Welcome back everybody to Kansas City’s Muehlebach Field for Game 2 of our first simulated 1936 Semifinal Series. With the surprising New York Cubans holding a 1-game to none lead, manager Martin Dihigo is sending Chet Brewer to the mound. For the Kansas City Monarchs, looking to avoid the serious blow of two straight losses on their home field, manager Andy Cooper is starting Barney Morris.
The Cubans came out swinging in the top of the first, as center fielder led off the game with a towering home run. After Morris got Dave Thomas and Clyde Spearman, Martin Dihigo and Jabbo Andrews hit back-to-back doubles, Dihigo’s to right and Andrews’ to right center, with Andrews’ whack scoring Dihigo with the second run. On the next pitch, Francisco Correa sliced a liner to Kansas City right fielder Luther Taylor. Taylor couldn’t quite reach the ball, but he then played it into a three-bagger with a wild throw back to the infield, missing his cutoff man. Andrews scored easily, and Correa came all the way around to third on Taylor’s two-base error. Anastasio Santaella swung and missed on Morris’ first two pitches, but Morris then tried a throwaway that catcher Harry Else muffed for a run-scoring passed ball and New York’s fourth run.
The Monarchs were a little quieter about going about their business in the bottom of the first. Henry Milton led things off with a solid base hit. One out later, Willard Brown singled up the middle, with Milton stopping at second. Luther Taylor forced Brown at second, but Pat Patterson then hit a high fly to right that barely cleared the fence for a three-run homer.
The Cubans struck back for two more in the top of the third. Dave Thomas got things started with a solid single. After Morris walked Clyde Spearman on four straight pitches, manager Martin Dihigo stroked a long double. Thomas scored easily, and the speedy Spearman managed to score all the way from first. The Monarchs got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third on Henry Milton’s leadoff single and Willard Brown’s one-out double.
Still teeing off on Chet Brewer, the Monarchs crept to within a run in the bottom of the fourth. Curtis Harris led things off with a ground-rule double to right. After Harry Else’s popup, center fielder Eddie Dwight scored the run with a solid single.
Although Martin Dihigo looked like he was (understandably) losing confidence in Brewer as the bottom of the fifth began, Dihigo didn’t move quickly enough. Newt Allen got things started by crushing a terrible curve for a triple to right. After Willard Brown grounded out, Luther Taylor hit a ground ball to second. When Allen set sail for home, second baseman Francisco Correa opted to come home with the ball and cut off the run, but Allen beat the throw. One out later, Curtis Harris reached when Correa misplayed another ground ball to the gap for an error. With men on first and second, Harry Else then scored the second run of the inning with a base hit to right, and Eddie Dwight scored two more with a long double. Suddenly, the Monarchs had a 9-6 lead. Dihigo then brought in Rudy Fernandez and yanked Brewer, who closed things out on one pitch.
The Cubans made it 9-7 in the top of the sixth on Correa’s long lead-off double and Alejandro Oms’ clutch two-out single. Dihigo brought in Schoolboy Taylor to pitch in the bottom of the inning, hoping to keep the Monarchs close, and he turned out to be the first Cubans pitcher of the game to be relatively effective. The Cubans mounted a mild threat in the top of the eighth when Frank Duncan stroked a one-out single to right. With pinch hitter Cocaina Garcia at the plate, Morris uncorked a wild pitch, advancing Duncan to second. Moments later, Garcia singled to left, but too shallow for Duncan to score. In his final hurrah of the start, Morris then bore down and got Lazaro Salazar on strikes.
The Cubans’ last gasp was in the top of the ninth. Dave Thomas and Clyde Spearman led off with back-to-back singles, putting men at first and second. Cooper then brought in Ed Barnes to try to save the win. He managed to get Martin Dihigo on a fly ball to right. Jabbo Andrews then grounded into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
So two games in, we’re all tied up at one game apiece.