August 19, 1948
The bases are just 90 feet apart or just 360 feet around the diamond to score a run, but lately it must look like miles for the opponents of the Cleveland Indians.
Last night Sam Zoldak shut out the St. Louis Browns, 3-0. The Browns were blanked in both their games in Cleveland this week and the Indians pitching staff has not allowed a run in 30 innings. The Tribesmen have not allowed a run since the sixth inning of the first game of their doubleheader last Sunday in Chicago.
Bob Feller pitched three scoreless innings to end that game, followed by a shutout in the second game by Bob Lemon. After a day off, Gene Bearden shut out the Browns back in Cleveland on Tuesday and Zoldak ran the streak to 30 innings last night with a shutout of his own.
Zoldak’s shutout last night was the 18th of the year for Cleveland pitchers. Seven were posted by Lemon, four by Bearden and one each by Feller, Bob Muncrief, Satchel Paige and Zoldak. Don Black and Russ Christopher teamed up for another, Feller and Muncrief for one and Muncrief and Christopher for another.
Last Friday night, Paige shut out the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. That game, combined with the three straight shutouts, has the Indians in a streak of six games where they have allowed only four runs. The fine pitching performances have garnered the Indians a seven-game winning streak and their largest lead in the standings since June 23.
The Indians should be able to continue to put some distance between themselves and the other pennant chasers this weekend while they take on the cellar dwelling White Sox at home. Paige (4-1, 1.64) will try to keep the shutout and scoreless innings streak alive on Friday night. With Lemon slated for Saturday and Feller and Bearden on tap for Sunday’s twin bill, the Indians will be heavy favorites all weekend.
The Philadelphia Athletics will be in New York to take on the Yankees while the Boston Red Sox will be in Washington to take on the Senators.
Photo: The Sporting News Collection archive