1925 Pirates Replay, April 14: Bucs Drop Opener to Cubs

The Pirates opened the 1925 season in Chicago against the Cubs, the very team with which they made a blockbuster, six-player trade after the previous season.  Only two players involved in that trade played; George Grantham for the Bucs and Charlie Grimm for the Cubs each played first and went 0-for-3.

One player who wasn’t involved, though, dominated this game on the mound and at the plate.  Pete Alexander, winner of 301 games before this season, went the distance for the Cubs, allowing no earned runs and going 3-for-3 at the plate to give Chicago an 8-2 win.

For six  innings, the game was a battle between Alexander and second-year Pirate lefty, Emil Yde.  The Pirates got on the board in the top of the second when Pie Traynor took second on an error and came around on a two-out single by Glenn Wright.  The Cubs got that back in the bottom of the third when Alexander homered to left off Yde.

The teams traded runs in the fourth.  Traynor scored again after reaching second on a single and another error.  This time Kiki Cuyler singled to drive him in.  The Cubs tied it again when star catcher Gabby Hartnett and Barney Friberg hit back-to-back doubles.  They missed a chance to take the lead when Yde picked Friberg off third.

The score stayed 2-2 through the sixth.  The Cubs missed another chance in the bottom of that inning when Sparky Adams reached third with one out, but Yde fanned Friberg and Adams got caught trying to steal home.

Things finally fell apart for Yde in the bottom of the seventh.  A hit batsman, an error by Yde on a sacrifice attempt, and a walk loaded the bases.  Alexander put himself ahead with a single, then a sacrifice fly and a single by Adams made the score 5-2.  Hartnett then capped off the five-run inning with a three-run home run to left-center.

There was no more scoring after that.  Don Songer threw a scoreless eighth for the Pirates, but a single by Max Carey in the eighth and a double by Cuyler in the ninth were the only baserunners they had in the last two innings.

Yde took the loss, giving up eight runs, only three of them earned.  Each pitcher allowed nine hits, but the Cubs had six for extra bases.  The Pirates had just Cuyler’s double to go with eight singles.  Traynor, Cuyler and catcher Earl Smith each had two hits.