by Scott Fennessy
The Cubs continue their home stand and THIS IS IT. GIANTS/CUBS REMATCH. The two teams split their two game set in New York back in May. There was a bit of bad blood when third baseman Art Devlin was injured on a play, even though it was just for that game. Both teams are crushing the rest of the league, and the Giants just recently bashed Pittsburgh 11-2. Matchup is Wiltse vs. Reulbach.
This game gets off to a rough start for the Cubs as Sam Mertes who was only hitting .161 coming into this and had seen some time on the bench rip his first homer with one out in the first. Mike Donlin, who is having an MVP season to date rips a double. “Big Ed” settles down and keeps it to 1-0 Giants. The Cubs strike back immediately as with two outs Art Hofman hits a single and scores on Frank Chance’s second homer of the year. Chance is starting to heat up and is up to .291 for the year. The inning ends 2-1 Cubs.
Although both pitchers give up hits in each inning neither team scores until the 5th inning when everything that could go wrong did for the Cubs. Devlin draws a one out walk and scores on a hit and run double down the line by Mertes. Dan McGann who is starting to turn it on lately and is up to .277 with two homers for the year slaps a single to right and another run scores and runners are on the corner. Manager John McGraw who has had plenty to say about the Cubs in the NY press this month smells blood in the water and sends the runners again. George Browne who is having a great year puts runners on the corners again with an RBI single. Mike Bowerman who is also having an MVP season hits a slow roller that Chance comes in for and flips to Reulbach covering first. Bowerman is safe, but Reulbach is on the ground and his sock is already soaked in blood. It’s a bad injury and he is out of the ballgame. Briggs comes in and gets out the final out. It surprised me to see Briggs in as he has struggled mightily in relief so far. The Cubs go down with no score in their half of the inning.
Briggs proves Chance took a big one when with one out he walks pitcher Wiltse, and with two outs gives up a towering two run homer to Mertes. The inning ends 6-2 Giants and it is not looking good for the Cubs. Finally a rally as Hofman gets his second hit and steal second. Chance singles and steals second putting runners on 2nd & 3rd with nobody out. Joe Tinker delivers a two run single giving him a 5 game hit streak and the lead is cut to 6-4. “Big Jeff” Pfeffer comes in and shuts the door in the final two innings and unfortunately the Cubs lose 6-4. The Giants have regained first place by .019 percentage points.
It was truly exciting game as both teams did what they do best. Pepper a lot of singles and doubles and the Giants who have been best at beating up bullpens did it again. Briggs took his second loss in only 3 appearances this year. Reulbach will miss 11 games. I will give Briggs ONE chance in a starting role and if he falls I will give it to Pfeffer until Ed’s return. Schulte extended his hit streak to 6 and Kling to 7. Evers is really cooling off and is under .300 for the first time all season. Billy Maloney who had also been slumping got 3 hits and is looking better.. For the Giants Bowerman had two hits and is now at .344 for the year and his steal in the 2nd gave him 6 for the year despite no 10 or 11 on the first column.
Better luck in the next game cubbies.