In one of the most desperately fought games ever witnesses on a ball field, the champion teams of Boston and New York had scored six runs each, with the 11th inning over, when Umpire “Silk” O’Loughlin called off hostilities at Fenway Park yesterday, as it was growing quite dark.
Both teams had struggled as never before in their careers. More than 30,000 persons had seen a game never to be forgotten, and all were perfectly satisfied to see the contest called.
Both the Giants and the Red Sox displayed remarkable grit, coming across with timely drives that sent a thrill through the crowd, as first one team and then the other tied the score or took the lead.
Giants had uphill game from start
The New York boys had an uphill game from the start, and went about their task like real champions, finally forging to the front and staying there until it looked as if they would land the second game in the series. Then the Boston lads came back and tied the score.
Never were two teams more evenly matched. The veteran Christy Mathewson, for years the greatest pitcher in the game, with much cunning still left and with his nerve as strong as ever, went through the entire game, being always an inspiration to his fellow-players.
Every Boston man was forced to hit the ball, not one being passed or hit by pitched ball. Although hit hard at times, Mathewson’s confidence was always supreme, showing a master mind, with his speed somewhat diminished, but his brain as clear as ever.
Collins not effective as usual
Ray Collins, the Vermont College lad, was far from effective as usual, but with Bill Carrigan coaching, the young left hander got out of several tight places, and was going at a winning clip until the eighth, when Lewis muffed a line drive from Snodgrass.
The ball was hit on a low line, and commenced to raise as it reached Lewis in short left field. It was the easiest kind of a ball to handle, but the Boston man allowed it to get away, and this miscue threw Collins off his stride. A single and double followed, and he was forced to give up the struggle.
Charley Hall relieved Collins, only to fall victim to a timely double by Herzog and later a triple by Merkle, the first man up in the 10th, which were good for three of the runs made by the New York men.
Day of much and hard hitting
All of the batsmen cut loose with a vengeance, and no fewer than 11 of the hits were for extra bases, Boston turning in five and New York six. Some of these drives went tearing into the left bleachers, and others went banging against the low fence in left center.
Every fielder was keyed up to his highest tension, tearing up close to the grandstand for foul flies, and Murray in left field, in trying for a low drive from Lewis, jumped for the flying missile and tumbled over the low fence, going completely out of sight.
Each team can look back and see where they should have won the game; as this goes for both teams, it is even up, and each will have a chance to show its staying powers when they meet today with a new brand of pitchers.
Wagner the fielding headliner
Wagner did by all odds the most brilliant fielder. His work at shortstop was simply marvelous. He and Stahl put through a remarkable combination play on Fletcher, the first man up in the ninth, who hit a fast grounder close to second.
Wagner dashed after the ball, hooked it in with his left hand and cut it to first without getting into position. The ball was breaking wide of first, but Stahl, at full reach, pulled it in with his left hand.
Yerkes played a superb game at second, while Doyle was great, killing off a hit by Gardner at a time when Boston would have turned in the winning run in the 10th.
The work of the outfields was smooth, with the exception of the break by Lewis that started trouble in the eighth for Collins.
Bad day for base stealers
The catching of Meyers and Carrigan was excellent, Carrigan taking one foul and coming within an inch or two of taking another fro Herzog for the third out in the eighth. As it turned out, the New Yorker followed with a ringing double, good for two runs.
The foul went close to the new boxes and it looked as it Carrigan was under it, but he was slightly to one side and merely touched the ball. It was close call for the Giants, and they took advantage of it.
Carrigan threw out three of the five men who tried for second base, in the last inning nailing Snodgrass and Becker, two fast men, by perfect throws to Wagner. The Red Sox stole three bases on Meyers, all who took a chance succeeding.
The New York men tried to work the Boston pitchers into a hole by bluffing that they intended to steal, but they never caught Carrigan asleep, the Lewiston boy calling the turn in fine cycle.
The Red Sox did by all odds the finest all-around field work, as Fletcher was off color at short, making several damaging misplays -- and several clever assists, also.
Questionable work by Herzog
There was just one questionable piece of work, in the 10th. Speaker hit to center, and as he turned third Herzog got in front of the runner and clearly blocked him off. It was a clear case of vicious interference, and it slightly injured the Boston man, who walked very lame after that.
Umpire Rigler failed to take notice of the play, and O’Loughlin passed it up. Speaker called the attention of both umpires to it after he has scored what was a clean home run, but called a three-base hit by the official scorers, who gave Wilson an error at the plate.
Wagner and Herzog got into a wordy dispute over a little inside work while Herzog was at second, but the other players smoothed the matter over. It looked very much as it the hot contest had worked on Herzog’s nerves, and that he was not wholly responsible for his tactics.
Outside of Herzog’s work the players went about their business with little attempt at intimidation, Snodgrass once calling out from the coaching lines to Charley Hall to “Warm up,” this being intended to bother Ray Collins.
Speaker hits in hard luck
Speaker hit in the hardest kind of luck. Once he drove out a liner that Merkle blocked with a jumping one-handed stab. The rap looked good for two bases, which would mean something, as Speaker was the first man up.
There was one down when Speaker came up in the 10th and smashed the ball over the center fielder’s head, and scored what most of the scorers considered a home run.
It was one of the longest hits ever seen on the field, and with a clear field it would have rolled into the extreme corner of the lot. It will be many moons before the fans will see another such game of ball, or such sensational all-round work, which kept the crowd cheering and the players primed to the very last minute.