The first place New York Yankees saw first baseman Lou Gehrig drive in seven runs as the defending AL champion Washington Senators were pounded 8-3 at Yankee Stadium.
The visiting Senators were managed by shortstop Joe Cronin, who had Lefty Stewart starting. (Yes, he was lefthanded as ironic nicknames have never caught on.) Joe McCarthy picked Johnny Broaca to start. Broaca pitched at Yale and had just come up to the majors on June 2.
Washington scored in the first on a double by right fielder John Stone and a single by Heinie Manush. But the Senators would soon get buried.
Shortstop Frank Crosetti singled and third baseman Jack Saltzgaver followed with another. Right fielder Babe Ruth walked to load the bases. Up came Gehrig and he hit his 22nd homer of the year and the Yankees led 4-1. Gehrig added another homer, a 2-run shot in the fifth to make it 6-1.
Washington had two scoring opportunities snuffed out by some good fielding by the 39-year old Ruth. In the fifth, Manush came up with two outs and second baseman Buddy Myer on base. Manush lined a drive into the rightfield corner that Ruth was able to flag down to end the threat. In the seventh, after a Myer homer, the Senators had another runner with two outs and Cronin up. The shortstop drilled a ball to deep right that Ruth made a running catch on to end the inning.
The Yankees scored a pair of runs in the seventh, with Ruth and Gehrig driving in the runs. Broaca pitched all nine innings and got the win despite giving up 12 hits and striking out just one.
Washington had won 99 games in 1933, but dropped all the way to seventh place at 66-86 in 1934. The pitching staff was mostly at fault. The team ERA was 3.82 in 1933 and it went up to 4.68 in 1934 despite playing in one of the league's best pitcher's parks in Griffith Stadium. The franchise would never finish higher than fourth after the 1933 pennant except for two seasons during World War II.
The Yankees had won 91 games in 1933 in finishing in second place and would win 94 in 1934, but that would still only get them second place, seven games behind Detroit.
Gehrig would win the Triple Crown with a .363 batting average, 49 home runs, and 165 RBI (only the fourth highest total in his career.) Gehrig also had an OBP of .465 and slugged .706. However, Detroit player/manager Mickey Cochrane won the MVP award. Gehrig finished in FIFTH. Teammate Lefty Gomez actually finished ahead of Gehrig (3rd) as he won the Triple Crown of pitching with a 26-5 record, 2.33 ERA, and 158 strikeouts.
1934 would be the last season in New York for Ruth. The Bambino played in 125 games and hit 22 home runs, his lowest total for the Yankees, and batted .288, also his lowest in New York. In the offseason, the Yankees and Ruth parted ways and Ruth played out his final season as a member of the Boston Braves. Ruth batted .181 and hit six home runs for Boston.
Sources: Retrosheet, baseball-reference.com, Washington Post