September 17, 1948
Indians veteran Bob Feller struck out a season-high eleven Senators in a complete game victory over Washington on Friday night, 4-1.
The win for Feller (16-14) extended an impressive month of September for the Cleveland mainstay. After allowing just one run on five hits in his nine innings on the mound, he lowered his ERA for the month to 1.10. He is 3-0 in five starts, and allowed just one run in seven innings in a no-decision against Detroit on the ninth and two earned runs in nine innings in the tie during the second game of the doubleheader against St. Louis last Sunday.
Deuces were wild for the Indians in the second. They plated a pair with two outs in the inning against Washington’s Walt Masterson. Ken Keltner singled to center to lead things off. Larry Doby fouled out to third and Wally Judnich flied out to right before Jim Hegan blasted his 13th home run of the season over the fence in left field near the visiting bullpen, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Hegan drove in another run in the fourth. After two quick outs to start the inning, Doby and Judnich both drew walks. Hegan singled to right, scoring Doby to give Cleveland a 3-0 advantage.
Keltner contributed to the scoring again in the sixth, when he took Masterson deep to left with his 27th home run of the year, pushing the Cleveland tally to four runs. The home run production from Keltner has now set a new career high, ousting the 26 he hit in his first full season in the Major Leagues in 1938.
Feller, meanwhile, was dealing. He allowed a first inning walk and singles in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Five different innings, he faced the minimum. He struck out at least one batter in every inning but the fourth. His efforts to throw his first complete game shutout since Opening Day were spoiled in the ninth inning, when Washington scored their lone run.
The ninth also marked the only inning that Feller allowed more than one man to reach base. Feller gave up a single to Gil Coan and a walk to Al Kozar to lead off the inning. A strikeout of Sherry Robertson preceded a double to center by Bud Stewart, scoring Coan from second. A pop up to Boudreau at short and a grounder to Keltner ended the ball game.
Masterson (8-14) went the distance for the Nats, working eight innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits with four walks and a strikeout. He struck out in all three of his at bats at the plate against his counterpart.
The Indians have now taken each of their first two against the Nats in this three-game series. They have now won three straight against Washington and six of their last seven, improving their season advantage to 15-6 against them. The Senators have now lost 17 straight games.
Cleveland was unable to gain any ground in the American League in front of their smallest home crowd of the season (6,168), as both Boston and New York were victorious in their respective games. The Indians remain a game and a half behind the second place Yankees and two and a half games behind the leading Red Sox with one fewer game remaining on their schedule.
Sam Zoldak (10-10, 3.63 ERA) will start the finale on Saturday afternoon for the Tribe as they look for the three-game sweep. He is 3-2 on the month, but all three wins have come in relief efforts. Early Wynn (8-17, 5.45) will replace Ray Scarborough, who was thought to be in line for the start on Sunday. Wynn has only two wins in the last two months – one against Cleveland.