Before the latest as well as the most enthusiastic crowd that ever witnesses a baseball game in Boston, our famous Red Sox champions downed the National League champion Giants from New York by 2 to 1 yesterday at Fenway Park. The paid attendance was 34,683, or 59 more than that of last Thursday, the crowd that day breaking the previous record for attendance at a game in this city.
To give the important contest added spice and make it fully realized by the American people that a good old veteran is hard to beat even when opposed to the classiest of youngsters. Christy Mathewson was sent against Hugh Bedient, and one of the finest battles of the season resulted, the New York man finally being forced to acknowledge his master in the modest youth from Boston.
It was by all odds the finest game of the great series, New York giving its boxman grand support, while Bedient forced his opponents to give the simplest kind of fielding chances to the men behind him. No fewer than 15 flies were pulled out of the air, Bedient’s speed and change of pace being baffling to the extreme.
Boston’s five hits were sent like rifle shots over the field, all in the first three innings. Then the old classic settled down to as fine a line of boxwork as we have been able to observe this year.
Mathewson never in a hole
Mathewson was never in a hole, and he disposed of the next 17 men in succession, no Boston man being clever enough to work his way to first after Speaker had found the bag in the third on Doyle’s miscue.
The Red Sox fully appreciated that “Matty” had his large assortment of shoots, waves and curves working to perfection and it was up to them to hold their lead.
Bedient started off very wild, passing the first man up in the first two innings. Each time, however, he pulled himself together in masterly style, in the first being helped out by a double play and in the second by forcing easy flies with a man worked to second.
Again equal to emergency
With one down in the third, “Matty” turned in the first hit for New York, and Devore was passed; but once more Bedient disposed of two good men with ease.
It was now apparent to all that the youngster was gaining confidence and showing speed that the Giants were not looking for. Bedient worked his crossfire, now and then turning a slow one over the plate.
The Giants looked troubled. They had figured that Bedient would “blow,” but the young man refused to budge.
Bedient refuses to rattle
Manager McGraw and the other coaches worked hard with mouth music to rattle the Boston man. This was clearly unfair tactics and should not have been overlooked by “Silk” O’Loughlin, the umpire in charge; but it had no more effect on Bedient than on a cement wall and the Boston lad seemed to cut loose with more confidence as the game lengthened.
After the third he refused to pass a man, keeping the batsmen guessing, usually putting the first ball over for a strike.
Now a pitchers’ battle
It was now a clear case of a pitchers’ battle, with Boston holding its two-run lead, and the spectators were kept on edge every minute.
Two bands were offering favorite fan music, which, however, sounded like dirges to the disgusted Giants. They had never witnessed such high-class rooting before.
The Boston Speed Boys were on their toes, and a third victory was in sight, with Bedient showing unlooked-for class.
Forrest Cady was standing up under Bedient’s speed like an oak tree. There was no attempt at base stealing. Bedient held his occasional runners close to their corners, and Cady was on the alert for a chance to try out his strong right win.
Hit-and-run and bunts cut out
There was not one attempt at bunting, and even the hit-and-run game was even cut out by both teams. The players had all been well coaches to follow the man on base, and no man was willing to take a chance.
It was a clear case of men being forced to hit it out, depending on a long drive for effect. The extra-base hits were confined to Hooper, Yerkes and Merkle, the two first-named players lacing out beauties for three bases in the third, good for the only runs made by the Red Sox.
Perfect conditions for game
The setting for the game was perfect. The grounds were damp beyond the infield, made so by the light showers of the morning, and the fog cleared away just in time for the opening of the game, as if nature was lending a helping hand to the greatest series ever staged in baseball.
The sun remained behind thin clouds, so the right fielders could play without glasses. The balls became very dark after a little use, but O’Loughlin was forced to toss in the new ones, as Bedient was forcing the Giants to hit a large number of fouls into the grandstand.
All of which helps “Matty”
This gave Mathewson the advantage of having a soiled ball to use most of the time, simply because the Boston men were hitting the ball to the field, with foul tips omitted, meeting the ball with more accuracy than were the visitors.
Mathewson had to have great support to go through, while the hitting off Bedient forced the ball into the air and gave easy chances as a rule, although Yerkes and Gardner were called on for some fast work, responding in grand style, Yerkes keeping up his superb -- a feature of the series -- Steve classing with the best second baseman in the business.
Last play of game a corker
Yerkes’ running assist in the sixth on the first man up was on a screamer to his right, while the last play of the game was made by Yarkes snapping up Herzog’s fast-traveling grounder well toward second, and by a quick recovery and sharp throw to Stahl he put a spike in Johnnie McGraw’s ambition.
The New York men reached first base seven times while Boston got only six men to the same corner. The Giants got three men to second, and one man to third, from where he scored when Gardner failed to come up with a grounder that he blocked by throwing himself onto the ball, hit by the pinch hitter, McCormick.
Speaker shines in ninth
The finest piece of outfielding was done by Speaker in the ninth, when, with one down, Merkle smashed the ball hard to deep left center. Speaker pulled back several yards from his old stamping ground in the field and just managed to reach the ball.
Boston went through the game without a slipup, excepting Gardner’s error, while the only misplay by the visitors was by the clever Doyle, who allowed Speaker’s grounder to pass through him as he hurried in to make a play on Yerkes at the plate.
The fielding of the Giants was away above their average work, every one of the infielders coming in for a share of the credit for fast ground-covering and fine running pickups.
Collins also warmed up
Before the game both Bedient and Collins warmed up, but McGraw had Mathewson booked and did not care what boxman Jake Stahl used in the game. Charley Hall was kept warmed up, and would have finished the game had Bedient failed to show class.
With only two days’ rest, few believed that Mathewson could come back strong after his hard 11-inning game Wednesday, and the Boston men were delighted when they saw “Big Six” warming up for the fray.
The result of the game showed that McGraw was working with an ace in the hole, for “Matty” is always a good bet.
Doyle simply couldn’t wait
When Bedient passed Devore on four pitched balls, it was up to the Giants to play a waiting game; but Larry Doyle loves to hit, and banged one into the air for Lewis. Snodgrass hit into a double play, and the immense crowd cheered like mad.
New York has now worked Mathewson and Tesreau twice each and Marquard once, all for a total of one victory, while Boston had used Wood twice, and Collins, O’Brien and Bedient. O’Brien held the Giants to two runs, and the only one of the Boston pitchers to be hit really hard and effectively was Collins.
Wood, O’Brien and Bedient have shown class, while the left-handed Marquard alone has been able to put one over on Boston, and that by a close shave, Devore saving the day by making a remarkable catch.