1948: When Boudreau Led the Boys
September 4, 1948
In a season that appears will go down to the final games or innings, the Indians may have several unfortunate moments to point back to if the pennant does not go their way.
Another one of those moments may have taken place in the fifth inning on Saturday afternoon when the St. Louis Browns erupted for three runs against Tribe starter Satchel Paige. It was the only inning the lowly Browns scored in regulation, but that outburst and a well-pitched game by Ned Garver, was enough to push the game to extras where the Browns won 4-3 in ten innings in front of 17,092.
September 3, 1948
With an opportunity to make up a half game on the Boston Red Sox in the standings and at least hold pat with the New York Yankees with a win, the Tribe instead fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in time, losing the second half of the twi-night doubleheader to the St. Louis Browns 4-3 in front of 9,473 fans at Sportsman’s Park.
Sam Zoldak was roughed up early by his former teammates and could not survive the third inning as the Browns scored four times in the first four innings. Cleveland rallied back against St. Louis starter Joe Ostrowski, but several sharply hit balls right at fielders resulted in double plays and rally killers. The loss instead drops the Indians to two full games behind the Red Sox. New York is now just a half game behind Boston for the top spot.
September 3, 1948
The Cleveland Indians ran their winning streak to four games this afternoon, handling the St. Louis Browns by a score of 7-0 in the first half of a Friday night twi-night doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park.
Bob Lemon threw his third straight shutout, earning his 19th win of the season and the Indians used three home runs to keep their streak going. Lemon’s shutout ran a personal scoreless streak to 28 innings. He’s thrown four shutouts in the last five starts and has not allowed a run in 45 of the last 46 innings he’s thrown.
September 2, 1948
Like they have all summer, crowds will flood into Cleveland Stadium this Friday, but the fanatics will be cheering for a different team than the Indians for the first time.
Otto Graham, Marion Motley and the rest of the defending League Champion Cleveland Browns will open their season against the Los Angeles Dons at the Stadium on Friday, as the Indians continue their brutally long road trip. The Indians have played their last eleven games on the road, making stops in Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
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.
September 1, 1948
Lou Boudreau, Ken Keltner and Joe Gordon have done a fantastic job holding down the infield-fort this season, as the three premier hitters are all integral cogs in Cleveland’s mighty lineup. The three veterans, however, have an average age of 32 and have shown some signs of tiring as the hot Cleveland sun and the everyday grind of the baseball season has taken its toll on the infielders. Reinforcements are more than welcome for the Indians pennant race, as backup infielder Johnny Berardino has shouldered the entire load all season long.
Enter Ray Boone – or Ike, as he is known to his teammates – the Indians’ young shortstop prospect who will be making his Major League debut just as soon as Boudreau pencils his name in the lineup. Boone was called up to The Show on Wednesday after proving his readiness at AA Oklahoma City this season.
August 31, 1948
If Lou Boudreau can play this way when he’s hurting, the Cleveland Indians should be quite excited for when he’s healthy again. Boudreau had three hits, two RBI and gave rookie southpaw Gene Bearden all of the offense that he needed in a 6-1 Indians victory over the Philadelphia Athletics.
Bearden (13-6, 2.74) has been an unexpected, pleasant surprise for the Indians this season and continued his outstanding year on Tuesday. Bearden worked eight innings giving up just one unearned run on five hits. The young lefty walked five and struck out three in the victory.
August 30, 1948
Lots of early run support gave Indians Satchel Paige plenty of room to pitch, as Cleveland walloped Washington, 10-1, on Monday evening to earn a series win.
Paige (6-1), making his fifth start of the season for the Indians, was solid. He went the distance, keeping the ball out of a battered Cleveland bullpen for at least a day. He issued one walk with seven hits and allowed just one Senators player to cross home plate successfully. Washington logged just three of those hits prior to the eighth inning. He struck out five batters and lowered his season ERA to 1.66.
August 29, 1948
Cleveland squandered an early lead and a chance to make up ground in the division, as the Washington Senators took the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader by a 5-2 final.
The loss for the Indians, paired with splits of respective doubleheaders for both Boston and New York, left Cleveland two games in back of the Red Sox and a half-game behind the Yankees.
The Indians jumped on top in the second off of Washington’s Early Wynn.
August 29, 1948
Unaffected by the 90-plus degree temperatures in the nation’s capital, Bob Lemon limited the Senators to just three hits to record his second consecutive complete game shutout and his third in four starts, as the Cleveland Indians defeated Washington in the first of two at Griffith Stadium on Sunday, 6-0.
Lemon (18-11) remained locked in for the Tribe. He won his fifth decision of August while blanking the Senators for nine scoreless frames. He walked three and allowed three singles in the ball game. Six Senators took a seat via strikeout.
August 29, 1948
While in the thick of the pennant race in the American League over the last few weeks, the Cleveland Indians have begun to make it a frustrating habit to be charitable to some of the league’s worst teams.
In six recent games against the lowly White Sox and Senators, the Indians went 2-4.
What may be even more discouraging are the wins lost against the top teams in the American League because the relief corps is failing to provide any relief. Instead of gaining ground in the standings and saving close wins, the team has been repeatedly dealt devastating losses in potentially winnable ball games.