THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 4
FALLING SHORT AT THE END AGAIN
Williams and Stephens battle for league lead
July 26, 1949 ... The
Red Sox exploded for 10 runs in the eighth inning and opened up their
long homestand with an impressive 11 to 2 victory over the White Sox
at Fenway. Mickey McDermott threw a six hitter, as 31,821 fans roared
The Red Sox had given McDermott only a 1 to 0 lead,
that he had to hold until the eighth-inning. The game was highlighted by a duel
between Ted Williams and Vern Stephens for the league's leadership in RBIs and
In fashioning his fourth win in six starts, since coming up to the big club,
McDermott was in complete command of the White Sox. But he finally weakened in
the ninth-inning and lost a shutout.
A second inning double by Bobby Doerr and a single over second by McDermott,
were the only Red Sox hits off Chicago's young starter, Bob Kuzava, before he
was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. He handed the Red Sox the
first run of the game in the sixth inning, when he walked three batters in a row
and Vern Stephens hit a sacrifice fly for his 99th RBI of the season.
In the eighth-inning, the Sox bats exploded against Alex Carrasquel. Ted
Williams started off with a base on balls, scoring on Stephens' 25th home run of
the year and 100th RBI. After Bobby Doerr grounded out, Billy Goodman kept the
inning going with a double to left-center. Tommy O'Brien singled to bring Doerr
Max Surkont took over the pitching duties and tried to pick O'Brien off
first, but the ball got by Kress and Tommy took off for second. Surkont walked
Matt Batts and McDermott brought them both home with a long fly ball against the
wall in left, that went for a double. Dom DiMaggio then ran his consecutive
hitting streak to 21 games by lining a single into left field. Johnny Pesky
lined a single to right that scored McDermott. Williams, up for the second time
in the inning tied Stephens for the RBI lead (100 RBIs) by doubling home Pesky
That ended Surkont's day and Mario Pieretti came in to face Vern Stephens.
Vern regained the RBI lead (102 RBIs) with a double that scored both Pesky and
Williams. Doerr followed with a single and a wild pitch sent him to second base
and brought in Stephens with the 10th run of the inning.
Until the ninth-inning, McDermott was never in serious trouble. He struck out
seven batters, six of them swinging, and walked six. But in the ninth, he lost
his control. Cass Michaels opened up the inning with a home run and after two
were down, McDermott gave up a single to Bud Souchock, one to pinch-hitter Fred
Hancock, and walked Bobby Rhawn to load the bases. When he walked Charlie Kress,
Souchock walked home with the second White Sox run. He struck out veteran Luke
Appling, however, to end the game.