Author Topic: The 1924 Washington Nationals  (Read 3829 times)

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Offline alanmiley

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #75: June 11, 2024, 09:35:56 AM »
100 years ago in Washington Senators history
Wednesday, June 11, 1924 – This has been a week of ups and downs.  Starting Thursday, the Senators played two more games in Detroit, followed by four in Cleveland, and then they headed to St. Louis for today’s game.  The Tygers were hot - only one game out of the league lead, but the cellar-dwelling Indians were less of a threat.  As a matter of fact, Harris was of the opinion that they would win 3 of 4 from Cleveland.  The results were not quite as expected.  They won both games against the Tygers, the first by slugging for 9 runs on 13 hits, the second on the back of Walter Johnson’s 4-hit shutout.

But then, the exuberant team came into Cleveland.  You can check the details for yourself;  all I will say is that they lost all four games.  Moreover, there seemed to be problems beyond the games themselves.  After the second loss, John B. Keller’s headline in the Evening Star was “Morale of Nationals is at Low Ebb,” adding in a sub-head “All Griffs Except Harris Appear to Have Lost Fighting Spirit.”  The article, which went on to describe the unpleasant details, included the observation “So slovenly was the play of several members of the club ….”

The emotional trail can be tracked by the titles that the Washington Times puts on their box scores, from “Team Looks Good” following Thursday’s victory over the Tygers to “Bound for Cellar” following the fourth loss to Cleveland.

In personnel:
-- When Wid Matthews arrived, Harris told him to lose his bad attitude or lose his spot in the majors.*  He has complied and he started all the games this week.  Coming into today’s game, Matthews is 5 for 19 (.273) with one extra base hit, a triple.

-- In related news, Lance Richbourg finally passed waivers and he was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the Matthews trade.  He replaced George Fisher who had been the original tradee per Commissioner Landis’s mandate.

-- Sam Rice was the regular right fielder last year.  One of Bucky Harris’s first managerial moves was to move him to center.  That left an open question as to his replacement in right.  Candidates Richbourg, Fisher, East, and Leibold were all given a shot at the post. The question has been frequently discussed in the sports pages, especially during spring training. Some of those candidates are now gone and some remain, but none of them pleased Harris as much as had Rice.  Now, the newly acquired Matthews can play center with Rice back in right field.

-- Bucky Harris returned to the lineup yesterday and he seems in good health.  Prothro, hitting .336, remains at 3rd base while Bluege has returned to the bench.

-- And then there’s Joe Judge.  He reported that he was hit in the thigh, right above the kneecap, by a ball hit by Babe Ruth on May 28.  Then on Saturday, after a 2nd inning single, “Mule” Shirley was sent in as a pinch runner and he finished the game.  There was little reporting on the reason for the substitution, but the Washington Times’ Francis J. Powers reported on Sunday’s game “Joe Judge is back in the game after being knocked out Saturday, with a broad expanse of his chin concealed under adhesive tape.”  Then yesterday, Judge singled to center field but was out trying to stretch it into a double.  Worse than the out itself, he jammed his leg, aggravating the Ruth injury, and this time it seems more serious.  Judge was replaced again by Shirley and he departed back to Washington for treatment.  Trainer Mike Martin believes he will need a significant rest although the competitive Judge believes he will be able to return after completion of the next series with Chicago.

So who is this Ernest Raeford "Mule" Shirley?  For starters, last year he was the captain of the University Of North Carolina baseball team where he acquired the “Mule” nickname.  He joined the Senators in spring training and the general opinion of the pundits was something like “has potential, but needs seasoning, especially in the field.”  The Washington Times had a spring training contest in which readers were asked to supply the last line of a limerick about a player.  For Shirley, the winning line was “Joe Judge’s successor’s left school.”  Although Judge is only 30, he has had leg trouble in 1923 and again this year.  Whatever the value of successor speculation, Shirley has only 7 at bats before Saturday.  He is getting his first start today.

That brings us to today’s game:  Sam Rice led off with a double and scored, while Paul Zahinser held the Browns scoreless.  It was 1-0 after the 1st and it only got better.  In the bottom of the 8th the Browns’ Harry Rice (no relation) scored, but by that time, the Senators had crossed the plate 11 more times.  The final result:
Washington: 12 runs, 18 hits, and no errors
St. Louis:       1 run, 7 hits, and (oops) 4 errors.

Every Senator starter got a hit and each of them except Muddy Ruel and pitcher Paul Zahinser got at least 2.  In his first major league start, Mule Shirley got 3 hits, including a double and a triple and he drove in 4 runs.  The Star’s John B. Keller said he lived up to his nickname by the way he “kicked” the Browns.  Keller opined that there was no reason for Judge to hurry back to the lineup. 

The Senators record is now 22-24 and they are in fifth place.  The current American League standings are reminiscent of late 1923; similar except for surprising Boston (hapless in 1923) swapping with Cleveland (hapless in 1924) in the top 3 teams.  And the slightly under .500 Senators are again vying with the Browns for fourth place.

There is one big difference, however.  The race is rather tight and only 4 games separate 1st and 6th place.

*As reported in Gary Sarnoff’s Team of Destiny.

Special for The 1924 Nationals Thread:

I have been posting these notes on Facebook since August of ‘23.  If you should want to see any, you could search “100 years ago in Washington Senators history.”  More simply, you can just catch up with some themes from those posts:

-- According to the pundits, the 1923 Senators were a mediocre team.  After all, they made it into the first division only because of of the total collapse of the Browns in the last series of the season.  Walter Johnson was on his last legs and there wasn’t a whole lot of potential elsewhere.  If they had any hopes of improving, they needed significant upgrades in players.  When no major upgrades appeared in the off season, they were predicted to be again mediocre for 1924.

-- In spring training, most of the position players were locked into jobs.  The exceptions were right field and 3rd base.  The press noted that pitching was also a little unsettled and they reported that 1923 regular Tom Zachary would see little action (if he even made the team.)  Of course, as always in spring training, there was great potential seen in some of the newer younger players.

-- Clark Griffith was ahead of his time in grooming specialized relief pitchers.  Among them were Fred “Firpo” Marberry and spitballer Allen Russell.

-- If you are interested in a big picture beyond these weekly notes, you can’t find a better source than Gary Sarnoff’s Team of Destiny.

-- Finally, apologies for the long post – I’ll be much more succinct in the future.

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #76: June 11, 2024, 02:56:41 PM »
June 4, 1924. You can't win them all, but sometimes you come teeth-grindingly close. Nats have 4 - 2 lead in the 7th, but Detroit ties the score. The teams match runs, but the Tigers win it in the 11th. A wobbly Slim McGrew lasts into the 7th -- 4 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 3 K -- and then Firpo Marberry blows the save in the 9th, although nobody counted "saves" back then, and loses the game in the 10th. The Nats slammed 15 (!) hits, including 4 (!) doubles, but it's not enough.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET192406040.shtml

The Nats are in 4th place, at 19 - 20, with Chicago and the Browns fading to a couple games behind them. Boston has caught the Yankees by a half a game, and Detroit is a game behind Boston. Nats are 5 games behind. New York, Boston, and Detroit are the class of the AL. The Senators, now, are holding a firm grip on 4th place.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=04

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #77: June 11, 2024, 03:19:04 PM »

Those pesky Nats won't give up. On Thursday, June 5, they stop the Tigers, 9 - 7. Curly Ogden, first seen pitching for the A's against the Nats, wins another for his new team. Not overpowering, he goes 4 1/3 innings, on 5 ER, 6BB, and 1 K. Paul Zahniser stumbles for another 2 innings, but Firpo Marberry, yesterday's loser, pitches 2 2/3 strong innings -- no hits -- for the "save". At some point, and as best I remember the way Bob Wolf explained it, MLB decided that if the starting pitcher did not go 5 innings, then the win would be given to the reliever who pitched best. That was clearly Fred Marberry in this game.

No play-by-play, but the Nats jumped on Rip Collins for 6 runs in the top of the 1st. Only sloppy pitching by Ogden and Paul Zahniser made it close. Looks like the top of the order got to Collins early. That would be Sam Rice, Wid Matchews -- a new name and now starting in CF with 2 hits including a triple, Goose Goslin -- who else -- with 2 hits including a homer. Perhaps Washington batted around, because Curly Ogden two hits, 2 RBIs, and a triple.

:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET192406050.shtml

Nats edging closer to the top: 4 games behind Boston and the Yankees, 3 games behind Detroit in 3rd.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=05



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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #78: June 11, 2024, 03:32:45 PM »
The Nationals to Clark Griffith / Senators to many fans break .500! They beat the Detroit Tigers 2 - 0, and guess who pitched a 4-hit shutout?

If you guessed Walter Johnson, you would be right. And forgiven if you briefly wished that the 2024 Nationals had an ace like Johnson, you would be forgiven for remembering Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.

Nats scraped runs off of Earl Whitehill in the 5th and 6th, but got only 6 hits in all. Doc Prothro went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and the other Washington run was unearned. Johnson gave no hits to Ty Cobb (0-for-2) or Harry Heilmann (0-for-3).

Again, no play-by-play.

:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET192406060.shtml

On to Cleveland!

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #79: June 14, 2024, 07:41:36 PM »
June 7, 1924. Well, not today. Indians beat the Nats 3 - 0. Tom Zachary gives up only 6 hits and 1 ER, while the Nats cannot score on their 10 hits. The Griffs have 5 players hitting .300 or above, plus catcher Muddy Ruel was hitting .290.

Unfortunately, Cleveland got two runs in the 5th after Doc Prothro's throwing error.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406070.shtml

The standings: Nats 4 games back of the Red Sox and Yankees, hanging onto 4th place at 21 - 21.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=07

Offline alanmiley

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #80: June 18, 2024, 09:36:33 AM »
100 years ago in Washington Senators history
Wednesday, June 18, 1924 – The Senators have continued their long road trip this week, finishing up their series with St. Louis, then on to four games in Chicago.  The game on Thursday was rained out, making it 13 postponed games that they need to make up (22% of the games scheduled).  Otherwise, they continued to thrash St. Louis with wins in their last two games, then they lost the first two in Chicago.  Yesterday, they broke out against the White Sox, scoring 12 runs in a win.

The lineups have been relatively static.  Wid Matthews has played all games in center field and he continues to be an offensive force, going 9 for 22 coming into today’s game.  Meanwhile, Joe Judge has continued to recuperate.  Mule Shirley, his replacement, is batting 8th and showing little offense (3 for 19), through yesterday.  The situation at third base is more dynamic, with Ossie Bluege and Doc Prothro sharing duties.  Prothro is hitting .333, but he is a defensive liability;  in Monday’s loss to the White Sox, he made two errors and his mishandling of a bunt loaded the bases in front of a Chicago grand slam.

In pitching, George Mogridge gave up only 4 hits (along with 4 walks) in a complete game against St. Louis.  However, most of the rest of the pitching effort has been less than awe-inspiring, including two ineffective starts by Walter Johnson.  The exception is the relief provided by Firpo Marberry.  On Thursday, he came in to replace Speece who had himself relieved Johnson.  With the score 5 - 1 in the Senators favor, Speece faded in the 6th inning, giving up 2 walks and a run scoring single to the first 3 batters.  Marberry then came in to record quickly end the inning on a sacrifice bunt followed by two popups.  He then finished the game.  Yesterday, the Senators scored 8 runs in the first 3 innings.  Things were looking rosy until the bottom of the third when Tom Zachary went to pieces, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.  With two out and two men on base, Marberry again came in and he struck out Willie Kamm to end the threat.  He stayed in to pitch the final 6 innings.

In today’s game, Mogridge was selected to face the White Sox.  Their starter, Gorham Leverett was pinch hit for in the bottom of the 4th inning and Red Faber* took over in the top of the 5th.  The veteran Faber came into the game sporting 165 career wins but his appearance today was his first in 1924, having missed the early season due to elbow surgery.  After the first 8 innings, the White Sox were ahead 4 – 3.  That changed in the top of the 9th when a Peckinpaugh single drove in Harris and Bluege, giving the Senators a 5 – 4 lead.  In the bottom of the inning Mogridge took the mound to tie up the win.  Instead, he gave up a single, then he committed a throwing error on a bunt.  Next a sacrifice bunt put runners on 2nd and 3rd and a walk loaded the bases.

The game was on the line; the Senators, up by a single run, faced loaded bases with only one out.  In spite of yesterday’s 6+ inning effort, Fred Marberry was again brought in to handle the situation.  He did so with two balls hit to first baseman Shirley.  The first was thrown home for a force out and the second became an unassisted putout.**

This has been a good week.  The Senators are now at 26 – 26 and tied with the Browns for fourth place.  Meanwhile the race has tightened even more with 5 games separating first and seventh place.
_____
*Faber was later elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He had been a member of the White Sox in 1919 but he missed the World Series due to illness, thus avoiding the Black Sox scandal.

**Saves were not a recorded statistic in 1924, but they have been since assigned retroactively.  Marberry was awarded three saves in the games  noted, including two on consecutive days.  He has five so far this year.

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #81: June 18, 2024, 04:18:34 PM »
Saturday, June 7...no fun in Cleveland. The Nats begin the series by getting shut out, 3 - 0. The Griffs picked up 10 hits against Joe Shaute, but they did not score for Tom Zachary. The action was all in the bottom of the 5th, when Doc Prothro, the Nats 3B, threw wildly to first. The batter, George Burns, advanced on a bunt and a balk, and then scored on a base hit by Chuck Fewster. After Fewster was thrown out trying to steal 2B, Roxy Walters doubled and Shaute singled him home. Yet another argument that pitchers are ballplayers. No need for the DH.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406070.shtml

Nats drop back to .500, 21 - 21. Still in 4th place, 4 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox, and 3 games behind Detroit.

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #82: June 18, 2024, 04:21:54 PM »
Sunday, June 8, and no relief, as Cleveland bashes the Nats, 11 - 3. Slim McGrew lasted only two outs in the top of the 1st, Pat McNulty led off with a walk, and scored on a single to RF by Tris Speaker as Sam Rice threw the ball away. Speaker advanced all the way to 3B. Joe Sewell drove in Speaker with a double. Then Sewell and George Hyatt scored on a Texas Leaguer by Chick Fewster. Bucky has seen enough of Slim; Oyster Joe Martina replaces McGrew. Martina gives up another run in the 2nd, but collapses in the bottom of the 6th, giving up 6 runs on 6 hits. Chick Fewster and Georg Burns double, and Tris Speaker, Charlie Jamieson, and McNulty single.

Harris pulls Joe Martina for By Spence, but the game is lost.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406080.shtml

Nats are 21 - 22, and drop a half-game below the Browns, but still only 4 games behind New York and Boston. Those two and Detroit would have left St Louis and Washington far behind in a typical season. Nobody has taken hold of the pennant race, so maybe the Griffmen have a chance.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=08

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #83: June 18, 2024, 04:44:24 PM »
Third times a charm? Well, not on Game 3 of the Senators / Indian series, Monday. June 9, 1924. Even with George Mogridge starting, the Nats lose 6 - 1. Same Rice and Doc Prothro get 3 hits each, and Wid Mathews, CF, adds a pair, and the Senators get 10 hits in all. But only 1 run.

Cleveland knocks in 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th and another 3 in the bottom of the 5th, before Bucky Harris pull the usually-reliable Mogridge. The (by now) usual
villains strike in the 4th -- Joe Sewell, George Burns, Chick Fewster, and Pat McNulty. Then, in the 5th, it is Tris Speaker, Luke (not Joe) Sewell, and Chick Fewster (again!). And I'm getting tired of reading these play-by-plays.

Especially tired of typing "Chick Fewster"). The slugging Chick Fewster was a 27 year old 3B-2B, a career .258-672 OPS hitter, who racked up a -2.3 career WAR, as calculated now. He had kicked around as a utility player with the Yankees, and Boston. Most distinction, I think: Fewster was sent with a package of players, including Lefty O'Doul, to Boston for Joe Dugan, who was pretty good, and for ex-Senator Elmer Smith, who was not.

Nats have slipped 2 games under .500, at 21-23, and 5 games back of Boston. The Red Sox have nipped ahead of the Yankees by a game.
 
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406090.shtml


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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #84: June 18, 2024, 05:14:19 PM »
The Senators have built a 4 game losing streak with this 4 - 3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday, June 10, 1924. A tight game, the Griff take a 3 - 2 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but lose. Depressing to read, but must have been more depressing to play.

In the top of the 8th,  Goose Goslin drives in Sam Rice for the second time in the game. Washington takes the lead as Mule Shirley doubles to RF, scoring Goslin. In the bottom of the 9th, Chick Fewster walks and Larry Gardner's pinch-hit single pushes Fewster to 2B. Cleveland's player-manager Tris Speaker pinch-runs Luke Sewell, brother of future HoF Joe Sewell, for Gardner. Bucky Harris brings in southpaw Tom Zachary to face lefty Pat McNulty, and Speaker sends righty George Uhle to pinch-hit. Runners on 1B and 2B, 1 out. Uhle doubles to deep LF, and Charlie Jamieson wins it on a single to CF. 

Gloom.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406100.shtml

Washington 21 - 24, but still 5 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox, who are tied again. Looking down the standings, the Senators are 2 percentage points ahead of the White Sox,  and both are only a game ahead of Cleveland. 


Offline Five Banners

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #85: June 18, 2024, 06:00:24 PM »
The Senators have built a 4 game losing streak with this 4 - 3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday, June 10, 1924. A tight game, the Griff take a 3 - 2 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but lose. Depressing to read, but must have been more depressing to play.

In the top of the 8th,  Goose Goslin drives in Sam Rice for the second time in the game. Washington takes the lead as Mule Shirley doubles to RF, scoring Goslin. In the bottom of the 9th, Chick Fewster walks and Larry Gardner's pinch-hit single pushes Fewster to 2B. Cleveland's player-manager Tris Speaker pinch-runs Luke Sewell, brother of future HoF Joe Sewell, for Gardner. Bucky Harris brings in southpaw Tom Zachary to face lefty Pat McNulty, and Speaker sends righty George Uhle to pinch-hit. Runners on 1B and 2B, 1 out. Uhle doubles to deep LF, and Charlie Jamieson wins it on a single to CF. 

Gloom.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE192406100.shtml

Washington 21 - 24, but still 5 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox, who are tied again. Looking down the standings, the Senators are 2 percentage points ahead of the White Sox,  and both are only a game ahead of Cleveland.

Nightmare

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #86: June 18, 2024, 06:11:53 PM »
Nightmare

Indeed. Misery.

The experts had picked Washington to finish last, and this series could be the start of the plummet. A strange thing about this game: Tom Zachary was a starting pitcher, and Firpo Marberry was a reliever and spot starter. He was one of the first pitchers to be mainly a reliever. Yet, he started this game. When things got tight in the 9th, Bucky H. sent Tom Zachary to pitch, maybe as "best pitcher available"...Clark Griffith had agreed never again to force Walter Johnson to relieve. Lifetime, Johnson had 34 saves and 127 "games finished". This was the first season in which Walter had no games-finished and no saves.

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #87: June 20, 2024, 12:02:34 PM »
A showdown for fourth place. For respectability. While the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers battle for the AL lead, the Nats and Browns have settled into 4th-5th place. In the series opener at Sportsman's Park, the Nats surprise St Louis, and Senators fans, by mashing out 18 hits and 12 runs for a 12 - 1 win. Paul Zahniser has impressed only with his mediocrity in relief, but today he throttles the Browns. Sam Rice, Goose Goslin (of course), Wid Matthews, the new CF, Bucky Harris, and Doc Prothro each have a pair of hits. Goslin has 3 RBIs, and old Sam Pechinpaugh goes 3-for-4 with an RBI. The hitting star is Mule Shirley, at 1B in place of Joe Judge; Mule has 3 hits, including a triple and 4 RBIs. Or maybe it is Goose, with his second homer of the year?

No matter. The Nats take a 5 - 0 lead by the 4th, and pile on 7 more runs in the 7th and 8th. 

:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA192406110.shtml

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=11


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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #88: June 21, 2024, 12:11:07 PM »
Two in a row over St Louis. Walter Johnson goes 4 2/3 for the win, and Firpo Marberry finishes out with 4 innings. Barney gives up 4 hits and 1 run, but comes out after 3 BB and 2 Ks. Time to worry about Johnson?

In an odd one, Walter retires the first three hitters, each on a foul pop-fly. That's after Washington's second and third hitters in the top of the inning were also out on foul pop-flies. That's five of the first six batters.

In the top of the 3rd, Nats score 4. Withe one out, Walter Johnson's single pushes Mule Shirley to 3B. Sam Rice drives in Shirley on an error by Browns 2B Norm McMillan. Wid Matthews doubles, driving in Johnson. Bucky Harris's sac fly drives in Rice, and Goose Goslin's double drives in Matthews. By the end of the day, Goslin is hitting .337 with an OPS of .893. If only the 2024 Nats had someone who could hit like Goslin!  Or like Walter Johnson, hitting .351 - .817 OPS.

And Joe Judge is still out.

:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA192406130.shtml

Nats are in 4th place, the place of respectability, 1.5 games ahead of the Browns, but 4.5 games behind the Yankees and the Red Sox.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=13

Offline Five Banners

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #89: June 21, 2024, 12:31:51 PM »
With one out, Walter Johnson's single pushes Mule Shirley to 3B. Sam Rice drives in Shirley on an error by Browns 2B Norm McMillan. Wid Matthews doubles, driving in Johnson. Bucky Harris's sac fly drives in Rice, and Goose Goslin's double drives in Matthews. By the end of the day, Goslin is hitting .337 with an OPS of .893. If only the 2024 Nats had someone who could hit like Goslin!  Or like Walter Johnson, hitting .351 - .817 OPS.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=13

Wait, pitchers used to be able to hit?

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #90: June 21, 2024, 02:41:25 PM »
Wait, pitchers used to be able to hit?

Indeed! Next season, Johnson hit .433, the highest ever by a starting pitcher. (And with a 1.033 OPS.)

And in 1959, a great Nats' season that eventuallty broke my heart, Camilo Pascual, my favorite pitcher, hit .302 with a .666 OPS. Camilo also went 17 - 10, with a 2.64 ERA, and led the AL with 17 CG, 6 shutouts, and strck out 185 batters in about 238 innings. 

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #91: June 22, 2024, 10:11:10 AM »

Make that three in a row! Saturday, June 14, the Senators beat the Browns 7 - 3. Griif's men knocked out six runs before the Browns woke up, in the 6th, to plate a couple, The game was long gone by then. Goose Goslin went 4-for-4, with his 12th double and his 3rd home run, and drove in two runs. Fill-in 1B Mule Shirley went 2-for-3, also with a pair of RBIs. George Mogridge won his 5th game on a 4-hit CG.


:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA192406140.shtml

Offline alanmiley

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #92: June 25, 2024, 01:27:18 PM »
100 years ago in Washington Senators history
Wednesday, June 25, 1924 – Oh, what a week this has been.  You might recall from the last report that the Senators beat Chicago in their last two games.  Then, following an off day Thursday, they played the Athletics 3 times, twice in Philadelphia and once at home in DC.  The Athletics were mired in last place, coming into the game as far from 7th place Cleveland as Cleveland was from 1st place.  It would not surprise you that the Senators won all 3, for a 5-game win streak.

But next they headed into Yankee Stadium  to face the league leaders and last year’s world champions.  They started with a double header on Monday where George Mogridge and Tom Zachary both pitched complete game wins.  The offensive star was Goose Goslin who batted in 4 of the Senators total of 9 runs in the two games including a home run.  Now it’s a 7-game streak.

The 8th win in a row came in yesterday’s game.  Paul Zahinser started it but he was relieved by spitballing reliever Allen Russell after the Yankees tied the game in the 4th.  The game was still tied after 9 innings.  Ford C. Frick* described what happened next: 

“Then in the tenth the break came, a little break but a decisive one.  For a moment [Yankee starter Herb] Pennock weakened and Bluege walked.  Russell forced him, but Rice doubled to left.  Comes now little Wid Matthews – Wid chewing gum and smiling, and swinging his bat with the nonchalance of a veteran.

A flash of white, a vicious swing.  Crack, and out into left field soared a high fly into Hendrick’s glove.  Like a flash Russell was away after the catch and while the crowd held its breath he slid home, home in a riot of dust, home safely ahead of the throw, home with the run that meant victory – and first place.”

First place?  Let’s look at more of Frick’s prose:

“Old Man Opportunity came knocking at the door of Bucky Harris’ battling Griffs yesterday and the boys welcomed him with a rollicking riot of base hits, welcomed him with all the pent-up enthusiasm of years of waiting, welcomed him with fight and more fight that carried the Yankees defenses in a breath and shattered a Yankee offense that made its threat and was denied.

Today the Griffs are in first place – ahead of Ty Cobb and his hustling Tygers, ahead of the champion Yankees – showing the way to a howling pack of baseball’s elect who must gasp in amazement at the unusualness of such a spectacle.”

Personnel Update:
-- Wid Matthews continues to pound the ball.  He is batting .382 coming into today’s game, leading the regulars.
-- Judge has rejoined the team, although he is still a little gimpy.  On Friday, Prothro pinch hit for Shirley and Judge went in for the last 2 innings.  On Sunday, he started and he continued to start the rest of the week.
-- Ossie Bluge is the starting third baseman and Doc Prothro has almost disappeared from the lineup.  Prothro is hitting .331, but as Louis A. Dougher reported in Monday’s Washington Times, “… with everyone else landing on the pill, Manager Harris feels he can afford to carry one light sticker, provided the latter shines in the field.  Ossie is doing that thing.” **

That brings us to today’s game with the LEAGUE LEADING Senators carrying in their 8-win streak against the SECOND PLACE Yankees.  While the fans back home were ecstatic over yesterday’s news, the more sober among them might have had concerns about today’s game, with super reliever Firpo Marberry starting; in 4 previous starts this year, he finished once in a tie, but the other 3 were losses.   His opponent is 13-year veteran Leslie Ambrose “Bullet Joe” Bush who acquired his nickname in honor of his blazing fastball.   He is also credited with developing the forkball.

The Senators scored in the first inning on a Goslin line drive to center that drove in Rice and Matthews.  Then, in the bottom of the inning, after two easy outs, Marberry faced Babe Ruth on a 3-2 count.  The third strike did not come, however.  In the words of the Evening Star’s John B, Keller, “… blooie.”  The Bambino rocketed his 18th homer of the season, about 10 rows from the top of the right field bleachers, far from the foul pole.  Some opined that this was his longest home run in Yankee Stadium.  Keller opined that it would have left Griffith Stadium entirely.  The blast might have shaken up Marberry who gave up 3 quick singles in succession, allowing the Yankees another run to tie the score.

Marberry gave up no more hits over the next six innings.  Meanwhile, the Senators scored again on a Judge sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning.  Later, the sky was getting very dark.  Keller thought the game might have been called off at the end of the sixth.  Then, as the New York Times reported it, “Amidst darkness and the rumble of thunder, ...” the Yankees Joe Dugan got a one-out single. Firpo then took care of the last two batters to erase that flicker of hope.  The New York Times further complained,

“The Senators played the old army game in the last several innings and dawdled in a way that disgusted the spectators.  Marberry’s tactics on the mound were not pretty to look at, and Harris came in every minute or so to hold a weighty conference on the state of the Constitution.  Marberry went into an epileptic trance before every pitch ...”

Considering the dark, and the thunder, and the rain, the umpires ended the game after seven innings and … it’s 9 in a row.

Back home, thousands of fans greeted the team when the train pulled in from New York.  Sporting a 33 – 26 record, they lead the American League.  But, the race is very tight and it is far from over.  In fact, the 7th place Indians are only 4.5 games behind.
___
* Frick’s tale was published in the Washington Times.  Many years later, he was named Commissioner of Baseball.  In Frick’s take on this pivotal game whets your appetite, you can find much more in Gary Sarnoff’s Team of Destiny.
** According to the Baseball Reference Bullpen Wiki, “Ossie Bluege ... is credited with the theory of "cutting down the cone", i.e. playing closer to home plate in order to reduce the angle at which the batter can aim to hit a ground ball past the third baseman. He was also the first third baseman to guard the lines in the late innings, in order to prevent extra-base hits.”

Note:  This post was supposed to include a picture, but I couldn't figure out how to include it.  You can see it at:
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=7968979176479889&set=a.298218660222684

Online welch

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #93: June 26, 2024, 10:11:26 PM »
Not so fast. After taking three from the Browns, the Nationals took the train up to Chicago for a series against the White Sox, who had slipped withiin a half-game of Griff's men in the standings. But the opening game did not go well. On Sunday, June 15, the Chisox beat the Nats 6 - 4, tying the game with 4 runs in the 4th, and winning it with 2 more in the 7th: 6 - 4, Chicago.

Some sloppy fielding gave the Senators a 3-run lead in the top of the 1st, as Chicago 3B drops a throw that might have gotten Sam Rice. Goose Goslin singled, stole 2nd, and took 3rd when Chicago's SS, Bill Barrett, fumbles a ground ball by Muddy Ruel, the Washington catcher. Doc Prothro, DDM, drove in Goose with a long infield hit for a second unearned run. In a wild play with SS Roger Peckinpaugh at the plate, Ruel steals home as Prothro steals 2nd and goes to 3rd on a bad throw by Chicago's catcher, Buck Crouse.

In the top of the 4th, Sam Rice drives in Peck, giving Paul Zahniser and the Nats a 4 - 0 lead. But Zahniser cannot hold it. In the bottom of the inning, Zahniser loads the bases on two singles and a walk, whereupon Bill Barrett drives in two with a single, and Ted Hoooper, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, drives in a third run with a sac fly. A single drives in run number 4, and Zahniser has lost the lead. He loses the game in the 7th, giving up three singles, a walk, and a wild pitch.

Maybe the Senators will start again tomorrow, when Walter Johnson pitches.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA192406150.shtml

The Nats have fallen to 5th place, at 24-25, while the White Sox are a half-game ahead, in 4th. Nats are still hanging fairly close, 4.5 games behind the Yankees, 3.5 behind Boston, and 2.5 games behind Detroit.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1924&month=06&day=15


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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #94: June 27, 2024, 09:16:51 PM »
Well, Johnson pitched the next day, Monday, June 16, and defended a 3 - 1 lead until the bottom of the 8th. Then Barney gave up a grand slam to Harry Hooper. Alan Russell replaced Johnson, as Bucky Harris must have been wondering. And, voila! The Nats scored five runs (!) in the top of the 8th, taking an 8 - 5 lead. Russell led off with a double, and, yes, pitchers not only were allowed to hit, but were expected to be pretty good at it. The Senators followed Russell, loading the bases on a walk and a bunt base-hit, and scored a tying run when Chicago's relief pitcher, Ted Blankenship, hit Bucky Harris. HBP might be a little more old-fashioned than a pitch-clock violation. Nats added fourore runs on a cluster of singles, so they were looking pretty good.

Until Chicago came to bat. Alan Russell loaded the bases on a walk and two singles, so Bucky pulled him for Joe Martinha. With one out. Oyster Joe gave up a pair of singles, and another run scored on a grounder to 1B Mule Shirley, as Joe Judge was still out.

And that was the ballgame.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA192406160.shtml

Nats fall another game behind the Wite Sox, and a half game behind the Browns. Nats are in 6th place, at 24 - 26...but still only 4.5 games behind the Yankees. There must be a big story about New York, Boston, and Detroit battling for the lead, but unable to get far ahead of the rest of the league.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/index.fcgi?year=1924&month=06&day=16

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #95: June 27, 2024, 10:53:07 PM »
:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA192406170.shtml

On Tuesday, June 17, the Griffs jumped on the White Sox, pounding out four hits and five runs in the top of the first. Sam Rice singled, and went to third on Wid Matthews sac bunt mishandled by Chicago's 1B, Earl Sheely, who missed the throw. Bucky Harris singled, scoring Rice and Matthews. Goose Goslin walked, and Muddy Ruel doubled him home. Two walks loaded the bases, and Tom Zachary -- that's Washington starting pitcher Tom Zachary -- singled to drive in Muddy Ruell and Sam Peckinpaugh.

And so Zachary cruised for a couple innings. The Nats picked up three more runs in the top of the third, as Sam Peckinpaugh led off with a walk and advanced to second as Mule Shirley bunted a sac to the pitcher, who threw to 1B, but Sheely dropped the throw. Again. Sam Rice singled, scoring Peck. Wid Matthews stroked a ground-rule double, scoring Shirley. Then Bucky Harris drove in Rice on a sac fly. Wid Matthews tried to take third, but was thrown out. Double play.

In the bottom of the third, though, Zachary gave up a triple, a double, and two singles that scored four runs. Not waiting for the sky to fall, Harris replaced Zachary with Firpo Marberry, the Nats long relief man and spot starter. Score was 8 - 4, Washington.

In the top of the 4th, Goose Goslin led off with a double. Muddy Ruel bunted, and this time Earl Sheely held onto the pitchers throw. However, young Ossie Bluege drove in Goslin with a single.

The Senators got three more runs in the top of the 9th, with a two-run single by Sam Rice.

Washington wins it 12 - 6. Curiously, Zachary got the win after pitching only 2 2/3 innings. Marberry retroactively got the save, which was not a statistic back then.

The Griffmen are now 24 - 26, tied with the Browns for 5th/6th place, and still only 4.5 games behind the Yankees.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/index.fcgi?year=1924&month=06&day=17




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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #96: June 28, 2024, 05:22:07 PM »
But can the Nats shake off those disappointing first two losses? Yes, they can!

:w: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA192406180.shtml

On Wednesday, June 28, Washington trimmed Chicago, 5 - 4, in front of 6,000 fans at Comiskey Park. George Mogridge started, and gave up 4 runs on 9 hits. He pitched into the 9th, when Firpo Marberry relieved again, getting the last 2 outs and the retroactive save. If only Davey had Firpo!

It was a tght game, back and forth, until the top of the 9th. The Senators started a run down, when Roger Peckinpaugh, Old Peck, drove in Bucky Harris and Muddy Ruel with a single. Mogridge seems to have been tired in the 9th, so Bucky brought in Fred (Firpo) Marberry.

The Senators gained ground on the Yankees and Tigers, sitting 3.5 games behind them.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/index.fcgi?year=1924&month=06&day=18

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #97: June 28, 2024, 09:48:02 PM »
Nats took the long train-ride to Philly after that western road trip.

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #98: June 28, 2024, 10:03:33 PM »

:w: Friday, June 20, Nats beat the Athletics, 3 - 2. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA192406200.shtml

In front of 5,000 fans, the Washington Senators took the A's in 12 innings. Paul Zahniser and Alan Russell held the Athletics to 2 runs; Joe Martinha gave up 4 walks, but no runs, and Firpo Marberry closed the game. Not so much hitting, although Goose Goslin got his usual two hits. In injury news, Joe Judge got into the end of the game, replacing Mule Shirley.

No play-by-play, so I don't know how the Nats scored that winning run.

The Senators are finally above .500, at 27-26, and still tied with the St. Louis Browns for 4th/5th place. But looking up, the Browns and the Griffs are now three games behind the Yankees and only a game behind the Red Sox for third place.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/index.fcgi?year=1924&month=06&day=20

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Re: The 1924 Washington Nationals
« Reply #99: June 28, 2024, 10:15:26 PM »
:w: Saturday, June 21: the Senators clobbered the Athletics, 11 - 3. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA192406210.shtml

The Nats have a four-game winning streak on 11 runs and 13 hits for Walter Johnson. Again, no play-by-play, but the box score says that Washington jumped out to a 5 - 2 lead by the 2nd inning, and piled on more runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. Everyone got hits, except for backup 1B, Mule Shirley.

Johnson gave up only 5 hits, but two of them were homers.

Nats are now 28-26, still 3 games behind the Yankees, and about even with the Red Sox for third place.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/index.fcgi?year=1924&month=06&day=21