April 30, 1948
The Indians are the most rained out team in baseball to date. If only they ever saw any rain, it might sit better.
For the third time this week, the Indians have been rained out. The Tribe was rained out Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago before traveling to St. Louis and defeating the Browns yesterday, 5-2. On Tuesday, the White Sox canceled the game around 9 a.m. because rain was in the forecast, yet it never did precipitate.
Today, the St. Louis Browns washed away the contest by 11 a.m., yet no rain had fallen by 2 p.m. when the Indians boarded an early train to head back to Cleveland. While the, “No Game Today,” sign hung on the Sportsman’s Park box office, the Browns conducted a workout on the field. Meanwhile, the Tribe traveled back to Cleveland and is expected to arrive around midnight.
The “rain outs” do mean a couple of things for the Indians. First, they’ll be able to play their two aces this weekend at home in front of the Cleveland crowd. Bob Feller (2-0), originally slated to be today’s starter, will take the bump tomorrow against the Tigers. Feller has not started since last Saturday in Detroit and has not pitched since one inning of relief on Monday in Chicago. He’ll be opposed by the Tigers’ Paul “Dizzy” Trout (0-1). Feller has allowed only seven hits and one run in 19 innings this season.
Sunday, Indians manager Lou Boudreau is hoping to start Bob Lemon (2-0) on two days rest. Lemon won Thursday’s contest, pitching nine strong innings, but will decide on Saturday if he can start the next day. If Lemon is unavailable for the Sunday start, Bob Muncrief (1-0) will pitch his place. Whoever Sunday’s starter is will be opposed by Detroit’s Fred Hutchinson (0-1). Lemon already defeated the Tigers and Hutchinson last Friday in Detroit.
The rain also allows the Indians to keep running their top two pitchers to the mound without having to use their lesser options. Barring further rain outs or unforeseen circumstances, Boudreau will be able to start Feller and Lemon in 12 of the Indians first 19 games of the season. Tentatively, he intends to throw the tandem in the second and third games in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday of the upcoming week and again on the weekend in Boston. If things continue as planned, they could pitch the final two games in New York against the Yankees. Cleveland leaves on a four-city, 11-game eastern road trip after the two weekend games in Cleveland.
“Actually you can’t figure more than one series ahead,” Boudreau originally told Harry Jones of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “You don’t know what the weather is going to be like, but if we go according to the schedule that’s how they’ll pitch. We should have both ready for the Philadelphia and Boston series and possibly both for New York.”
While rain has kept Feller and Lemon on the field to pitch often, only the starting pitcher has changed in Boudreau’s lineup to start the season. He has used the same eight position players to start each of their six games and is expected to do so again today. The team is hitting .333 collectively and only three regulars are hitting below .300.
Cleveland’s short two game homestand opens tomorrow afternoon with the first Ladies’ Day of the season.