THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
Mel Parnell does it all himself
May 22, 1949 ... Mel
Parnell proved why he is the top pitcher in the American League, when
he edged Virgil Trucks and the Detroit Tigers, 3 to 2, and also
knocking in the winning run himself in the 12th inning. Parnell was
magnificent in earning his sixth victory against one loss and
completing his seventh successive starting assignment.
to be good, because Trucks, a five-game winner, pitched a great game himself. He
left 16 Red Sox runners stranded on base.
Bobby Doerr pulled off the clutch defensive play of the game. The teams
entered the 10th inning all tied at two each. Vic Wertz singled to right and was
held at second when Hoot Evers lined a single to left. Johnny Groth sacrificed
them over and Swift was intentionally walked to load the bases. Harvey Riebe
came up as a pinch-hitter and hit a half speed grounder to short that Vern
Stephens handled quickly and flipped over to Doerr for the force on Swift.
Doerr, half falling when taken out by Swift, still got off the throw strong
enough to nip Riebe at first by inches.
That set the stage for Parnell in the 12th. After Doerr had struck out, Al
Zarilla singled to right and Billy Goodman sacrificed him over. Birdie Tebbetts
was then given a free pass to set up the force. Parnell took things into his own
hands when he slapped Trucks' first pitch, a fairly high outside fastball,
between short and third to score Zarilla, before leftfielder, Pat Mullin's throw
came near the plate, for the walkoff win.
The Tigers had gone up 2 to 0 in the third inning when Parnell walked Johnny
Lipon to lead off the inning. Don Kolloway singled to left, moving Lipon over to
third. George Kell reached first when Johnny Pesky bobbled the ball and Lipon
scored. Vic Wertz scored Kolloway with a single to right for the second run.
Parnell was instrumental in scoring the Red Sox first run. In the fourth
inning with the bases loaded, he slapped a fly ball to centerfield that was able
to score Zarilla who was on third, to make the score 2 to 1. The Sox tied up the
game in the fifth when Doerr doubled to left to score Ted Williams, who had
doubled to start the inning.