THE BEST SEASON IN BOSTON'S BASEBALL HISTORY

JOHNNY PESKY

BOSTON RED SOX ...
THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 3
A
SUBWAY SERIES DISAPPEARS ...
Johnny Pesky helps sweep a doubleheader

July 18, 1948 ... The troublesome St. Louis Browns outhit the Red Sox 23 to 19, pulled off a triple play, used six pitchers, but dropped a doubleheader to the Red Sox by scores of 12 to 5 and 7 to 6 before 28,563 fans at Fenway Park. The Red Sox came from behind in both games to notch their sixth and seventh wins in the last nine games, gaining a full game on both the Athletics and the Yankees. The Indians also won a pair of games, so the Sox remain 5 1/2 games out of first.

The Red Sox racked up to six run innings in the first game, against a quartet of Browns pitchers, to demolish a four-run deficit and give reliever Earl Johnson the victory. The second game proved to be a rugged competition of the staying power of Mickey Harris, who outlasted a pair of St. Louis pitchers, the excessive humidity, and even dozen base hits to sneak by with a 7 to 6 victory.

Dave Ferriss was on the mound to win his second straight over the visitors in the opening game. However, he lasted but 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs before being relieved by Mike Palm, who pitched well until he was taken out for the experienced Johnson during a troublesome fifth inning.

St. Louis got a run in the first inning and then scored three more in the second. Dom DiMaggio grabbed a long belt by Al Zarilla near the Red Sox bullpen to save for the disaster for Ferriss in that second inning.

Down 4 to 0, the Red Sox rallied back in the fourth inning with six runs of their own. Johnny Pesky tripled, Stan Spence singled, Vern Stephens reached on an error, Bobby Doerr was walked, a single by Billy Goodman and Birdie Tebbetts' third home run of the year, were responsible for the six runs. Tebbetts' smash into left field screen was made off Al Widmar, who came in to face the Sox catcher with one away into aboard.

That was the ballgame, but when danger arose in the fifth after a single and a walk, young Mike Palm was yanked in favor of Earl Johnson, who retired the side. Johnson gave up only three singles and one run the rest of the way, setting down the last nine St. Louis batters in order.

Browns pitcher Bryan Stephens was the victim of the Sox second six run inning in the fifth. Doubles by Sam Mele, Goodman and Stephens, along with a triple by Stan Spence were the important blows. Walks to Tebbetts and DiMaggio, Johnson's bunt base hit and Johnny Pesky's run-scoring fly, completed the inning.

In the after game, the Browns plucked four runs out in the first inning, as five of the first six men hit Harris safely. But manager McCarthy decided to stay with Mickey. A double by DiMaggio and a Pesky single gave the Sox one back in their half of the inning, against starter Ray Shore. The Sox pulled out another run in the second on a walk to Harris and a double to right by Pesky.

In the third inning, the Browns once again had Harris on the ropes, picking up their fifth run as Ned Garver, down two strikes, belted a fastball into left field screen. Meanwhile, the Sox picked up their third run in the third on walks to Stephens and Doerr and a Texas League single from Matt Batts.

The Sox won the game in the fifth as they knocked in four runs with Stephens and Doerr singling, to ignite the flame, and Goodman's infield hit to fill the bases. Wally Moses was walked to bring in a run and then Garver made the mistake of walking Harris with two outs. DiMaggio slammed a triple off the left-field wall to clear the bases and give the Sox a 7 to 5 lead. The Browns got one more in the sixth.

St. Louis pulled off a triple play with ease in the fifth frame of the opening game that half the fans in the ballpark failed to realize happened until the teams switched positions. With Pesky on second and Spence on first as the result of walks, Vern Stephens hit a low line drive to Eddie Pellegrini's left. He grabbed the pellet close to the ground and flipped to Gerry Priddy to double off Pesky, a full eight yards off the base. Priddy's throw nipped the backtracking Spence in plenty of time, at first for the three man killing with neatness and dispatch.

The win was Harris' second complete game in 11 starts. He threw 113 pitches. Johnny Pesky had a great day coming up with five hits in seven times at bat. Bobby Doerr was given an error on a bad hop in the ninth for his first boot after handling 141 straight successful chances.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #1

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

ST. LOUIS BROWNS

1

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

 

 

5

11

3

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

6

0

6

0

0

x

 

 

12

10

0

 

 

W-Earl Johnson (5-2)
L-Bill Kennedy (1-3)
Attendance - 28,563

 2B-Stephens (Bost), Mele (Bost), Goodman (Bost)

 3B-Pesky (Bost), Spence (Bost)

 HR-Tebbetts (Bost)

 

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #2

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

ST. LOUIS BROWNS

4

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

 

 

6

13

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

1

1

0

4

0

0

0

x

 

 

7

9

0

 

 

W-Mickey Harris (2-7)
L-Ray Shore (1-2)

 2B-Dillinger (StL), DiMaggio (Bost), Pesky (Bost)

 3B-Zarilla (StL), Lund (StL), DiMaggio (Bost)

 HR-Garver (StL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 4 1 0 .258  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 3 1 2 .282  

 

Stan Spence lf 4 2 2 .213  

 

Vern Stephens ss 4 1 1 .296  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 3 1 0 .266  

 

Sam Mele rf 4 1 1 .213  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 4 2 2 .317  

 

Birdie Tebbetts c 3 2 1 .292  

 

Dave Ferriss p 0 0 0 .217  

 

Mike Palm p 2 0 0 .000  

 

Earl Johnson p 2 1 1 .118  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dave Ferriss 2.2 7 4 3 0  
  Mike Palm 1.1 1 0 3 1  
  Earl Johnson 5 3 1 1 3  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dom DiMaggio cf 5 1 2 .260  

 

Johnny Pesky 3b 4 0 3 .289  

 

Stan Spence lf 5 0 0 .208  

 

Vern Stephens ss 3 2 1 .297  

 

Bobby Doerr 2b 2 0 1 .268  

 

Billy Goodman 1b 3 1 1 .317  

 

Wally Moses rf 3 1 0 .242  

 

Matt Batts c 4 0 1 .343  

 

Mickey Harris p 2 2 0 .118  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Mickey Harris 9 13 6 1 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1948 AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Cleveland Indians 49 30 -

 

 

Philadelphia Athletics 51 35 1 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees 47 34 3

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 44 36 5 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers 41 41 9 1/2

 

 

Washington Senators 35 46 15

 

 

St. Louis Browns 29 49 19 1/2

 

 

Chicago White Sox 26 51 22