Tris Speaker Reports on Game 5 of the 1919 World Series
Hod Eller Mystifies White Sox Batsmen
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 7, 1919
Chicago, Oct. 6 – I am surprised that Par Moran waited so long to use Hod Eller in this series as when the Indians tackled the Reds in our post season series two years ago he looked like the best pitcher Cincinnati had, and to-day when he beat Chicago 5 to 0 in the fifth game to this show he looked even better, which shows I had the right hunch.
Eller easily pitched the best game that has been pitched in the series. He is the same kind of pitcher that Eddie Cicotte is, but to-day he threw his shiner with far more effect and speed than I ever saw Cicotte use it. His control was remarkable. He passed the first man up in the first inning, but that was Nemo Liebold, a harm man for any pitcher to throw to, but he could make the ball simply talk the rest of the way, his exhibition of striking out six White Sox in a row in the second and third innings being one of the great exhibitions of puzzling pitching that ever I have witnessed.
When Pat Moran declared prior to the series that it was not necessary to start with Eller, as he had four or five other pitchers equally effective, he was speaking the truth. He has shown us five, and even Ray Fisher, who lost his game, looked mighty good to me. Even Fisher held the White Sox to one earned run, which was good enough to have won had not the Reds had their one real off day last Friday. There seems to be more chance of Ruether repeating than the little Sox lefthander, as he has had a long rest and will have the additional advantage of knowing that his team has its adversaries on the run unless some one throws some fight into the Sox to-night, while they are on their way to Cincinnati. They are not likely to look very good to-morrow. They looked to-day as if they were just trying to play out the schedule.
Dick Kerr will have to pitch unusual ball to win with a team behind that that is beaten before it goes on the field. It was a case to-day of the White Sox being outclassed all the way except for seven of the nine innings. In the box Claude Williams looked mighty good. He was a trifle wild at the outset, when he passed Rath, but settled down at once and was pitching good ball until his support went to pieces.
Outfield Goes to Pieces.
No one could accuse the Sox outfield of being composed of championship material this afternoon. Perhaps there are alibis. Perhaps some excuses were offered in the Sox clubhouse after the game, but alibis don’t go in a world’s series. Anyway, I passed up my daily trip to the clubhouse after the game to-day. The exhibition spoke for itself and I needed no corroboratory testimony from the Chicago players.
The damage was done in the sixth inning. Had Eller led off with a hit to left-center. Joe Jackson should have turned it into an out, but he failed to start until too late. He put it up to Felsch to get it and “Happy” never had a chance. Then the throw in was bungled either by Felsch, who made the throw, or Risberg, who was relaying it, and Hod got to third. I heard that the official scorer gave Felsch the error.
Rath Surprises Sox.
Then Rath made a pretty line single to right field. He sort of surprised the boys because he had been hitting to left field. Of course that scored Eller. That was enough to win the game, but the Sox outfield was still in a generous mood. After Daubert had sacrificed Groh walked. Rousch then hit a fairly hard drive to center field. Some say that “Happy” Felsch was playing in too far. I don’t think so. He could have made the catch easily had he not misjudged it so badly. He started to run in before turning and trying in the right direction. Even then I thought he would get it, but he dropped it after getting hold of it with one hand. He has beaten us this year with far more difficult catches, and when “Happy” Felsch falls down in such pinches it looks to me as if the entire team has gone into this series scared to death.
It may be noticed that earlier in my story I referred to what happened today as an exhibition; by no stretch of the imagination could it be styled a contest; just an exhibition, with the Reds using the White Sox much as Benny Leonard or Johnny Kilbane would play with a clumsy sparring partner. There is no disputing the fact the Reds look like a great baseball club, but the White Sox possibly are making them look better than they really are. It is a wonderful defense that Morgan can boast of. He must have had a good attack as well during the regular season, for he won the pennant in a walk. But he did not need an attack to-day with the White Sox failing to play their game.
I found out to-day why it is the fans now and then ride the umpires so fiercely for rendering decisions that are at variance with the viewpoint of the spectators. IT is a case of viewpoint entirely. Take it to-day, when Umpire Billy Evans, an American League official too, and a good one, called Eddie Collins out at first. I thought he had made a mistake. When Cy Rigler, a National League umpire, called Groh safe at the plate in their sixth inning. I thought he was out and that Ray Schalk was justified in making a contest. Yet I suppose each umpire was right in his decision. He certainly was closer to the play that I was or 20,000 other spectators who voiced their disapproval.
But you can bank on it whatever breaks there were as far as the umpires went were with the Reds. Had Eddie Collins been called safe in the first inning Chicago probably would have scored. Had Groh been called out at the plate the Reds would have been held to two runs that inning instead of four. But adverse decisions cannot be used as an alibi in this game. Hod Eller was not the man responsible. Chicago fans do not need to look any further for an excuse.
Box Score of Yesterday’s Game.
REDS AB R H PO A E WHITE SOX AB R H PO A E
Rath, 2b 3 1 1 0 3 0 Liebold, rf 3 0 0 1 0 0
Daubert, 1b 2 0 0 11 0 0 E. Collins, 2b 4 0 0 1 2 1
Groh, 3b 3 1 0 1 2 0 Weaver, 3b 4 0 2 1 2 0
Rousch, cf 4 2 1 2 0 0 Jackson, lf 4 0 0 3 0 0
Duncan, lf 2 0 0 2 0 0 Felsch, cf 3 0 0 7 0 1
Kopf, ss 3 0 1 0 4 0 Gandil, 1b 3 0 0 8 1 0
Neale, rf 4 0 0 1 0 0 Risberg, ss 3 0 0 1 2 1
Rariden, c 4 0 0 10 0 0 Schalk, c 2 0 1 3 2 0
Eller, p 3 1 1 0 2 0 Lynn, c 1 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 28 5 4 27 11 0 Williams, p 2 0 0 1 0 0
Murphy, ph 1 0 0 0 0 0
Mayer, p 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 30 0 3 27 9 3
Innings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T
Reds 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 5
White Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Two-base Hit – Eller. Three-base Hits – Rousch, Weaver. Stolen Base – Rousch. Sacrifice Hits – Daubert 2, Kopf. Sacrifice Fly – Duncan. Left on Base – Reds 3, White Sox 4. Bases on Balls – Williams 2 (Rath, Groh); Mayer 1 (Duncan); Eller 1 (Liebold). Hits – Off Williams – 4 in 8; off Mayer, 0 in 1. Struck Out – Williams 3 (Duncan, Neale, Eller); Eller 9 (Gandil, Risberg, Schalk, Williams 2; Liebold, Felsch, E. Collins, Murphy). Passed Ball – Schalk. Losing Pitcher – Williams. Time of game – One hour and forty-five minutes. Umpires – Rigler behind plate; Evans at first base; Quigley at second base; Nallin at third base.