THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 2 ...
A POWERFUL RED SOX TEAM FAILS
IN THE WORLD SERIES ...
Earl Johnson leads the Sox back against Detroit
May 21, 1946 ... Earl Johnson added to distinguish pitching and batting stars to his stellar collection of combat awards in Briggs Stadium today, with a prize performance that carried the
Red Sox to a 6 to 4 triumph over the Detroit Tigers before 25,000 frost-bitten spectators. Earl pitched five perfect innings of relief and his bat rapped out a pair of whistling doubles that pushed the Red Sox to six games in front of the second-place New York Yankees.
Being four runs behind after two innings, the Sox didn't seem to have a chance of taking the deciding game of this Detroit series. Playing like a bunch of rookies behind the erratic pitching of Joe Dobson and Jim Bagby, the Sox spotted the Tigers four runs before starting their comeback. It
was Johnson's appearance on the mound that inspired the surging Red Sox. They regained their Spring brilliance the moment Earl arrived on the mound. Johnson not only blanked the Tigers without a hit or a run over the five final innings, but he scored the tying run after his initial double
and drove in the winning run with a two base blast off Al Benton.
George Metkovich stroked home the first Sox run with his second home run of the season in the third inning. His long liner bounced off the railing of the lower right field screen and bounded into the stands.
In the fifth inning Dom DiMaggio singled to start and raced to third on Rip Russell's hit. Dave Ferriss ph it for Jim Bagby and lined a single to left scoring DiMaggio to make it 4 to 2. Metkovich got in and other important hit singling to center, to drive Russell across. It was a perfect
situation for Ted Williams. Three on and one out but the Kid bounced into an inning ending double play.
This didn't take the start out of the Red Sox. Johnson pitch to only six batters during a fifth in six innings and he came up as a leadoff man in the Sox seventh and stroked a long double to center. Then the Tigers made the mistake of actually pitching to Ted Williams, who double to right
bringing across Johnson with the tying run.
After Earl set the Tigers down in the home half of the seventh, the Sox went to town in the eighth. With one gone DiMaggio singled and stole second but came up lame by pulling a leg muscle. He the exited in favor of pinch runner Ben Steiner. The Tigers, discounting Johnson's first double,
walked Hal Wagner to pitch to him. Johnson lined a terrific 385 foot double into right center that brought home Steiner and Wagner and give the Red Sox the 6 to 4 victory.
Johnson one himself a third straight triumph, all in relief. He has appeared in three games as reliever and has allowed but two hits and no runs over 12 innings. He walked three men today but he pitched to only 17 men in the five innings.