Reds Again Humble Sox’s Premier Twirler
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 5, 1919
Breaks Give Reds Victory Over Sox, Asserts Speaker
Bad Fielding by Chicago Loses Contest, Although Gleason’s Men Outfield Rivals – Jimmy Ring Pitches Great Ball for National Leaguers.
Chicago, Oct. 4 – To-day’s game was decided as I have seen may other world’s series game settled, the breaks of the contest giving Cincinnati the verdict by a score of 2 to 0. It surely is tough for a club to lose by bad fielding when it really outfields the other club, yet that is just what happened to-day when Eddie Cicotte blundered twice and handled the Reds two runs in the fifth inning, a round in which Cincinnati should not have scored a run.
Having been in several world’s series, I can appreciate how the White Sox felt after to-day’s defeat. We always have regarded Eddie Cicotte as one of the best fielding hurlers in our league, and I was amazed to see him pull two bad plays in the fifth inning. I doubt if Eddie ever made two errors in the same inning before in his life, which goes to show how lucky the Reds were this afternoon.
Those were the only two errors made by Chicago – yet they decided the game. Cincinnati made just as many errors and neither one hurt in the least. During the remainder of the game, I thought that Chicago played the ball much more cleanly than did the Reds, but we must not forget that the Reds did dnot have as many infield chances as did the Sox infielders.
Played Too Close.
Outside of Cicotte’s errors, there was only one play by Chicago that I could find fault with and I am beginning to think that I have been mighty exacting in this series. Possibly that is because this is the first time in years that I have had the chance to be a press box critic, umpire and second guesser.
The play I refer to was what led up my chalking up a two-base hit on my score card for “Greasy” Neale in that weird fifth inning. We know that “Greasy” is a right field hitter, but that sometimes, like many other left-hand batters, he hits one on the outside to left. But I think that Joe Jackson either overplayed Neale or the wind was the cause. In camping out close to the foul line with Cicotte in there using speed, I believe Joe should have played somewhat deeper than he did. Of course, that may seem like second guess stuff, especially in view of what happened, but I think my fellow ballplayer will bear me out in saying an outfielder should play a deeper field when a fast ball pitcher is on the rubber than when a slow ball pitcher is working.
Well, we know he did not, for when Neale connected he hit the ball over Joe’s head to the spot where Joe generally plays a batsman. Even then Joe could have taken the ball had he gone back as fast as I have seen him go on many an occasion against us. That’s why I possibly have been so critical of the playing of the Sox up to date. They beat us out of our chance of playing the Reds in this series but they did not do that by playing the ball they have in this series. All I ask of them as an American Leaguer is that they think they are playing Cleveland now and play the Reds just as fiercely as they did us. If they do, they will win this series yet, although it now stands three to one in favor of Cincinnati.
After the wonderful ball that Cicotte pitched to-day, I am far from giving up hope, for the Sox showed that they have come to life and returned to their American League form as far as pitching is concerned. Williams will work to-morrow as Kerr will work the next day, with Cicotte coming back the third time if the series goes seven games, as it probably will. I figure Kerr can beat the Reds any time he starts if his team gets any runs for him while Williams ought to win his next time out, as he is bound to pitch with more confidence and not work so carefully. He will not be missing the corners as he did at Cincinnati.
As for Cicotte, anyone who watched to-day’s game knows he pitched great ball. It was just a case of Cincinnati bunching to lucky hits with two errors, and when I say “two lucky hits” I mean they were lucky, for both Kopf and Neale hit bad balls when making their hits that gave Cincinnati its third victory in the series. Each ball they hit safely was pitched on the outside. There were two strikes and two balls on Kopf, and really he had no business going after the one to make his single. That does show how luck was with Cincinnati to-day.
While speaking of breaks, I might mention that although Schalk, when leading off in the first inning, was hit with a pitched ball, yet Chicago was unable to profit by that slip on Ring’s part. Just the opposite of the Reds in Thursday’s game when they turned nearly all of William’s passes into runs. Schalk was passed with only one out in the ninth and never reached second.
To give credit where credit is due, though, I must refer to the great pitching of Jimmy Ring. How did that guy ever get out of the American League? I wish I had him. I cannot see how a boy with as much promise as he must have had when with New York could be turned loose. He has the ideal build for a pitcher, a nice easy motion, a lot of speed, a mighty pretty curve ball and they tell me his control is generally better than to-day. They tell me his control generally is better than to-day. But I have said it all. He was so full of confidence that I could not but admire him and say to my next door neighbor, Charley Doyle, of Pittsburgh, that Ring was just the kind of pitcher that I liked to work with.
Take it in the second inning when Joe Jackson got to third with only one out. He never lost his nerve for a minute, but proceeded to go get Gandil out of the way before going to work on Risberg. He gave the Swede nothing but curve balls on the outside, trying to get Risberg to hit at a bad one. He was not the least worried when the Swede failed to bite, and walked, but passed Schalk intentionally so as to take a chance on Cicotte. Then Rath came to his rescue by making a nice play on Eddie’s grounder that might have been a base hit had it not been for Rath’s clever pickup. That play cut off two runs.
Ring had a lot of stuff on his fast ball. When you can get a hard hitting team like the Sox to hit sixteen balls in the air and have all but three of them hit either so high or so lightly that they can be handled easily, you are pitching real ball and that is what Ring did to-day. He sure did have a nice hop on his fast one.
The Sox’s hitting has been a great disappointment to me in this series. It is difficult to comprehend that they are the same team that led the American League in batting and made winning easy for the Chicago pitchers. I scarcely know whether the attribute their hitting slump to their own nervousness or to the excellent pitching of the Cincinnati hurlers. Perhaps I better play safe and give the credit to Ruether, Sallee, Fisher and Ring, who have held the Sox to a batting average not much above the .200 mark.
Box Score of Yesterday’s Game
REDS AB R H PO A E WHITE SOX AB R H PO A E
Rath, 2b 4 0 1 5 1 1 Liebold, rf 5 0 0 0 1 0
Daubert, 1b 4 0 0 9 1 0 E. Collins, 2b 3 0 0 3 5 0
Groh, 3b 4 0 0 2 3 1 Weaver, 3b 4 0 0 0 3 0
Rousch, cf 3 0 0 2 0 0 Jackson, lf 4 0 1 3 0 0
Duncan, lf 3 1 0 1 0 0 Felsch, cf 3 0 1 0 0 0
Kopf, ss 3 1 1 1 1 0 Gandil, 1b 4 0 1 14 0 0
Neale, rf 3 0 1 4 0 0 Risberg, ss 3 0 0 3 4 0
Wingo, c 3 0 2 2 0 0 Schalk, c 1 0 0 4 3 0
Ring, p 3 0 0 1 2 0 Cicotte, p 3 0 0 0 2 2
Totals 30 2 5 27 8 2 Murphy, ph 1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 31 0 3 27 18 2
Innings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Two-base hits – Jackson, Neale. Stolen Base – Risberg. Sacrifice Hit – Rfelsch. Double Plays – E. Collins to Risberg to Gandil; Cicotte to Risberg to Gandil. Left on Bases Reds 1; White Sox 10. Bases on Balls – Ring 3 (Risberg, Schalk, 2) Hit by Pitcher – By Ring 2 (E. Collins, Schalk.) Struck Out – by Cicotte 2 (Kopf, Ring), by Ring 2 (Jackson, Gandil). Time of Game – One hour and thirty-seven minutes. Umpires – Nallin behind plate; Quigley at third; Evans at second; Rigler at first.