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Random Game Callback, May 15, 1913
2006-05-15 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

It a wild game by Deadball Era standards, the Cardinals and Dodgers (or Superbas if you like) combined to score 14 runs, get 30 hits (including three home runs), pick up five walks, have two batters reach on hit by pitches, and one error. And by the time everybody went home, Brooklyn went home with an 8-6 win at Ebbets Field, then its first year of existence.

Dodgers manager Bill Dahlen started Pat Ragan. Cardinals player-manager Miller Huggins opted to start Bill Steele, although he didn't exactly have the greatest selection to choose from. Huggins batted leadoff and played second base for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals scored twice in the first inning off of Ragan on a two run inside-the-park from Ed Konetchy to take the lead, but the Dodgers came back to score three times in the second and chase Steele from the game in favor of Pol Perritt, a 20-year old. Perritt lasted six innings and he was touched up for two home runs, one by Zack Wheat and another by Jake Daubert.

Ragan was not overpowering and gave up 13 runs in six innings of work. When the Cardinals rallied to 6-5 in the seventh, Dahlen opted to bring in Nap Rucker to work out of the jam. The Dodgers scored a run in the seventh to make it 7-5 and the teams exchanged runs in the eighth to make the final score 8-6.

Huggins had four hits for the Cardinals and Red Smith had four for Brooklyn along with a walk. Herbie Moran along with Wheat and Daubert had three hits apiece for Brooklyn.

The New York Times writer at the game seemed to be someone who realized that won-loss records for pitchers were deceptive.

Pat Ragan, who is sharing the pitching honors for the Brooklyn team, scored his sixth straight victory at Ebbets Field yesterday when the Superbas defeated the Cardinals by the score of 8 to 6. While Ragan will be credited with the game it cannot be said that he earned it; on the contrary, there is no apparent reason why he should not have gone to defeat in view of the reckless manner in which the St. Louis batsmen hit him all over the lot. But luck, which plays an important part in all baseball games, favored him, while his mates accorded him magnificent support, both at bat and on the field.

In modern day terms, Ragan was "pitching to the score."

The win this day ran Brooklyn's record to 17-9 and they were percentage points behind Philadelphia for first place. The Cardinals were in fourth place, 3 1/2 game out. When the season ended though, Brooklyn finished in sixth at 65-84 and 34 1/2 games out. St. Louis finished in eighth at 51-99, 49 games behind the champion Giants.

Brooklyn's season fell apart in July when the team went 8-20, which included a 5-16 record at Ebbets Field. Daubert would lead the NL in batting average at .350 and win the MVP award. Casey Stengel was given a fulltime spot in center field for the first time and batted .272. Future Hall of Famer Wheat had an average season by his standards, batting .301.

Ragan's luck would run out as the Dodgers offense faltered. He finished the season with a 15-18 record and a 3.77 ERA. The NL ERA in 1913 was 3.19. Teammate Frank Allen had an ERA of 2.83 but finished 4-18.

The Cardinals didn't have much at all on offense. Huggins was good at getting on base, sporting a .432 OBP as he drew 92 walks against just 27 strikeouts. Konetchy batted .276 and hit 17 triples and 8 home runs. The pitching staff was terrible and had an ERA of 4.23. There were two 20-game losers on the team: Dan Griner (10-22) and Bob Harmon (8-21). Sallee managed to go 19-15 and he would eventually pitch in two World Series, one for the Giants in 1917 and another for the Reds in 1919.

Brooklyn's first year at Ebbets Field was not a success. The team went 29-47 at home. Dahlen was replaced as manager at the end of the year by Wilbert Robinson, who had been fired by Giants manager John McGraw as his coach. Robinson would eventually lead the Dodgers to pennants in 1916 and 1920.

Sources: New York Times, Retrosheet,

2006-05-14 16:56:36
1.   grandcosmo
Harld Reynolds would have said that Ragan won because its easier to hit as a team when your own pitcher is poor.

John Kruk would have said that Ragan's win was a fluke because it is easier to hit when you have a good starting pitcher going for you.

Steve Phillips would have said that they are both wrong and that Ragan has an aura about him that caused the Brooklyns to hit well with him on the mound.

All three are idiots.

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