THE SUMMER OF .406 AND "THE STREAK" ...
Lefty Grove coasts to his 298th win
25, 1941 ... Lefty Grove, with only four days
rest, calmly unfolded a seven hit masterpiece, in winning his 298th
major-league victory, as the Red Sox continued their confounding of
the Cleveland Indians with a 7 to 2 setback before 11,000 paying fans
and 900 soldiers and sailors at Fenway Park.
Lefty was happy to win
the game, but the single he rapped out to spark a five-run Sox uprising in the
seventh inning, dissolving a 2 to 2 deadlock, thrilled him just as much. The win
dropped the Indians out of first place for the first time since June 1st. It was
the second straight day that Joe Cronin's crew had beaten the Tribe in their
current series, and the third time in their last three meetings.
It was also revenge on Jim Bagby, who during the last visit of the Indians,
whipped the Sox. For six innings he held off the Sox in an even battle, which
saw each team score two runs in the fourth inning. In their half of the scoring
fourth, the Indians' Gee Walker slammed a double against the left-field wall and
Oscar Grimes followed him with a walk. Ray Mack moved them along with a
sacrifice and with Bagby at bat, Walker was given a running start from third by
Grove and kept going, to steal home. An instant later Bagby's single through the
box sent Grimes scurrying across the plate to give the Indians a 2 to 0 lead.
The first two batters for the Red Sox in the fourth collected the games first
two hits off Bagby. Ted Williams followed Lou Finney's base hit with his 14th
home run of the season. The smash settled down a full dozen rows behind the
Boston bullpen. In spite of two more Sox base hits in the inning and Ted's
single to open the sixth, the score remained knotted at 2 to 2 going into the
Johnny Peacock started the glorious inning by grounding out to short and
Lefty punched his self-satisfying single through the box into centerfield. The
little professor, Dom DiMaggio, promptly moved his pitcher over to third-base
with a beautifully placed double down the right-field line. With the Indians
infield in, Finney lofted a Texas Leaguer in the centerfield that bounced past
the in charging Roy Weatherly for two bases. Ted was purposely passed, whereupon
Jimmie Foxx slapped a double off the wall, scoring Finney. The last two runs
came across when Walker dropped Jim Tabor's fly ball near the left-field
After the dust settled, Grove had a 7 to 2 lead and was coasting toward his
goal of 300 victories. Although the Indians had runners on base in each of the
first six innings, they didn't hit a ball out of the infield over the last
three, as Lou Boudreau was the only man to get to first when he walked for the
fourth time in the ninth.