September 1, 1948
That’s more like the Bob Feller that Cleveland has grown used to seeing over the past decade.
Rapid Robert struck out a season high nine batters as the Indians beat the Philadelphia Athletics 8-1. The victory was Feller’s 14th of the season and the Indians third straight. With the win, the Indians kept pace with the victorious Red Sox and Yankees, swept the A’s, and pushed Philadelphia five and a half games out of first place. The Indians remain one and a half games behind.
Feller (14-14, 4.19) had tied his previous season-high of eight strikeouts by the sixth inning and then broke his personal best when he struck out pinch-hitter Don White in the bottom of the ninth. His counterpart, young right-hander Bill McCahan (4-5, 5.06), pitched exponentially worse by not recording an out and walking all three batters that he faced.
After Dale Mitchell, Wally Judnich and Lou Boudreau all walked to start the game, A’s Manager Connie Mack elected to pull McCahan from the contest and put in left-handed rookie Lou Brissie, who would work the rest of the ballgame. Brissie’s day started off very auspiciously as well, as he allowed a bases clearing triple to Ken Keltner, followed by a walk to Larry Doby and a single to Eddie Robinson. All told, the Indians were staked to a 4-0 lead before Philadelphia got a chance to bat.
The Tribe added another run in the second when Boudreau drove in Mitchell with a single. They tacked on another in the third on a passed ball that brought Doby in from third base. From there, Brissie settled down and allowed only an unearned run in the sixth and a solo home run to Joe Gordon in the eighth, but the Indians had an insurmountable 8-0 advantage by that point.
Feller, meanwhile, was extremely effective, allowing only four hits and no runs through the first eight innings. The Heater from Van Meter did not have impeccable control – as has been the case all season – allowing six walks, but he was able to work out of any jams that he got himself into and ended up pitching one of his better ballgames of the season. Feller allowed his only run of the game in the ninth inning when Barney McCosky singled home pinch-hitter Carl Scheib.
The Indians will continue their brutal 16-game road trip as they board a train and head west to St. Louis to face the Browns on Friday. The Tribe, who are finished with east coast games for the season, will play a doubleheader Friday and single games on Saturday and Sunday before heading to Chicago to play the White Sox. After that, the Indians will play 21 of their final 24 games at home.
On Friday, the Indians will send Bob Lemon (18-11, 2.70) to the mound to face former Indian Bill Kennedy (6-5, 5.99) in game one. Kennedy is 1-1 with one no decision in three games against Cleveland since being traded to the Browns in June. Game two will match up the man Kennedy was traded for, Sam Zoldak (7-8, 3.71), against rookie left-hander Joe Ostrowski (2-3, 5.32). Ostrowski is 1-1 and has given up seven earned runs in 18 innings against the Indians since August 11.
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