Surprise Feller Start Helps Indians Reclaim Second; Indians 10, Athletics 5
Bob Toth | On 15, Jan 2016
July 27, 1948
In an unexpected turn of events, Bob Feller replaced Ed Klieman as Tuesday’s starter and won for the first time since July 7 as the Indians moved back into second place with a 10-5 win over the Philadelphia Athletics.
The win did not come easy for the Cleveland hurler, who was lauded with cheers to start the game from the crowd of 60,260, only to be berated with a chorus of jeers after giving up a game-tying grand slam half way through the game. The club did not give any clue that Feller would be replacing Klieman until he began his warm ups on the field 15 minutes prior to the start of the 8:30 game. He hung around long enough to earn the victory and handed the ball to Klieman to close out the ball game.
A one-out triple in the bottom of the first by Allie Clark helped to get the Cleveland scoring started. Dale Mitchell replicated the feat off of Philadelphia’s Lou Brissie, as his triple made it a 1-0 game. A third consecutive extra base hit, a double off of the bat of Lou Boudreau, scored Mitchell easily from third to make it a 2-0 lead. A fourth straight hit, an RBI-single to right by Joe Gordon, pushed the lead to 3-0 and ended the day for Brissie after retiring just one of the five batters he faced.
Bubba Harris relieved and Ken Keltner reached on an error at third base, keeping Gordon standing at second. A single to right by Eddie Robinson coupled with an error by the right fielder scored Gordon to push the advantage to 4-0 Indians. Harris recovered, however, and struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Philadelphia got a run back in the second after Feller loaded the bases with one out. He allowed a leadoff single and a double before striking out Sam Chapman looking. A walk to Pete Suder loaded the bases and Buddy Rosar delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Rudy York. Feller reloaded the bases with another walk, but struck out Eddie Joost to escape any further damage.
The Indians extended their lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the third, as Gordon led off the inning with a home run off of Phil Marchildon. It was his 19th on the year.
Feller ran into trouble in the fifth, almost entirely with two outs. After striking out Joost, he allowed a single to right to Barney McCosky. A strikeout of Ray Coleman put two away, but Feller issued back-to-back walks to load the bases again. In this bases loaded situation, Feller would not escape unharmed, as Chapman drove a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence, clearing the bases with the grand slam and tying the game at five.
The tie held until the bottom of the sixth, when the Indians loaded the bases with three singles. With one out, Larry Doby knocked in a pair with a single to right, giving the Indians a 7-5 lead. A groundout by Clark scored pinch-hitter Hal Peck and a single to left by Mitchell scored Doby to make it a 9-5 game.
Feller (10-12) was finished after six innings of work, lifted for the pinch-hitter Peck. He allowed five runs on seven hits, walked five, and struck out seven, his second highest output this season. The victory ended a string of four straight winless starts and five appearances overall without a winning decision.
The Indians added one more in the seventh, when Keltner blasted his 23rd home run of the season.
Klieman, who was scheduled to start his first Major League game since 1945, came on in relief of Feller and pitched a quiet two innings. He struck out a pair in the eighth and, after allowing a walk and single in the ninth, erased the rally with a double play and a pop up to end it.
Marchildon (7-8) saved the Athletics pitching staff and surprisingly became the pitcher of record for Philadelphia after they tied the game up. He allowed six earned runs on ten hits in seven innings of relief.
The win by the Indians ended a four-game losing skid. It also moved the Indians back into second place in the American League by percentage points over the A’s. They remain in back of the Boston Red Sox by a game and a half.
Both managers made their opponent play the guessing game as to who was going to start tonight’s game, but it appears as though the starters for Wednesday’s contests are a lock. Philadelphia manager had not named a starter for Tuesday’s game and sent both Marchildon and Dick Fowler out to warm up, while the game’s eventual starter, Brissie, was in the batting cage doing hitting drills.
Connie Mack has announced that Fowler (9-2, 3.84 ERA) will start Wednesday, nine days after his complete game seven-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox. Boudreau will send Bob Lemon (13-8, 2.84) to the rubber in the 2 P.M. afternoon matchup at the Stadium.