Ruth Called Shot Baseball

And That Happened: Classic!


Note: due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on July 14, 1932

Yankees 5, Browns 3: A home run for Babe Ruth, his 25th on the season. Ruth is the power-hitting sensation the sport desperately needs these days. Let’s hope he’s clean. Sorry, but even in this Prohibition era, it’s impossible not to be suspicious when someone continues to show up to the ballpark in last night’s clothes, reeking of gin, cigar smoke and the scent of loose women. Ruth is a great story. Let’s just hope he’s legit.

Senators 15, White Sox 4: The game was delayed some two hours, as the city’s streets had to be cleared for Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur, as he and two cavalry units marched to clear the Bonus Army off the Anacostia Flats. When the dead and injured were removed, it was a wonderful day for a ballgame. Heinie Manush had a triple, four RBI and an assault beef, after he socked two wiseacres for laughing at the name “Heine.”

Dodgers 5, Cubs 4: This game was delayed as well. Hobos. Hobos as far as the eye could see. Happens so often anymore, however, that none of the players seemed too upset by it all.  At any rate, after the hobos were rounded up and placed on a westbound freight, play resumed.  Only problem: the Dodgers’ starter — Sloppy Thurston — was himself mistaken for a hobo, likely due to his name. This led to a longer delay. Eventually Sloppy was returned.

Phillies 3, Reds 2: I was going to take the train down to Cincinnati for this one, but I had another engagement. There was a meeting of the  Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform here in Arch City, and I for one would never pass up the opportunity to meet Ms. Pauline Sabin, who (a) is single and; (b) is doing God’s work. Snipe Hansen and Pinky Whitney were the heroes of this one for the Phillies. Which isn’t surprising, because when you think of a hero, you can’t help but think of Snipe and Pinky.

Braves 5, Pirates 1; Braves 10, Pirates 5: This doubleheader was not entirely necessary. Boston has been visiting Pittsburgh for several days now and could very well have completed this series in single games. It was deemed appropriate by President Hoover, however, that in light of the current economic strife, that the clubs stimulate the economy with concentrated economic activity like this whenever possible. “Some may construe mild suggestions to the private sector such as these to be a brand of socialism,” President Hoover said, “and I am not unaware of the danger of this level of governmental meddling in private affairs.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, and if the very meek entreaties of a sitting President to our nation’s evil, bloated plutocrats has even the slightest hope of helping matters, I am willing to risk the potentially destabilizing side effects that this intervention might cause.”

Cardinals 6, Giants 2: after 30 years with John McGraw at the helm, the Giants are still adjusting to new manager Bill Terry following McGraw’s retirement a little over a month ago. Winning games without constantly baiting the other team, the umpires and the fans into horrendous donnybrooks is not part of the Giants’ makeup, so it will certainly take time to adjust.

Red Sox 8, Tigers 2: The Red Sox’ win — the second in a two-game winning streak! — brings them to within 36 games of first place. This win was nice, but it’s just sad to see a team from a town as small as Boston trying to compete with the big boys from up-and-coming juggernaut cities like Detroit.

Indians 7, Athletics 5: Three days after the ridiculous game in which Eddie Rommel gave up 29 hits — and won — and in which Johnny Burnett went 9-for-11 — and lost — the Indians and Athletics play a relatively tame one. Lefty Grove takes the loss in a relief role. I say, the man just simply doesn’t know how to win baseball games.

Cardinals take 1-0 NLDS lead over the Cubs behind John Lackey’s brilliant outing

John Lackey
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
1 Comment

John Lackey flirted with a no-hitter but settled for 7 1/3 terrific, shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. The right-hander held the opposition to two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out two to finish the eighth without issue. Closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around a one-out walk and a two-out single in the ninth to seal the 4-0 win, recording all three outs on called strike threes.

Lackey brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but lost it quickly when Addison Russell hit a ground ball single up the middle to lead off the frame. Russell would steal second base but was stranded.

Opposing starter Jon Lester wasn’t too shabby himself, relenting three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings. The first run came around in the first inning on Matt Holliday‘s RBI single, which followed a one-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Tommy Pham pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot in the eighth inning and launched a solo home run off of Lester to double the Cardinals’ lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter before exiting. Pedro Strop came in and promptly served up a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty.

The closest the Cubs came to scoring was when Dexter Fowler sent a deep fly ball to right field with a man on base and two outs in the sixth inning, but Randal Grichuk caught it with a foot or two to spare in front of the fence on the warning track.

The two clubs will play Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at 5:30 PM EDT. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and oppose Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

Astros err in letting Scott Kazmir start sixth

Scott Kazmir
1 Comment

Scott Kazmir went winless with a 6.52 ERA in six September starts. He allowed 41 hits, eight of them homers, in 29 innings, posting an 18/11 K/BB ratio. When the Astros got five innings of two-run ball from him Friday against the Royals, they should have thanked their good fortune and moved right along to the pen.

And they knew this. They must have. Josh Fields got up in the pen after Kazmir issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The left-hander got out of the frame, making himself eligible for the victory in what was then a 4-2 game, but it was still very surprising to see him come back out for the sixth, particularly with the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist (.926 OPS against lefties) and right-handed Lorenzo Cain due up.

Kazmir retired Zobrist, but he gave up a double to Cain. He was then pulled, even with the left-handed Eric Hosmer coming up. Manager A.J. Hinch had committed my biggest baseball pet peeve: he sent his starter back to the mound with the idea of pulling him after his first mistake.

It worked out terribly. Oliver Perez gave up a pair of soft hits to Hosmer and Kendrys Morales before walking Mike Moustakas. Fields then entered and walked the unwalkable Salvador Perez to tie the game at 4. The Astros gave up another run in the seventh and lost the game 5-4.

Maybe that’s the way it would have worked out anyway. Kazmir did give up just the one baserunner. It might not have even harmed the Astros if Perez had better luck.

Still, the thinking that went into the decision was disturbing. It’s always better to bring that reliever in with no one on base when you can. That’s especially the case with this Astros pen, which lacks a double-play specialist, much less a Wade Davis. But anyone in that pen would have been a better choice than sending Kazmir out to face Zobrist and Cain for a third time. Hinch needs to be more aggressive going forward.

Cardinals’ giveaway incorrectly claims ownership of 2001 division title

cardinals logo

The Cardinals have won so many division titles, it’s tough to keep track of them all. At least, it would be tough if it weren’t for Baseball Reference.

40,000 rally towels were given away to fans at Busch Stadium ahead of Friday’s NLDS Game 1 against the Cubs. The towel listed all of the years the Cardinals won the NL Central… and 2001. That year, they tied with the Astros for the best record in the National League at 93-69. However, because the Astros won the season series 9-7, they were awarded first place and the Cardinals took the Wild Card.