Apr 18, 2011

Game 5

April 18, 1911
Boston 13, Philadelphia 5

Boston 0 0 0
0 0 0
8 0 5 -- 13 10 0
Philadelphia 1 0 0
? 0 0
0 ? 0 -- 5 9 4

The A's follow up their first win of the season by getting blown out by the Red Sox. And it was an ugly loss, as the A's pitchers* surrendered more runs than in their previous games combined. And to make it even worse, this was our boys' best offensive performance of the young season so far.

Connie Mack sent Ohioan Cy Morgan to the mound for his first start of the year. No doubt he was hoping that Morgan would repeat his success of 1910, during which he won 18 games and posted a tidy 1.55 ERA (153 ERA+)**. The box score I found is especially blurry, so I could be wrong, but it looks like it was the 7th inning that really did him in, as the Red Sox took the lead with a flurry of scoring. Though those 8 runs would be enough for the win, the Sox piled on for five more in the top of the 9th, when pitcher Allan Collamore was sent out for the second and final inning of his abbreviated rookie season***. Smoky Joe Wood got the start for the visitors****.

A double header was on the schedule, but the teams were only able to play one game thanks to wet field conditions.

Thus ends the first home stand for the A's, and not a pretty one at that. Let's hope a change of scenery on the road will brighten the outlook for Mack's boys. The next series is against these very same Red Sox up in Boston.

We're now a full week into the 1911 season, so let's check in and see how things stand in the American League:

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Detroit Tigers 5 5 0 0 1.000 - 22 5
New York Highlanders 5 4 1 0 .800 1.0 18 11
Washington Senators 5 3 2 0 .600 2.0 18 19
Boston Red Sox 5 2 3 0 .400 3.0 26 19
Chicago White Sox 5 2 3 0 .400 3.0 17 13
St. Louis Browns 6 2 4 0 .333 3.5 24 33
Cleveland Naps 6 2 4 0 .333 3.5 21 33
Philadelphia Athletics 5 1 4 0 .200 4.0 12 25
So today we have a rain-out of half a double header, some squandered offense, a blowout loss, and now sole possession of last place in the league. A's fans just need to shake their head, acknowledge that, hey, that's just baseball, and hope that the next game turns out better.

* and defense - 4 errors, ouch.

** despite leading the league in walks and hit-by-pitch. It's a lot easier to keep your ERA low when you don't give up any home runs during a season, which was relatively common for deadball-era pitchers. Morgan didn't get a chance to pitch in the '10 World Series, as Connie Mack only used two pitchers against the Giants. That's right, two.

*** Though he was done with the A's, he'd resurface two years later to pitch two seasons for Cleveland.

**** Wood was developing into a pretty solid pitcher before a broken thumb got in the way. After pitching through a few years of pain, he was sold to Cleveland where he became the teens' answer to Rick Ankiel, making the transition to outfield (Wood put up 5.6 WAR in 6 seasons as an outfielder, while Ankiel has so far posted 4.7 WAR in his first 5 seasons since his comeback). It was thought that Smoky Joe had a chance to become one of the all-time greats if the injury hadn't destroyed his pitching career. Today, the Connecticut chapter of SABR is named after him.

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