1925 Pirate Replay, September 8: Bucs Can’t Solve Pete Alexander

The Pirates got a good effort from Emil Yde, but they couldn’t do enough with Cubs’ ace Pete Alexander.  Both pitchers went the distance, but Chicago prevailed, 3-2.  The win was the 313th of Alexander’s career.  With the Giants splitting a doubleheader with Boston, the Pirates’ NL lead dropped slightly to eight games.

Yde was undone by a tough first inning.  Two of the first three hitters singled, then Cubs’ left fielder Art Jahn tripled for two runs.  Mandy Brooks followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Yde was seldom challenged after that.  The only time the Cubs got a runner past second was in the fifth when Cliff Heathcote tripled with two out.  The relay from Carson Bigbee and Glenn Wright at short caught Heathcote in a rundown and he was tagged out.  Chicago got just two singles over the last four innings.

The Pirates were missing a pair of their regulars.  Fresco Thompson remained at second for the injured Eddie Moore and Bigbee gave Clyde Barnhart a rest in left.  Bigbee got two of the team’s 12 hits, but they couldn’t put them together.

The Bucs had a chance to get one run back in the bottom of the second when two singles put runners at the corners with one out.  Johnny Gooch popped up in foul ground behind the plate and George Grantham tagged up at first and went for second.  It was a variation of the Pirates’ oft-used tactic of the delayed double steal, as Wright broke for the plate when catcher Mike Gonzalez threw to second, but shortstop Pinky Pittenger threw back to the plate in time to nail Wright.

The Pirates missed a bigger chance in the third due to some peculiar baserunning, although they got one run.  Yde led off with a double, then held second on Max Carey’s infield hit.  Thompson’s bunt attempt failed as the Cubs got a force at third, then Bigbee hit into a force play at second.  Kiki Cuyler singled to left, but Carey mysteriously held up at third, loading the bases.  Pie Traynor then singled between third and short, but Bigbee got hit by the ball.  He was called out, although Carey’s run was allowed to make the score 3-1.

Other scoring chances came along and got wasted.  The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Carey and Thompson both popped up.  Bigbee led off the fifth with a double, but never made it to third.

In the bottom of the seventh, Carey led off with a triple and scored on a ground out by Thompson, cutting the gap to one run.  But the Pirates couldn’t close the gap.  Grantham was stranded after a two-out single and stolen base in the eighth, then Alexander retired the side in order in the ninth.

The loss dropped Yde to 15-8.  Grantham had three hits.  The teams finish their four-game series tomorrow.