1925 Pirate Replay, October 7: Pirates Run Over by the Big Train in Series Opener

The Pirates got a good start from their ace, Specs Meadows, but they couldn’t handle Washington’s.  Walter Johnson held the Bucs to five hits and Washington won the opener of the World Series, 4-1, at Forbes Field.

Meadows came into the Series with some concerns about his sore shoulder, but he gave the Pirates eight innings while allowing only six hits.  He also didn’t walk anybody.

Senators’ manager and second baseman Bucky Harris started veteran Joe Harris in right field, moving Sam Rice to center to replace the usual center fielder Earl McNeely.  The move quickly paid dividends.  After Meadows retired the first four batters he faced, Joe Harris homered to right-center, giving Washington the game’s first run.

Washington extended its lead to 3-0 in the fifth.  The first three batters singled to load the bases.  Meadows almost escaped, as he struck out catcher Muddy Ruel and Johnson, but Rice grounded a single up the middle to plate two runs.

Johnson had little trouble with the Pirates through the first four innings.  Their only hits were singles by Pie Traynor and Kiki Cuyler, and Cuyler got picked off.

After the Senators took their 3-0 lead, Traynor led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run.  That was the Pirates’ last hit, though, until Earl Smith singled in the eighth.  Pinch runner Carson Bigbee stole second, but was stranded there.

After Bill McKechnie sent up a pinch hitter for Meadows in the eighth, he sent Johnny Morrison for the top of the ninth.  Washington picked up a run on a two-out, RBI single by third baseman Ossie Bluege.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates got two runners on base for the only time in the game.  Johnson hit Max Carey for the second time on the day, and Clyde Barnhart hit a one-out single.  Johnson got Traynor on a fly ball and Glenn Wright on a popup, ending the game.

For the game, Johnson struck out ten Pirates.  The feat was especially impressive because the Pirates struck out the least often of any team in baseball besides Cincinnati, averaging fewer than two and a half strikeouts per game.

Game two is tomorrow, with the Bucs’ Vic Aldridge facing the Senators’ other 20-game winner, Stan Coveleskie.