Friday, September 26, 1924: Red Sox 2, Nationals 1
Compiled by J.J. McCoy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 26, 2004; 12:12 AM
GRIFFMEN BEATEN BY RED SOX, 2-1; NEW YORK WINS, 7-1
Game 153: at Boston
Yikes: In one fell swoop, the Red Sox today snap Walter Johnson's 13-game winning streak, Sam Rice's 31-game hitting streak, and the Senators' four-game winning streak. Worse yet, the Yankees' 7-1 stifling of the A's tightens the pennant race to within one game with three to play.
"Bucky Harris' baseball machine seems to have all the habits of an automobile," The Post's Frank H. Young alludes. "Just about the time you think you have it hitting on all four, something goes wrong. A slipped cog today may have been responsible for the Nationals' 2-to-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox and then it may not. But anyway it did prevent them from possibly tying up the game in the ninth and perhaps winning it.
"Just exactly what went wrong is one of those things which cannot be explained. With the red-hosed nine only one run in the van and two Nationals dead in round nine, [Ossie] Bluege on third, [Roger] Peck[inpaugh] on first, [Muddy] Ruel at the bat and the count two-and-two on Muddy, Rajah suddenly made a break for second when [Alex] Ferguson made his next delivery, which was a ball. It looked as though Roger thought this last ball gave Ruel a walk, for Bluege was apparently taken by surprise, and before he had gotten well underway toward home, Peck was run down for the out which ended the game.
"While this loss, coupled with a Yankee win in [Connie] Mackland, enabled the world's champions to gain a full game on our Nats, the race is not over yet by any means, as the Harrismen are still one up with three to go. In fact, this licking may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, for it has convinced every man of them that he cannot loaf for an instant, and if there ever was a bunch of snarling individuals, the Harrismen form one tonight.
"All along their path through the West, thousands have been assuring them that they can't lose, but it took only nine men to change their ideas on the subject today and, if the Nats are as peeved tomorrow when they take the field as they are tonight, somebody is certainly going to suffer.
"Not only was today a bad one for the team as a whole, but it also broke up two perfectly good individual records. Walter Johnson, after having been credited with 13 straight victories -- Barney not having lost since way back in early July -- being charged with the defeat, while Alexander Ferguson did not allow [Sam] Rice a hit, stopping Sam after he had rapped out at least one safety in his last 31 games.
"With their league-leading margin cut down to but one game, the only way that the Nationals can be absolutely assured of winning the pennant now is for them to take the next three games of the series. . . . If they do, their percentage will be .604, while the same number of victories for the Yanks would make them .597. Of course, New York may possibly drop one in Philadelphia, but his should not be depended on too strongly."
In other headlines:
PRESIDENT INVITED TO DINNER HONORING NATS' HOMECOMING
"President Coolidge yesterday was invited to the dinner which will be given by Gus Buchholz in the Occidental Hotel [in five nights] as part of the homecoming of the Washington baseball team planned by the District commissioners' reception committee. . . . While Sammy Rice was walking futilely up to the home plate in Boston, Walter Johnson, Washington's pride of prides, was tasting his first defeat in his last 14 starts, and the lowly Boston team was demonstrating that nothing is certain in baseball, the reception committee here carried forward its plans for a rousing reception."
300 GRID STRUGGLES IN ALL PARTS OF COUNTRY
"The thud of the pigskin will rival the crack of the base hit today when the 1924 college football season gets underway. Moleskin wearers in al parts of the country, representing approximately 300 colleges and universities, will line up for the opening battles of what promises to be one of the most interesting seasons on record. . . . With few exceptions, all of the major teams will test their new machines tomorrow. The East's 'Big Three' -- Yale, Harvard and Princeton -- will not make their bows until next Saturday, while most of the Western Conference teams also have another week of preparation. . . . Cornell, starting a campaign which the Big Red hopes to make its fourth straight without a defeat, meets St. Bonaventure while Syracuse opens against Hobart and Columbia, with Percy Houghton at the helm again, lines up against Haverford in the opening game of the most ambitious schedule the local institution has had in years. . . . Pittsburgh, which has lost its famous coach, Pop Warner, who is now at Stanford, will meet Grove City."
MARANVILLE GOES AFTER CRITICAL FAN IN STANDS
Future Hall of Famer "'Rabbit' Maranville, Pittsburgh second baseman, figured in a disturbance that marked the final game with the Giants today at the Polo Grounds. Incensed by remarks directed at him by a fan behind the Pirate dugout, Maranville started into the stands at the close of the seventh inning. He was restrained from reaching his objective by several of his teammates. A squad of police arrived soon afterward to prevent further disorder."
This Day in Washington Baseball History
1905: Washington's Joe Stanley (season .261, 1 HR, 17 RBI) hits his second and last career homer; like his first, it's a grand slam.
1908: Walter Johnson (season 14-14 with a save, 1.65 ERA) loses to Cleveland, 5-4, on his own throwing error.
1916: Nationals manager Clark Griffith excuses several regulars for the remaining games of the season in order to try out some new players. Among those excused is Johnson (season 25-20 with a save, 1.90 ERA), who in a league-leading 369-2/3 innings pitched did not give up a home run, an all-time record.
1956: Washington's Jim Lemon (season .271, 27 HRs, 96 RBI) sets a MLB record for strikeouts by a batter in one season with 138, surpassing Larry Doby's mark of 121 whiffs in 1953. Meanwhile, the Senators lose to the Red Sox, 8-4.
1958: After today's doubleheader vs. the Senators, Red Sox teammates Ted Williams and Pete Runnels are exactly tied for the American League batting leadership at .32258. Williams is 130-for-403, while Runnels is 180-for-558. Williams goes 2-3 with a homer in the opener, then sits out the nightcap. Runnels goes 2-9 on the day. Meanwhile the Nats lose, 6-4 and 3-1, to run their loss streak to 11.
1964: Behind rookie Mel Stottlemyre's two-hitter, the Yankees roll over the Senators, 7-0, for their 11th win in a row. Stottlemyre leads the offense with a MLB-record-tying five hits, the last pitcher to collect that many and just the eighth pitcher this century to do so (Jim Callahan of the White Sox did it twice). With a single in his last at-bat in his last game, he's had six consecutive hits.
1965: Five seasons after departing the District, the Senators-cum-Minnesota Twins win their first American League pennant since leaving by defeating the newer Senators, 2-1. Jim Kaat (17-11) wins the clincher.
1971: Washington pitcher Denny McLain loses his 22nd game of the season, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Red Sox.
Number of days since the Washington Senators last played: 12,048
Estimated attendance at the Montreal/San Juan/Monterrey Expos' last home game: 11,142 (Sept. 23, 2004)
Compiled from various sources, including The Washington Post, "The Baseball Timeline" and BaseballLibrary.com.