Tris Speaker Reports Game 7 of the 1919 World Series
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 9, 1919
Cicotte Masters Reds in Third Attempt
White Sox Play With Dash;
Cicotte Shows Best Form;
Gleason’s Men Close on Reds
Moran’s Pitching Problem Difficult One, Declares Tris Speaker – Eller, With Only Two Days’ Rest,
Likely to Go to the Mound To-day
Groh Becomes “Erratic” Under “Riding” of Rivals
Cincinnati-Oct. 8 – When the White Sox came on the field early this afternoon, the Cincinnati band struck up “Until We Meet Again,” apparently indicating that this was to be the farewell game of the series and they were wishing the American Leaguers “God Speed.”
They could not anticipate anything but a Red victory. They could not entertain the proposition even for a minute that any time in the country could defeat their own invincible Reds two days in succession. But they were doomed to disappointment for Eddie Cicotte pitched one of his masterly games and the White Sox showed the same winning spirit that carried them through to victory in our own league. As a result, the score was 4 to 1 in favor of the Sox.
Hod Eller, who pitched such sensational ball in the last game at Chicago, now is all that stands between the Sox and the world’s championship. I believe the White Sox can beat any other pitcher whom Morgan may call upon, and it would not surprise me in the least if they also beat Eller if Moran calls for him to pitch to-morrow, with only two days of rest. Eller is a big strong fellow, but in his game at Chicago Monday he was putting everything he had on the ball throughout the struggle. He had to for it was not until the sixth innings that his own team scored any runs for him.
Moran in Quandary.
Of course, I don’t know that Moran will use Eller to-morrow. He may use Ring, who also pitched great ball at Chicago, but who lost yesterday’s game when the Sox got to him in the tenth after he had relieved Ruether in the sixth. Just as he was to-day, Moran is in a tough spot for pitchers, despite the great staff of throwers he thought he owned. He worked Ruether and Ring each five innings yesterday. He had Sallee in there for almost five innings to-day, Fisher for one inning and Luque for three. Eller is the only one of his first-stringers who has not worked in two days, so it is quite logical that he will work him to-morrow.
And if it works out that he does not use Eller and Hod has not had enough rest, it will be curtains for Cincinnati, for the White Sox will make life miserable for any of the others. Eller is his last hope, but as I am not a mind reader, I don’t know whether Moran will pitch him tomorrow or in the ninth game, if there be a ninth game. I know which day I would use him were I managing the Reds, but as I expect to have enough to do to manage the Indians next year, I am not going to assume any of Pat’s duties, especially as my money is up the other way.
Shiner in Order.
Cicotte worked his shiner with deadly effect to-day. It made me smile with satisfaction when I saw Reds swing in vain and then ask to examine the ball, just as I have many a time. I did not have to be at bat to know what Eddie was doing. Just from the way they acted I knew he had his sailor ball working beautifully, and when that is the case no club is going to hit him hard.
There were close to half a dozen times that the Reds asked to have the ball thrown out. Umpire Quigley laughed at them most of the time, but there were two occasions when he acted a little mystified himself, and in those instances he threw the ball to either Evans or Nallin, the American League umpires, and asked them to retain the balls for future reference. But if Eddie could get away with that ball for three years in our League in spite of all our kicking, I do not think he will have any trouble should he be asked to pitch again. The Reds were perfectly willing he should shine the ball in the first game when they beat him so badly. They did not protest in the second game he pitched, but to-day when they were being beaten they just looked around for an alibi which they had not needed before.
Schalk Shows Class.
Cicotte was beautifully handled by Ray Schalk, who, as the series grows, is using his superiority over the Cincinnati catchers just as I predicted he would. One thing that stands out very prominently is the almost uncanny manner in which Ray has outguessed the Reds when they either have been planning the hit and run play or the runner has intended to steal. I have kept track and in eight of nine attempts Schalk has been next so completely that he has called for a pitch-out or a waste ball. Only once has he failed. On that occasion Williams pitched a low curve ball and his man got away to a steal of second.
To-day’s game also was further testimony in corroboration of my pre-series dope that Weaver might show to greater advantage than Groh at third base. Groh was given one error to-day. Stricter scoring might have given him one or two more, as it looked as if he could not stand for the riding he got from the Sox bench nearby and play the game that was expected from him. Anyway, there could be no denying the fact that he acted all fussed up throughout the game, while Weaver played ball with excellent judgment and brilliant precision.
As for Collins, Eddie was given one error on a play that I believed should have been scored a hit for Rath, but admitting that Eddie deserved to be charged with a misplay, his fielding the rest of the day was beautiful, as he robbed the Reds of hits on several drives which they had every reason for believing would go safe. And he played everything so cleanly. There was a zip to his work just as there was to Weaver’s.
Not So Lucky.
Sallee pitched identically the same ball he did in the first game he pitched when he was returned a victor. There was this difference. In the first game, the White Sox made ten hits but failed to get them when they counted for the reason that “Slim’s” support was lucky enough to capture a bunch of line drives hit right at them. Today, the Sox had the breaks and the drives that were caught last week went safe to-day. And Slim’s support was nothing to brag about. It helped him out in the first and third, but went to the bad in the fifth when Groh and Rath slipped up, each making an error that hurt and hastened the departure of Sallee to the clubhouse. It made it sotrt of look as if both teams had cracked under the strain, but that the White Sox have regained their stride while the Reds have just got well under way in the act of cracking.
Now that seven games have been played and we know the eighth is to be played in Chicago and the ninth if there is need of a ninth in Cincinnati, I have a hunch we will be back here in Cincinnati before this trouble is over. I know that the first thing I will do when I get to Chicago to-morrow morning will be to purchase my return transportation to Cincinnati. And before I leave here to-night I am going to put in my reservation for a room and not make the same mistake that some newspaper men did upon arriving here yesterday. They thought the series would come to an end yesterday and as a result had to sleep in Pullman’s in the railroad yards.