Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today in 1914 - Game Two!

Like out streaking 2014 National League Brewers, the Brewers of 1914 were off to a red-hot start. They followed up their Opening Day 4-0 win over the St. Paul with another shutout victory, this time a 3-0 blanking of the Saints.

Pitcher Joe Hovlik took the mound for Milwaukee, while former Washington Senators hurler Dixie Walker got the got the start for the visitors. Walker would later have a son who inherited the nickname and who, as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, asked in 1947 to be traded rather than play with Jackie Robinson.

This game was closer than the final score suggests; as you can tell from the box score, one half-inning made all the difference for the Brews. The Saints hit Hovlik's pitches hard right from the first, they couldn't manage to convert a singe hit until the top of the fourth, as center fielder Charlie Hemphill beat out an infield hit. St. Paul's elation was short-lived, as on the next pitch Milwaukee catcher John Hughes caught Hemphill trying to steal second with a bullet throw to shortstop William Joseph "Jap" Barbeau. Another four scoreless frames followed.

It wasn't until the bottom of the eighth that either team managed to get on the board. With one out, right fielder Johnny Beall lined a clean infield single, moving to second on an error. Center fielder Happy Felch brought him home with a double. Felch himself scored on a triple from second baseman Phil Lewis, who came home on Hughes' sacrifice fly. That was enough for the Brewers to cruise to victory.

The short streak would end the following afternoon, as the Saints managed a measure of revenge by beating the Brewers 4-1; but as any Milwaukee fan can tell you, a winning streak is a lot of fun while it lasts.

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