THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

UMPIRE BILL STEWART

BOSTON BRAVES ...
SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...

The Braves have their chances but come up empty

August 27, 1948 ... Umpire Bill Stewart today made an incorrect call that cost the Braves a 1 to 0 defeat at the hands of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The bad call cost Johnny Sain, a win in his finest pitched game all year.

In the last half of the ninth-inning, after Johnny had pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, without a allowing a man to reach second base, Johnny Schmitz opened with a double to left-center. Umpire Stewart, who was stationed at first base moved over to second as Emil Verban came up to bat. The Braves expected a bunt and Frank McCormick moved in on the grass by first base. But Verban, instead of bunting, tried to chop the ball past McCormick. He grabbed the ball on the second hop and Sibbi Sisti raced over to first to cover the base. Sisti took the lob from McCormick with Verban about 15 feet short of the bag. Sisti turned toward second to watch Schmitz after the play. Stewart made the safe sign and Sisti, as well as a half-dozen players, raced out toward him along with manager Billy Southworth and coach Freddie Fitzsimmons.

Stewart ruled from his second base position, that Sisti had not touched the bag. He refused to listen to the protests and the game went on. Sain struck out Hal Jeffcoat and Phil Cavarretta singled to left, sending Schmitz to third. Andy Pafko next hit what should've been the third out, a ground ball easily taken by Bob Elliott at third. For a second in looked like Elliott might go home and cut off the winning run, but instead he elected to throw toward second and start an easy doubleplay to end the inning. Sisti took the throw as Cavarretta slid for the base. In his haste to complete the play, Sisti's throw to McCormick drew him off the base and Schmidt scored the winning run.

The Braves dropped a half game off their lead because of the loss. They did have several chances, but left men on third base four times, twice with only one out. Dark tripled to center in the first inning with one out. But when Mike McCormick tried to hold back his swing, Schmitz's pitch struck his bat, with the ball lining back to the mound and Schmitz doubling Dark at third.

Elliott walked to start the second and Frank McCormick hit into a doubleplay. Then Clint Conaster walked and went to third when Phil Masi's grounder hopped over Cavarretta's head. But Sisti then grounded into a force out at second base.

In the sixth, Mike McCormick tripled to right-center with one out, only to see Elliott and Frank McCormick ground out. Conaster walked in the seventh and was sacrificed along by Masi. He went to third on Sisti's out and Sain hit a hard smash down to Roy Smalley, who threw him out. So the Braves had their chances, couldn't capitalize and can't complain that the umpire cost them the game.

 

at Wrigley Field (Chicago) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

0

6

2

CHICAGO CUBS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

 

1

5

2

W-Johnny Schmitz (15-10)
L-Johnny Sain (16-13)
Attendance 9674


2B-Holmes (Bost), Verban (Chi)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Tommy Holmes rf 4 0 0 .322  

 

Alvin Dark ss 4 0 1 .325  

 

Mike McCormick lf 4 0 1 .298  

 

Bob Elliott 3b 2 0 1 .292  

 

Frank McCormick 1b 4 0 0 .227  

 

Clint Conaster cf 2 0 0 .280  

 

Phil Masi c 3 0 2 .248  

 

Sibby Sisti 2b 3 0 1 .242  

 

Johnny Sain p 4 0 0 .189  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Johnny Sain 8.2 5 0 0 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

68 52 -

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 65 53 2

 

 

Brooklyn Dodgers 63 51 2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 62 52 3

 

 

New York Giants 60 55 5 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 52 66 15

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 50 69 17 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 49 70 18 1/2