Cubs pitcher Ed Reulbach threw a 3-hit shutout against the New York Giants as Chicago won 4-0 before a Monday afternoon crowd of 6000 people at Chicago's West Side Grounds.
The fourth place Cubs were under the guidance of player-manager Frank Chance, who had taken over for Frank Selee in July after Selee stepped down because of poor health. The Giants were in first place under manager John McGraw, who had turned around the Giants after taking over the manager's job midway through 1902. The Giants finished in second in 1903 and won the pennant in 1904 with 106 wins. McGraw started Joe McGinnity, aka "The Iron Man."
Center fielder Jimmy Slagle led off the bottom of the first for the Cubs with an infield hit. Right fielder Billy Maloney tried to sacrifice, but McGinnity threw to second in time for the force. Chance, who was the starting first baseman, walked to put two on with one out. Left fielder Jack McCarthy lined a McGinnity pitch down the right field line to score Maloney and Chance went to third and McCarthy had an RBI double. Shortstop Joe Tinker followed with a sacrifice fly to score Chance. Cubs 2, Giants 0 after 1.
In the fourth, Tinker hit a deep drive to center that Mike Donlin of the Giants couldn't flag down. Donlin relayed the ball to shorstop Bill Dahlen who rifled it home in attempt to get Tinker, but his throw was just a fraction of a second too late and Tinker had a home run. Chicago got its other run when second baseman Solly Hoffman doubled and came around to score on a pair of outs in the fourth.
McGinnity did not live up to his nickname in this game as McGraw pinch hit for him in the fifth with Sammy Strang. Hooks Wiltse finished up for the Giants. McGinnity did finish 26 of his 38 starts in 1905 and pitched 338 2/3 innings.
Reulbach baffled the Giants all game, allowing just three hits, one a double by Giants catcher Frank Bowerman. Reulbach also got help from his defense when Tinker started an unusual 6-4-6 double play to get out of a jam caused in part because of an earlier error by Tinker. Just how a 6-4-6 DP was turned is something I'm not sure of. I'm guessing it was a knocked down line drive.
The Giants would still win the NL pennant in 1905 by 9 games over the Pirates. The Giants went 105-48. The Cubs were third at 92-61, 13 games out. The Giants would win the World Series over the Philadelphia A's in five games, with all four wins by the Giants being shutouts. Christy Mathewson had three of them and McGinnity had the other.
Other notable players on the Giants in 1905 were catcher Roger Bresnahan, who would later make it to the Hall of Fame. Also appearing in one game on June 29 was Moonlight Graham, a young medical student from North Carolina who would later move to Minnesota.
The Cubs were missing a few pieces from turning into a contender in 1905. Second baseman Johnny Evers was injured and got in to just 99 games. The Cubs would also acquire outfielder Jimmy Sheckard from Brooklyn in the offseason and he would help the offense. Reulback won 18 games in 1905 with a 1.42 ERA. But Mathewson led the league at 1.28 in addition to having 31 wins and striking out 206.
From 1901-1913, the NL pennant was won by either the Giants, Cubs, or Pirates and in most years, one team won handily except in 1908 when the Cubs edged out the Giants and Pirates by one game in the best pennant race of the 20th Century.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, Retrosheet, Baseball-reference.com