One of the worst pitching staffs in the history of the major league had another long day as the Boston Rustlers dropped a 10-2 game to the Pittsburgh Pirates before 1254 people who happened to wander past Forbes Field.
The Pirates got right to work on Mattern in the first. With one out, center fielder Tommy Leach beat out a grounder to short. Leach was picked off first, but went to second and then on to third when Tenney threw away the throw to second. Shortstop Honus Wagner reached when Boston shortstop Harry Spratt made a wild throw and Leach scored.
Boston tied the game in the third. Catcher Johnny Kling doubled and went to third on a sacrifice by Mattern. Ferry threw a wild pitch to score Kling. The game went downhill after that for Boston.
In the bottom of the third, Ferry led off with a single. Third baseman Bobby Byrne tripled to score Ferry. Leach drew a walk. Left fielder Max Carey hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Byrne. After Wagner struck out, Leach stole second and went to third on an error by Kling. Second baseman Dots Miller singled to score Leach. First baseman Bill McKechnie tripled to score Miller and right fielder Owen Wilson doubled in McKechnie. Pittsburgh led 6-1. (Wilson hit 34 doubles and 12 triples in 1911, but in 1912 he would set a major league record with 36 triples while hitting just 19 doubles. Apparently, he ran faster in 1912.)
In the fifth, Carey led off with an inside the park home run to make it 7-1 Pirates. Carey tripled in two more runs in the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Miller in the sixth to make it 10-1 Pirates.
Boston got its final run when center fielder Doc Miller hit a sacrifice fly to score Tenney.
The name Rustlers would last for just one season. The team picked up the name after owner William Russell, but in 1912, New York City politician James Gaffney bought the team and changed the nickname to Braves, as a homage to his Tammany Hall connections. Members of the famed New York City political machine used faux Native American terminology to identify themselves.
Boston pitchers gave up a franchise record 1,021 runs. This was 276 more runs than the next worst team in the NL, St. Louis, which gave up 745. The worst team in the AL, also the St. Louis team, gave up 812. Boston gave up an average of 6.54 runs per game although the staff ERA was just 5.08. Not surprisingly, Boston finished a distant eighth place with a 44-107 record, 54 games behind first place New York.
One of the pitchers for Boston that year was 44-year old Cy Young, who was picked up in July off of waivers from Cleveland. Young had a 3.71 ERA in his final games in the majors. The only other pitcher on the team with an ERA under 4.00 was Ed Donnelly who had a 2.45 ERA in 36 2/3 innings. Mattern, the starter on August 1, would go 4-15 with a 4.97 ERA. Only one pitcher, Lefty Tyler, would still be on the staff when Boston won the NL pennant three years later in 1914.
The offense wasn't all that bad, finishing fourth in the league in scoring with 699 runs. The luckiest Rustler was shortstop Buck Herzog who was traded to New York in July for catcher Hank Gowdy and shortstop Al Bridwell. Herzog would play in four World Series for the Giants.
The Pirates finished in third place at 85-69, 14 1/2 games behind the Giants. Wagner led the NL in batting average at .334. The Pirates had won 110 games and the World Series in 1909, but they would not win another NL pennant until 1925.
Sources: Retrosheet, Baseball-Reference.com, Boston Daily Globe