1911 May

1st Detroit rolls by Cleveland 14–5 as Cobb again steals home against off George Kahler. This time, Grover Land is the catcher. Smith was behind the plate on the 18th.

Pete Alexander is backed by two homers—by John Titus and Sherry McGee—as the Philadelphia Phillies top Boston’s Buster Brown, 3–1. Boston records 23 assists, including a NL record 8 in the 4th inning.

The Phillies long-time trainer (17 years) Mike Scanlon dies at age 70.

3rd At Baker Bowl, Big Jeff Pfeffer (3-0) tops the Phillies 4-3 and hits a homer to help in the win. Boston player-manager Fred Tenney backs Jeff with 5 hits.

With the team at 6-11, Cleveland manager Deacon McGuire resigns. 1B George Stovall takes over.

4th Staked to a 6–0 lead, Giants’ ace Christy Mathewson coasts to a 7–2 win against Boston.

With the score a misleading 2-1 after four innings, the Pirates go on a tear and down the Cardinals, 17-1. Fred Clarke drives in 6 runs and Honus Wagner hits a grand slam. Elmer Steele allows two hits in 7 innings and leaves after being hit by a pitch.

6th  The Yankees score 5 runs in the 3rd inning to top the Red Sox, 6–3. They also turn their first triple play in eight years. It happens in the 9th inning with Russ Ford on the mound when Bill Carrigan lines into a game-ending triple play started by SS Roach.

The A’s Eddie Collins hits the first homer at Washington DC’s stadium, but the Nationals prevail over Philadelphia, 7–6.

In Pittsburgh, Honus Wagner hits a 3-run homer in the 1st and Babe Adams makes the lead stand up to beat the Cardinals, 3-2.

7th  Cobb goes 4-for-5 and drives in the tying and winning runs to help Detroit beat lefty Doc White and the Chicago White Sox, 5–4.

In St. Louis, the Naps down the Browns, 6-2, as Joe Jackson hits a grand slam off Jack Powell in the 12th inning.

8th The Phillies Grover Alexander records his first shutout, stopping Brooklyn 5–0 on 3 hits. Alex fans 9 to run his record to 4–1.

At New York, Smoky Joe Wood beats the Yankees, 4–0, in 6 innings. He gives up just one hit, a single to Caldwell.

9th At Hilltop Park, Christy Mathewson and Three Finger Brown renew their rivalry, Matty emerges the winner, 5–2 over the Cubs ace.

The Tigers win their 12th straight at home since the beginning of the year, beating the Yankees, 10-0. The record of 12-0 at home to start a season will not be matched this century.

In Boston, the Reds’ Fred Beck booms a grand slam in the 1st off Lefty Tyler and Cincinnati wins, 6–3.

The Cubs purchase pitcher Charlie Smith from Newark after he had been sent down by the Red Sox. Smith had gone 14-6 for Boston over the past two years.

10th  The Detroit Tigers lose their first home game of the year 6–2, as New York hands George Mullin his first loss. The Tigers have a 21–3 record and will lead the pack until July 4th.

The Reds do all their scoring with homers in outlasting the Rustlers, 8–7, in 15 innings. Dick Egan has his only homer of the year—a grand slam in the 5th—and Boom-Boom Beck, Dick Hoblitzell and Tommy Clark all hit solo homers. The Reds will hit only 21 homers all year, and Hoblitzell will hit 11 of them.

11th Against a coasting Grover Alexander, the Pirates rally for 6 hits and 7 runs in the 9th inning, but fall far short as the Phillies win, 19–10. Honus Wagner is 1-for-2 before being tossed by umpire Bill Finneran.

The White Sox pound Senator pitcher Bob Groom for 20 hits and 20 runs to win, 20–6. Eight players score 2 or more runs.

The Giants beat the visiting Phillies, 5-3, as Fred Snodgrass is 4-for-4 with 3 RBI and Larry Doyle scores 3 runs. Doyle also hits his 11th triple of the month, the first player in the 20th century to hit 10 or more in a month. It will be equaled by Amos Strunk.

The Red Sox sell Frank Smith to Cincinnati. Smith was a 25-game winner in 1909 with the White Sox, but fell to 5-11 last year. He’ll go 10–14 with the Reds this year.

Kansas City’s Homer Smoot is 6-for-6 in an AA game against St. Paul.

12th  Against the Yankees at Bennett Park, Cobb scores a run from 1st on a short single to right, scores from 2B on a wild pitch, then doubles home two runs in the 7th to tie the game. When New York C Ed Sweeney vehemently argues the call at the plate, the rest of the infield gathers, leaving Cobb untended at 2B. With no time out called, Cobb strolls to third base, and then ambles in to observe the continuing argument. When he spots an opening in the circle of players, he quickly slides in with the go-ahead run. The Tigers win, 6–5.

The Reds do all their scoring in the last five innings against Boston to win, 18-8. Big Jeff Pfeffer (5-1) gives up 10 runs on 13 hits in 6 innings for the loss; his counterpart George Suggs is not much better, allowing 8 runs in 5 1/3 innings, but he’ll take the win. Bob Bescher is 5-for-7, with a double and triple, in the 21-hit salute.

13th  Playing at Hilltop Park while the Polo Grounds are being refurbished, Fred Merkle has 6 RBIs in one inning—on a three-run double and an inside-the-park home run—as the Giants tee off on three St. Louis pitchers for 13 runs in the first inning, including 7 before an out is recorded. After Merkle’s double, a sac gets him to 3B, and he scores the last run on the front end of a successful double steal. The spree ties a first inning ML record enjoyed by the Boston Beaneaters against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900, and it remains a Giants club record through the 20thcentury. John McGraw decides to save starter Mathewson for another day and lifts him after one inning, but the official scorer credits Matty with the win. McGraw wants to give Marquard some experience in pitching without pressure and brings in Rube to finish. He works the last 8 innings and strikes out 14, setting a 20th century NL record, and a since broken ML record, for strikeouts by a reliever: Walter Johnson will K 15 batters in 1913 and Randy Johnson will match it in 2001, while Denny McLain will rack up 14 in 1965. The Giants roll, 19–5, pinning the loss on Harry Sallee.

At Philadelphia, Grover Alexander relieves George Chalmers with the score 1-1 in the 9th and shuts out the Reds for 8 innings. Pete gives up no hits while striking out 8. The Phils finally score in the 16th on Moran’s two-out single to win it.

Paced by Ty Cobb’s 3rd inning grand slam, his first ever, the Tigers take a 10–1 lead over the Red Sox after 5 innings. But Boston ties it in the 9th on Duffy Lewis’s grand slam, and wins it in the 10th inning, 13–11. Boston outhits Detroit, 20–14. Ed Karger serves up the grand slam to Cobb, while Ed Willett reciprocates with Lewis.

14th  More than 15,000 turn out for Cleveland’s first Sunday game, and they see a 14–3 win over the New York Highlanders. George Stovall paces Cleveland with 4 hits.

NL president Tom Lynch asked umpires to “hustle the games along.”

15th  With the score tied in the 10th inning, Boston’s Smoky Joe Wood intentionally walks Ty Cobb, issuing one of two intentional free passes the star will receive all season. Two batters later Jim Delahanty drives in Cobb for Detroit’s 5–4 win. With two safeties today, Cobb starts a 40-game hit streak.

In Philadelphia, the Phils tally 43 total bases and paste the Reds, 21–5. Eight players have two or more hits including Bert Humphries, the winning hurler, who has three. Catcher Pat Moran goes hitless. The Phils plate 10 runs off George McQuillan in 3+ innings and another seven off Barney Schreiber, making his ML debut in mop up.

Honus Wagner hits a first-inning 3-run homer to start the Pirates offense on to a 12-10 win over the Boston Rustlers. Wagner has three hits, three runs and 4 RBIs, and catcher Mike Simon goes 5-for-5 in the win.

Ring Lardner writes, “They are using a new ball this year. It’s livelier and that means more hitting, and more hitting means longer games, and that’s the devil. It appears to be impossible to finish a game in less than two hours.”

The Giants beat the Cardinals 10-6 in a game that takes 2 hours 20 minutes to play. The New York Times headlines “Giants Win Long, Uninteresting Game”. The Times writer seems to think the new cork-centered ball is partly at fault (according to R.J. Lesch).

In a Blue Grass League game, O. Romie of Maysville strikes out 21 batters in a 5-0 win over Frankfort.

17th Fred Luderus cracks an 11th-inning HR to give Pete Alexander a 4–3 win over Pittsburgh. The Phils (23-9) move back into first place.

In Boston, the Pirates reach Cliff Curtis for 13 hits in fashioning a 7-6 win in 12 innings. Honus Wagner has 3 hits including a double and homer, while reliever Lefty Leifield hits a two-run double in the 11th. Boston answers with a 2-run homer by Scotty Ellerton, their second homer of the game. Buck Herzog homers to run his batting streak to 20 games.

18th Babe Adams (6-1) pitches the Pirates to a 6–1 win over the Giants. The Bucs gang up on Mathewson for 10 hits in 7 innings. For the second time in 3 games, Larry Doyle has a pair of triples on his way to a record-tying 11 for the month (Perry Werden, July 1893). Doyle will have just one in June but will lead the NL with 25 triples this season.

The Superbas edge the visiting Reds, 2-1, behind Doc Scanlan and Al Burch, who has 3 hits and drives in both runs. Reds reliever Bill Burns is suspended and sent home for laziness, after falling asleep on the stoop of the Brooklyn clubhouse. During a recent game in Boston he was sent to the bullpen to warm up and after throwing a few balls he went into the clubhouse and fell asleep. “As a result Manager Griffith sent him home to get all the sleep he desires” (New York Times, May 22, as noted by Kevin Gertsen). He will be waived to the Phillies.

In the 7-run 6th inning, Ivy Olson goes long off Tom Hughes, hitting a grand slam to pace the Naps to a 9-6 victory over the Senators. It is Ivy’s first ML homer: he’ll wait till 1914 to hit his next.

19th  Detroit edges the A’s 9–8. Cobb chips in with a triple and 2 runs and starts a DP from center field doubling Frank Baker off first. A’s starter Jack Coombs is hit in the head with a throw while backing up home in the 1st inning. He has to be carried off but will start tomorrow. Tiger starter Lively is hit in the head with pitch in the 2nd frame, but woozily continues for several innings. Stanage’s homer wins it in the 8th as the Tigers are outhit 19-8.

20th  The A’s outslug the Tigers to win 14–12, as Cobb goes 3-for-4 against the winner Jack Coombs. Coombs, who will end up as the top winner in the AL for the 2nd year in row, was the starter yesterday when the Tigers won. A Coombs pitch in the 1st inning breaks the wrist of Tiger 1B Del Gainor (spelled Gainer in the record books; Gainor in contemporary accounts) effectively ending both the Tigers’ chances this year and Gainor’s promising career (he’ll play part-time through 1922). He is not expected to play for 6 weeks, but that will stretch to September. His replacement Jack Ness starts a 1-6 triple play to Bush, the Tigers’ 2nd triple play this season.

A New England League game in Lynn, MA is called in the 7thinning because of dense fog. Lynn is leading until Weaver of Fall River hits a fly ball to the OF with a man on. The Lynn outfielders are unable to locate the ball, and both runners score to go ahead 6–5. After a dispute, umpire Walsh rules that the game has to revert to the 6th inning with Lynn winning by a 5–4 score.

22nd  Boston (NL) hurler Cliff Curtis sets a ML mark by losing his 23rd consecutive game, 3–1, to the Cardinals. The streak began on June 13, 1910, the season he lost 18 in a row.

The Phillies pick up veteran Sleepy Bill Burns from the Reds on waivers.

23rd  Detroit beats Washington’s Walter Johnson, 9–8. Detroit loads the bases in the 8th inning for Ty Cobb, already 3-for-4 with 3 stolen bases, and Walter Johnson, in relief of Gray, walks him to force in what will be the winning run.

At Hilltop Park, New York’s Christy Mathewson continues his mastery of the Reds, beating them, 7–2, for the 18th straight time.

24th  Home Run Baker collects 5 hits, including three for extra bases, to lead the A’s to a 9-1 win over the Naps. Spec Harkness (2-1) goes the distance for Cleveland, allowing 17 hits.

An abdominal ailment sidelines Nap Lajoie. He will get into only 90 games for the year and bat .365.

25th  The Tigers lose to Walter Johnson and the Senators, 6–2, although Cobb nicks him for 2 hits.

At Brooklyn, the Pirates down the Superbas, 7-2, as leadoff hitter Bobby Byrne has his second 5-hit game of the season. Lefty Leifield, on his way to his 6th straight season of 15+ wins, takes the decision. Lefty will throw 100 more innings this year than last and in 1912 he’ll win just one game.

In St. Louis, Grover Alexander beats the Cards, 4–3, to stop the Phillies 6-game loss streak. The Card score 3 in the 9th, but Pete hangs on for the win.

26th  In one of the few games in which both appear, Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland Alexander are relievers in a 5–3 win for the Giants over the Phillies. Matty takes over for Bugs Raymond in the 8th after the starter gives up 2 quick runs. With runners on 1B and 3B, Mickey Doolan flies to Devlin in right and his perfect strike to Chief Meyers is good for a DP. The Giant score to give Matty the win over Bill Burns, though by today’s standards, it would be a save.

Boston Rustler Cliff Curtis (1-5) stops his ML record losing streak of 23 games by beating Cy Barger and visiting Brooklyn, 7–2. Curtis has a pair of hits and is helped when Bill Sweeney leads off with a homerun.

27th Pitching his 2nd game in a row, Mathewson hurls the 1st-place Giants to a 2–0 win against the Phillies. Thousands are turned away at Hilltop Park.

Art Fromme allows just one hit—a double by Wagner in the 2nd—in pitching the Reds to a 1–0 win over Pittsburgh.

At Chicago, Cleveland and Chicago battle to a 5–5 tie after 9 innings, before Ed Walsh takes over in the 10th. The Naps rattle him for two doubles and a run, and ace rookie Vean Gregg, who takes over in the 8th, holds on for a 6–5 win. Frank Lange strikes out 10 Naps in 9 innings, but gives up 9 hits and five walks. Joe Birmingham has three hits to pace Cleveland.

After giving up 3 runs in 6 innings, the roof caves in on the Browns Bill Bailey, as the Tigers send him home a 9–3 loser. In the 5th inning, Browns catcher Jim Stephens, attempting to catch Bush’s pop foul, crashes into the grandstand, knocking himself senseless, and sustaining a sprained ankle. Melly Meleon has his 2nd homer in a week for St. Louis, off winning pitcher Doc Lafitte.

At Washington, the Nationals knock Ray Collins out of the box and beat Boston, 9–4, behind Long Tom Hughes. Tris Speaker, batting for Ed Cicotte in the 9th, has the longest hit of the day, a triple.

In New York, a team from the University of Keio tops Fordham, 11–6 in 8 innings. “The American collegians outplayed by Little Men From Orient at Bronx Oval” banners the New York Times, which then relates that most of the American crowd of 5,000 cheered for the visitors.

29th  Carrying the Cubs from St. Louis, the Pennsylvania Railroad sets a speed record, covering the 191 miles from Columbus, OH, to Pittsburgh in 215 minutes. Arriving in time for the game, the Cubs win, 4–1, with 4 runs in the 4th inning. Joe Tinker’s triple is the big blow.

Boston’s Bill Sweeney is 5-for-5 in the Rustlers’ 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

30th  New York takes the NL lead, winning two from Brooklyn. Giants C Art Wilson makes the first 9 putouts in the morning game as four Superbas fan, three foul out, and two are thrown out at home trying to score on base hits. The Giants win, 4–1, before 8,000. Before a turnaway crowd of 25,000 in the nitecap, Bugs Raymond gives up just a single in 5 innings before leaving with acute stomach pain “just southwest of the fourth rib” (NY Times) caused by eating a strawberry sundae between games. Red Ames allows two hits the rest of the way as the Giants whip the Dodgers Nap Rucker, 3–0.

After one day at the top, the Cubs drop to 3rd, as the Pirates sweep a pair from Chicago, winning 1–0 and 4–1. But the first game is protested by Chicago, presumably for batting out of order, and the protest will later be upheld. All the records including Babe Adams 4-hit shutout (he’ll still lead the NL with 7) and Honus Wagner’s hitless game are tossed. Thanks to the successful protest, Wagner will end the season at a league-leading .334, one point ahead of Dots Miller. In the afternoon contest, Howie Camnitz tops Ed Reulbach, who is drilled for 6 hits and all 4 runs in two innings. Wagner has a pair of hits in the nitecap.

In the afternoon contest in Boston, Phils rookie Pete Alexander pitches the 2nd game of a holiday doubleheader, winning, 11–4. Philley also wins the morning game, 3–0, in 10 innings behind Earl Moore’s three-hitter.

The first-place Tigers sweep a pair from the Naps, edging Cleveland 3-2 in game 1, and 6-5 in game 2. All five runs in game 1 score on sacrifice flies.

31st At St. Louis, the Cardinals sweep a pair from the Reds, winning 4-2 and 15-8. The Cards bunch hits in the 8th to win the opener, and take the second match by scoring 10 run in the 7th on 9 hits and 2 HBPs.