second baseman John Valentin homered for the Sox’s first run, then doubled in the seventh and was driven in by catcher Rick Ferrell.

Meanwhile Young continued his recent stretch of excellence after having had a merely decent season up until recently. He’s allowed just two earned runs combined over his last three starts, each of which nine innings in length.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 010 000 - 1 5  2
BOS 000 010 10x - 2 8  4

HR: J. Valentin (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Hanson   7.0  2  2  1  4  8  
C. Young    9.0  1  1  0  2  4 

SEA 68-58, BOS 73-54

August 26: Boston 11, Seattle 5

The next two games were old-fashioned beat-downs by Boston. Freddy Garcia pitched a scoreless first and got his first two men in the second inning before Boston went ballistic on him. Eight straight Sox reached and seven runs had scored before Garcia finally found the third out. Bobby Doerr donged, and Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Yasztremski, Ted Williams, and Jimmie Foxx all doubled in the inning. The Sox drilled nine doubles in the game. Incredible on-base machine Wade Boggs reached five times, including two doubles

                   R  H BB
SEA 010 000 112 -  5 11  4
BOS 072 011 00x - 11 16  7
HR: A. Davis (12), B. Doerr (10)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia   2.1  9  9  1  4  1  
L. Grove    6.0  1  1  0  2  3 

SEA 68-59, BOS 74-54



August 27: Boston 11, Seattle 3


Felix Hernandez suffered a similar fate in the finale, getting slammed early and often in a short outing. Yaz reached safely four times, and Tris Speaker, Jimmie Foxx, and Fred Lynn all collected three hits. Speaker leads the league in hits with 169.

It was a miserable set for Seattle, who were unfortunate to miss their top two starters, Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer, in the series. Boston took five of six from Seattle this year. Despite still being in first place, Seattle has the worst inter-division record in the league at 10-29.

                   R  H BB
SEA 000 120 000 -  3  7  8
BOS 115 310 00x - 11 17  5

HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez  2.2  7  7  0  0  3  
S.J. Wood     5.0  3  3  0  5  2 

SEA 68-60, BOS 75-54

Boston Gains Small Cushion in First With Sweep of Chicago

August 22: Boston 6, Chicago 3

The league seems to be adjusting to Chicago starter Thornton Lee. He was promoted to a spot in the rotation shortly before the All-Star break and reeled off an impressive run of starts that helped Chicago get in the thick of the race atop the Original Division, but this was his third straight lackluster start. John Valentin did the most damage against Lee with a two-run triple and a run scored in the second.

                  R  H BB
CHI 012 000 000 - 3 10  6
BOS 130 020 00x - 6  8  4

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Lee      4.2  6  5  0  2  5  
S.J. Wood   7.0  3  3  0  6  1 

CHI 68-56, BOS 70-54


August 23: Boston 5, Chicago 4 (11 innings)

Chicago snatched defeat from the jaws of victory multiple times in this game. A Carlton Fisk bomb highlighted Chicago’s charge to a 3-2 lead that they took into the bottom of the ninth. Keith Foulke promptly got his first two men out in that frame. Boston Fisk then singled, and Nomar Garciaparra rolled a grounder to second that looked like game over. Except Eddie Collins couldn’t find the handle on the ball and both runners were safe. Foulke still just needed one more out, and again it looked like he had it when Jim Rice lifted a fly ball to left. But Minnie Minoso saw the ball brush the outside of his glove and roll all the way to the monster while Fisk came around to tie the game on back-to-back Chicago errors.

Fittingly, the two guilty White Sox fielders led off the top of the 10th, and they grabbed the chance to atone for their fielding sins. Collins led off with a walk and stole second base, and Minoso drove him in with a double.

Matt Thornton tried to close out the game in the bottom of the 10th, and got his first two men out quickly. But…Ted Williams took his third walk of the game. Thornton hit Tris Speaker to push Williams to second. And Fred Lynn smacked a double to again tie it up.

Boston put Chicago out of their misery in the bottom of the 11th with three quick hits from Rice, Bobby Doerr, and Kevin Youkilis.

                     R  H BB
CHI 100 020 000 10 - 4  9  5
BOS 001 001 001 11 - 5 13  9
HR: C. Fisk-CHI (6)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rigney    5.1  2  2  0  4  1  
R. Clemens   9.0  3  3  1  3  8 

CHI 68-57, BOS 71-54

August 24: Boston 9, Chicago 3

It looked like an excellent pitching match-up with Chris Sale facing Pedro Martinez, who came into the game with the seventh and fifth best ERAs in the league respectively. But Sale got slammed out of the gate and allowed the first seven Boston batters to reach safely on two walks and five hits that included a Jimmie Foxx jam. Skipper Jimmy Dykes had seen enough, and yanked Sale before he was able to record an out.

Ted Williams had a perfect day at the plate with three walks and two singles.

Three days ago, Chicago, Baltimore, and Minnesota were all tied for second and one game out of first. Amazingly, all three of those teams were swept over the last three days and are suddenly tied for third and five games back. Oakland jumped from fifth to second and is three games back from Boston, which counts as the biggest lead anyone has had in the Original Division lately.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 110 010 - 3  8  6
BOS 610 000 20x - 9 14  6

HR: J. Foxx (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale      0.0  6  6  1  2  0  
P. Martinez  5.0  2  2  0  5  4 

CHI 68-58, BOS 72-54

Boston Grabs 2 of 3 in New York

August 19: Boston 3, New York 2

The Yankees rotation is a bit of a mess, Roger Clemens and Bob Shawkey having both pitched so poorly that skipper Joe McCarthy is grasping around for other options in two spots. Rather than give Shawkey and his 6.47 ERA another chance, he handed the ball to Whitey Ford, who made just his fifth appearance of the year. Ford did an admirable job keeping things close against a strong Pedro Martinez, but a flurry of hits from Bobby Doerr, Wade Boggs, and Ted Williams plated two runs in the seventh to give Boston the edge.

Lou Gehrig recaptured a piece of the homerun lead by tying Texas’s Alex Rodriguez with 31.

                  R  H BB
BOS 100 000 200 - 3 10  1
NY  000 100 010 - 2  4  4

HR: L. Gehrig (31)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
P. Martinez  7.1  2  2  1  3  7  
W. Ford      6.2  3  3  0  1  1 

BOS 68-53, NY 62-59


August 20: Boston 8, New York 1

Waite Hoyt could not keep things close against a sharp Cy Young. The Sox pounded Hoyt for nine hits and seven runs while Hoyt only recorded three innings pitched. Every Boston batsman collected at least one hit, and Nomar Garciaparra led the way with three.

Young has pitched his best ball of the season over his last two starts, in which he’s pitched 18 innings and given up one earned run.

                  R  H BB
BOS 020 501 000 - 8 15  4
NY  000 010 000 - 1  7  1

HR: T. Speaker (6)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young   9.0  1  1  0  1  1  
W. Hoyt    3.0  7  7  0  2  1 

BOS 69-53, NY 62-60

August 21: New York 4, Boston 2

A Boston sweep would have left the Yankees in sixth place and eight games back of first place Boston and would have felt pretty much like the nail in New York’s coffin as far as any hope for winning the division. Lefty Gomez gave the Yanks the start they needed, and took a shutout into the ninth inning before Jimmie Foxx drilled a two-run bomb. Mariano Rivera quickly came in and got the next three batters in order to save the game for New York.

Even with the salvaged third game, the Yanks are still in bad shape in sixth place and six games back, but McCarthy says they still have their eyes on the pennant. “We’ve got 39 games left, plenty of time to get on a streak and make a run at it. We’ll just need our pitching and defense to bear down a bit more, and our bats can take care of the rest.”

Boston kept a razor-thin lead at the top of the division.

                  R H BB
BOS 000 000 002 - 2 7  2
NY  101 010 01x - 4 6  3

HR: J. Foxx (14), M. Mantle (21), B. Ruth (28)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   7.0  3  2  1  3  2  
L. Gomez   8.0  2  2  1  2  3 

BOS 69-54, NY 63-60

Tied For First Going In, Minnesota Slips Past Boston In Tight Series


August 16: Minnesota 5, Boston 4 (10 innings)

The two teams tied for first in the Original Division kicked off a big series with a tense thriller featuring some top-notch pitching, but not great fielding. ERA leader Johan Santana was knifelike again, and shaved a few more points off his ERA by allowing one earned in eight innings. 21 starts into the season, Santana is yet to make a single bad start, and plenty of great ones.

Tris Speaker doubled in the first off Santana and Ted Williams drove in Speaker with a single to plate Boston’s one earned run against Johan. A Joe Cronin error in the third helped Boston to their second run.

Lefty Grove was also sharp for Boston. Rod Carew scored one against Grove by wall-scraping his first homer of the year, and later a Tony Oliva walk followed by two singles drove home the second and last earned run Grove gave up in 9.2 innings.

In the top of the 10th, Grove retired the first two Minny batters and then walked Harmon Killebrew before inducing a Mickey Vernon grounder to shortstop Nomar Garciaparra that should have been the third out, except Nomah booted it. Kirby Puckett made Boston pay with an RBI double to put the Twins up 3-2, and Oliva drove in two insurance runs with a single.

Joe Nathan had mound duties in the bottom of the 10th and almost blew it. Thanks to a Darrell Evans walk and a Carl Yastrzemski pinch-hit double, the Sox had runners at second and third, but with two outs. Tris Speaker laced an RBI single to cut the score to 5-3, and Ted Williams followed with his own RBI single to cut it to 5-4. Out came Nathan, in came Firpo Marberry, who walked Jimmie Foxx to load the bases. The Fenway faithful were going wild as the previously hot-hitting Carlton Fisk took his place in the box, but Pudge popped to first to quell the come-back. Fisk had a quiet series, reaching just once in the series with a walk in two games played.

                    R  H BB
MN  001 001 000 3 - 5 11  4
BOS 101 000 000 2 - 4  7  4
HR: R. Carew (1)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  8.0  2  1  0  2  7  
L. Grove    9.2  5  2  1  4  2 

MN 67-51, BOS 66-52

August 17: Boston 4, Minnesota 3

Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood faced off and both tossed complete games. Johnson was not sharp out of the gate, and the Red Sox scored three quick runs before the Big Train settled in. A Sam Rice error in the fifth helped Boston to their fourth run.

Minnesota managed plenty of singles against Wood, but only scratched across two earned runs plus another on the back of errors by Fisk and John Valentin. Wood dropped his ERA to an even 3.00, third best in the league behind Santana and Johnson.

                  R  H BB
MN  100 001 010 - 3 11  1
BOS 210 010 00x - 4  7  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.0  4  3  0  3  3  
S.J. Wood   9.0  3  2  0  1  4 

MN 67-52, BOS 67-52

August 18: Minnesota 8, Boston 5

The rubber match determined who would end the series in first, and Boston probably liked their chances with a Bert Blyleven vs. Roger Clemens match-up. But Clemens has lost it a bit lately, and the Twins got him for five runs in seven innings, Clemens’s third straight rough start. Goose Goslin spanked a two-run triple in the fourth against him.

Blyleven wasn’t great either, and Bobby Doerr tied the game at four with a two-run dinger in the fourth against Blyleven. The Twins turned to Firpo Marberry to pitch the final four innings of the game, and the Amazing Firpo gave up just one run to hold down the fort for Minnesota while their high-average bats kept the offense going. Firpo is holding it down as the most valuable reliever in the league with a 1.63 ERA in 80 innings (despite a 4.62 FIP).

In the eighth, the Twins knocked Boston reliever Derek Lowe out of the game with four straight hits before Lowe could record an out.

Minnesota’s Rice, Puckett, Goslin, Cronin, and Cecil Travis all reached safely three times, and the Twins enjoy a narrow lead at the top of the Original Division for now.

                  R  H BB
MN  010 310 030 - 8 11  5
BOS 101 200 010 - 5 12  0

HR: B. Doerr (9)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  5.0  4  4  1  0  4  
R. Clemens   7.0  5  5  0  5  4 

MN 68-52, BOS 67-53

Detroit Wins Series in Boston, Verlander & Newhouser Outduel Clemens & Martinez


August 13: Detroit 4, Boston 2

Justin Verlander and Roger Clemens regressed in opposite directions. Verlander allowed Boston’s first batter of the game to come around and score before working seven consecutive scoreless innings despite walking seven. He couldn’t finish Boston in the ninth, and Nomar Garciaparra and Wade Boggs both doubled in the frame to knock out Verlander. John Hiller relieved, and walked Yaz to get the winning run to the plate in the form of a pretty decent hitter named Ted Williams. With two outs, I actually considered calling for the first ever intentional walk in Rhubarb history, but Hiller convincingly argued that he wanted to go after Williams, and he came through by getting the Splinter to fly-out.

Ty Cobb frustrated Clemens by singling twice and walking once in their four plate appearances against each other–Cobb then stole second and came around to score all three times he reached.

                  R  H BB
DET 101 000 200 - 4 11  4
BOS 100 000 001 - 2  6  8

HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Verlander  8.1  2  2  0  7  3  
R. Clemens    6.1  4  4  0  2  1 

DET 55-60, BOS 65-50

August 14: Detroit 3, Boston 2

Much like Verlander the day before, Hal Newhouser was in his sins after a mostly disappointing season. The first three Sox batters in the first inning got hits and two of them scored, but Newhouser gave up no more runs in a complete game.

The Tigers also got two in the first inning on a Norm Cash homer, and scratched out the winning run against Pedro in the third on the strength of walks by Johnny Bassler and Bobby Veach and a single by Cobb.

                  R H BB
DET 201 000 000 - 3 7  3
BOS 200 000 000 - 2 5  3

HR: N. Cash (16)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Newhouser  9.0  2  2  0  3  5  
P. Martinez   7.0  3  3  1  4  0 

DET 56-60, BOS 65-51

August 15: Boston 5, Detroit 1

Cy Young joined the party as a pitcher having a great game in the midst of a worse than expected season. He was one out away from his first shutout when a Bobby Doerr error robbed him of it, but it was of little consequence and Young was pleased to pull off a shut-down start after having allowed at least one earned run in each of his first 24 starts of the year.

Carlton Fisk raised his wOBA to .400 with a dinger.

Ty Cobb reached safely seven times in the series and stole six bases in six attempts.

                  R  H BB
DET 000 000 001 - 1 10  2
BOS 000 113 00x - 5  9  3

HR: C. Fisk (18)

starters   IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Uhle   6.1  5  5  1  2  2  
C. Young  9.0  1  0  0  2  1 

DET 56-61, BOS 66-51


Boston Pulls Out Tight, Significant Series Win in Baltimore

August 10: Baltimore 4, Boston 3

Cy Young and Jack Powell, a couple of dead-ball era stars having surprisingly pedestrian seasons, squared off in the opener and got pedestrian results. A Ken Williams double followed by an Eddie Murray RBI single in the eighth drove in the winner for Baltimore and gave the teams identical 63-49 records.

                  R  H BB
BOS 020 000 010 - 3 10  3
BAL 200 100 01x - 4  9  3

HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young   7.0  4  4  0  2  3  
J. Powell  7.0  3  3  0  2  1 

BOS 63-49, BAL 63-49


August 11: Boston 7, Baltimore 6

The Birds jumped out to a 5-1 lead after five innings, thanks in large part to dingers from Robinsons Frank and Brooks. But the Red Sox rallied big in the sixth inning. Ted Williams started it off with a triple, and five runs scored to tie it up.

But Murray drove another Baltimore blast in the bottom of the sixth to tie it right back up. Boston answered in the eighth when Yaz hit his second triple of the game to drive home Wade Boggs for the winner.

                  R  H BB
BOS 100 005 010 - 7 13  5
BAL 220 101 000 - 6  8  2

HR: F. Robinson (24), E. Murray (14), B. Robinson (6)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   4.0  5  4  2  1  1  
H. Howell  5.2  6  6  0  4  1 

BOS 64-49, BAL 63-50

August 12: Boston 7, Baltimore 6 (11 innings)

The rubber match was a dandy and fittingly tense for a game with big implications for each team in the standings. Mel Parnell made a spot start for Boston to spell Smoky Joe Wood, and had a terrible time finding the strike zone. He handed out nine free passes in his 5.2 innings and gave up six runs, but the Sox bats also beat up on Urban Shocker so that the game was tied after six. Once each team got a long reliever in, the offense disappeared. Derek Lowe tossed 3.1 scoreless for Boston and Hoyt Wilhelm worked three shutout innings for the Marylanders. Koji Uehara and Jonathan Papelbon took over one scoreless inning each for Boston.

Carlton Fisk continued his ludicrously hot hitting by leading off the top of the 11th with a dinger against Darren O’Day. It was Fisk’s 17th of the season, easily tops among catchers. His .533 slugging percentage is third in the league, behind only Ruth & Gehrig.

Ted Williams is finally heating up a bit and reached safely nine times in the series, including three extra base hits. His OBP has been great all year, but his pop has been AWOL until recently.

                     R  H BB
BOS 000 220 200 01 - 7 14  9
BAL 012 021 000 00 - 6  8 10

HR: C. Fisk (17)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Parnell  5.2  6  6  0  9  1  
U. Shocker  6.0  6  6  0  5  1 

BOS 65-49, BAL 63-51