Pirate Replay, September 23: Pirates Clinch NL Pennant With Ninth Straight Win

The Pirates clinched their first National League pennant since 1909 with a 2-1 win over Philadelphia.  They came into the day with a magic number of two, but St. Louis took care of all that by itself, sweeping a doubleheader from the New York Giants.  The win was also the Bucs’ ninth straight, matching their season-high streak, which took place from August 26 through September 3.  In all likelihood, the Pirates will face the defending world champion Washington Senators in the World Series.  The Senators currently lead the Philadelphia Athletics in the American League by seven and a half games.

Lefty Emil Yde and the Pirates’ defense dominated the game.  Yde allowed seven hits and five walks over eight-plus innings, but only one run thanks to six double plays, five of which came while he was in the game.  Remarkably, all six twin killings showed up differently in the scorebook, with shortstop Glenn Wright and first baseman George Grantham each participating in five.

The double plays came early and often.  The game’s second batter, Freddy Leach, grounded into one of the 6-3 variety.  In the second it was 4-6-3, in the fourth, 5-4-3, and in the fifth, 3-6-1.  The Pirates were so efficient at eliminating baserunners that the Phillies stranded only one in the first six innings.

The Pirates weren’t a lot more successful on offense against Claude Willoughby.  They got a run in the first after loading the bases with nobody out.  Clyde Barnhart brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and Pie Traynor got hit with a pitch to load the bases back up.  Wright, though, popped out and Max Carey got caught trying to steal home.

The Pirates found a novel way to get caught in a double play of their own.  With Eddie Moore on second and Kiki Cuyler on first, they tried a double steal.  Cuyler was thrown out at second and Moore got caught in a rundown after rounding third.

The score remained 1-0 until the seventh.  The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the top half, but a 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.  Grantham led off the bottom half with a double, moved up on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Yde.  That put the Pirates up, 2-0.

Yde got through the eighth without a double play, but he gave up three straight singles to start the ninth, the last one making the score 2-1.  Manager Bill McKechnie turned to Tom Sheehan with runners at the corners and nobody out.  Sheehan got Lew Fonseca on a popup, then after a walk, Clarence Huber popped up behind third base.  Wright went back to make the catch and the runner on third, George Durning, tagged up and tried to score.  Wright’s throw to Johnny Gooch was in time to catch Durning for double play number six, ending the game.

Yde’s record improved to 17-9.  Moore drew four walks in the game and Carey stole his 41st base, giving him the team and NL lead.