Feller’s Wild Sixth Hands White Sox a Win; White Sox 4, Indians 2

May 30, 1948

The Indians fell further out of first place in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader, as they dropped a game to the White Sox 4-2.

Indians starting pitcher Bob Feller (5-4, 3.09) was pitching like an ace for most of the afternoon, but the wheels fell off for Feller in the bottom of the sixth inning and the sad-sack White Sox were able to take advantage. Opposing starter Glen Moulder (1-2, 5.81) was slightly better than his counterpart and recorded his first victory of the season.

Rapid Robert was stellar to start, facing only one batter over the minimum through his first five innings of work. Feller had allowed a single to Floyd Baker to leadoff the game and any batter that reached afterwards was retired some way or another.

A pickoff in the bottom of the third retired Cass Michaels who had reached via the walk. A caught stealing and then a double play took care of both Dave Philley and then Tony Lupien in the fourth, who had singled and walked. The Indian batters were able to take advantage initially, as they broke through against Moulder in the top of the fifth inning.

Johnny Berardino got the rally started with a bang when he hoisted a leadoff home run to give the Indians first blood. A single by Joe Tipton – one of three in the game – then got the juices flowing again and Feller bunted him into scoring position. Dale Mitchell, who was batting leadoff in place of the injured Thurman Tucker, followed with a walk and Larry Doby did the same to load the bases.

With one out, it looked as though the Indians were ready to pull away and bury the Sox that inning. It was not to be however, as Wally Judnich lifted a fly ball to left field for the second out and player/manager Lou Boudreau ended the Tribe threat when he grounded out to third base.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but the damage was far less than what it could have been.

After the Indians blew another opportunity with a man in scoring position in the top of the sixth, the White Sox went to work against Feller in the bottom half. Michaels led off the inning with a swinging bunt that Feller was unable to make a play on for an infield single. After that, Feller had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone and walked pinch-hitter Ralph Hodgin and then did the same to Baker.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, Feller induced a huge pop fly to second base by Philley for the first out of the frame. He then got the second out when Lupien lifted a sacrifice fly to right which cut the lead in half at 2-1. With all runners advancing on the deep fly ball and having first base open, Feller intentionally walked Taffy Wright to set up the force at any base and to face catcher Ralph Weigel.

Weigel made Feller and Boudreau pay for the decision when he roped a single to score two runs and game the White Sox a 3-2 advantage. The lead then grew to its final of 4-2 when the next hitter, Bob Kennedy, doubled home Wright and ran Feller from the ballgame.

Reliever Ed Klieman replaced Feller and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings to end the ballgame. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Chicago reliever Howie Judson also worked a scoreless three frames for the Pale Hose and recorded his first save of the season in the process.

Bright spots for the Indians in defeat included Klieman as well as Tipton, who went 3-for-3 on the afternoon. Berardino also contributed two hits as well as an RBI.

The Indians will try to split the doubleheader next as they will face the White Sox again this afternoon. Cleveland will send rookie Bill Kennedy (1-0, 5.23) to the mound for game two and Chicago will counter with Bob Gillespie (0-0, 11.81). Gillespie will be making his first start of the season for the White Sox.

Photo: ootpdevelopments.com (pictured, Weigel)

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