Late Rally Falls Short On South Side, Falls Farther From First; White Sox 3, Indians 1
Mike B. | On 25, Feb 2016
September 6, 1948
When the Cleveland Indians list the reasons they fell short of the 1948 pennant, somewhere on that list Dave Philley’s name will be found.
Philley, who beat the Indians on a ninth inning home run off Bob Lemon two weeks ago in Cleveland, drove in two runs and scored the third run himself while playing spectacular defense. In addition to his offense, Philley threw out one would-be scoring Tribesman and prevented several more with a fine running catch. Philley and his last place White Sox mates used his fine play to beat the Indians 3-1 in a closely contested game.
The loss, combined with the Boston Red Sox 14-6 win in Washington, drops the Indians to four and a half games back of first place. Each have a second game to play today, but the Indians are losing ground instead of gaining.
The 40,176 Chicago faithful had to wait 47 minutes through a rain delay before their holiday doubleheader began and then another 48 minutes in the first inning. Finally by 3:20 p.m. the sky cleared for the two teams to face off on a now slick infield. Gene Bearden battled the White Sox and the weather, but fell behind early in the bottom of the second inning. Philley walked to start the inning and Ralph Hodgin bunted him to second base. After Ralph Weigel struck out, Don Kolloway singled to left field to plate Philley and give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Cleveland had a scoring chance in the top of the third inning, but was doubled up at the plate. Jim Hegan singled to center field to start the inning and was advanced to second by a sacrifice bunt from Bearden. Dale Mitchell singled, but Hegan could only advance to third base. Wally Judnich flew to center field and Hegan tagged, but Philley threw a strike to the plate and cut Hegan down, keeping Chicago’s lead safe.
The White Sox would never relinquish their lead, instead tacking on an inning later in the third. Floyd Baker walked to start the third. Chicago kept playing small ball and Tony Lupien bunted him to scoring position. After Luke Appling was intentionally walked and Taffy Wright grounded to second for a fielder’s choice, Philley singled to center field making it 2-0.
Right-hander Joe Haynes stymied the Indians for the first five innings, allowing just three hits. In the sixth inning the Indians battled back, but could have had more if not for Philley. Judnich and Larry Doby singled with one out to put a pair on base. Joe Gordon walked to load the bases with just one out. Ken Keltner lined a drive to center field that Philley ran deep into the alley to pull down for the second out. Judnich trotted home from third base, cutting the score to 2-1, but had the ball got past Philley, all three runs would have scored.
Chicago answered right back in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Wright tripled to right field, over the head of Allie Clark, to start the inning. He was able to trot home a hitter later when Philley flew to the weak-armed Clark in right. When Wright touched home, the White Sox led 3-1.
Indians manager Lou Boudreau replaced Bearden (13-7) for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh inning. The rookie southpaw suffered the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks, while striking out two. Bearden’s effort was good enough to win on most days, but instead the Tribe fell another game back. Steve Gromek pitched the final two innings, allowing just two hits while keeping the Pale Hose scoreless.
Haynes pitched the Sox into the eighth inning. After getting the first two outs, Gordon singled and Keltner walked to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in Boudreau. White Sox manager Ted Lyons replaced Haynes with Howie Judson, who got the Tribe slugger to ground to shortstop for a force out that ended the inning, crushing the rally.
Haynes (8-9) pitched seven and two-third innings, scattering seven hits and three walks while allowing just one run.
The Indians did have one rally left in the ninth, but fell just short. Thurman Tucker pinch-hit with a one-out single to start the rally. After Clark flew out to left field, Mitchell singled to put two on with two out. Lyons again went to the bullpen, calling upon Frank Papish. Papish promptly gave up a single to Bob Kennedy, who pinch-hit for Judnich, and loaded the bases.
With the go-ahead run on first base, Boudreau pinch-hit Joe Tipton for Doby. However, Tipton watched a curveball break into the zone for a called strike three to end the game and drop the Tribe farther from first place than at any other time of the season.
With 24 games remaining, time is quickly running out for the Indians to make a pennant push. They’ll need to start this afternoon when Bob Feller (14-14, 4.19) looks to get his pitching record back onto the winning side this season against Chicago’s Randy Gumpert (2-5, 4.42). With the two rain delays, the Indians will need to win, but do it quickly to catch their train home and beat the Chicago darkness.
Photo: ootpdevelopments.com (pictured: Haynes)