1954 Cleveland Indians (April 27-May 2): Winning streak

1954 team photo

After two weeks, the Indians were just a half game out of last place, but the season was still young as they also stood just 2.5 games out of first.

After a visit to Baltimore and Detroit last week, the schedule makers did the Indians no favors, as the road trip continued with a return trip to the eastern seaboard to visit Boston, New York and Washington, all in the same week.

April 27-29, 1954

April 27: Indians, Red Sox; rained out

April 28: Indians, Red Sox; rained out

April 29: Indians 6, Red Sox 3

Mother nature didn't do the team any favors either, raining out the first two games at Fenway, increasing the work load later in the season. They were able to get the series finale in on Thursday and the Indians took advantage of gifts from Willard Nixon in the first inning, scoring three on four walks and two singles. After tacking on two more in the second, Mike Garcia was in cruise mode, with a five run cushion. A Dave Philley homer made it 6-0 before Boston tallied three runs later on. Garcia retired the side in order in the final three innings for a 6-3 win.

April 30-May 1, 1954

April 30: Indians 9, Yankees 4 (10 innings)

May 1: Indians 10, Yankees 2

The Indians must have been chomping at the bit for a shot at their nemesis, the Yankees. Bob Lemon got first crack at them, taking the hill at Yankee Stadium against Tom Morgan. The Tribe drew first blood, scoring three in the second with two of them on Larry Doby's third homer of the year, and then one more in the third to go up 4-0. But the Yankees evened the score with one in the third and three unearned runs in the sixth on Al Smith and Dale Mitchell errors. Lemon dueled Whitey Ford in relief for the rest of the game. Ford gave up five in top of the tenth, with Doby and George Strickland each knocking in two. Lemon finished with a ten-inning complete game.

The Saturday game was a bit less stressful. The Indians scored five in the third off Bill Miller and Tom Gorman and four more off Gorman in the fifth. The Tribe did most of the damage without any extra-base hits, as there was only one double and one triple amongst the twelve hits. Early Wynn tossed the Indians' third straight complete game, with the only runs scored on a Yogi Berra single in the first and a solo homer by Bob Cerv in the ninth.

May 2, 1954

May 2 (game 1): Indians 6, Senators 4

May 2 (game 2): Indians 6, Senators 3 (10 innings)

The final stop in this whirlwind week was a doubleheader in the nation's capital. Bob Feller made his season debut in the opener and was staked to a 5-1 lead in the fifth, but he gave three back in the bottom of the fifth, being chased with Ray Narleski taking over. Dave Philley added an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, the Tribe's third sacrifice fly of the day. Narleski pitched well until the eighth, when Hal Newhouser stifled a second and third two out situation. He retired all four batters to get the save and Narleski the win.

In the nightcap, Art Houtteman dueled Johnny Schmitz for nine innings. All three of the Senators' runs were unearned and so was the Indians' first. Hal Naragon singled in one in the sixth and Doby tied the game in the ninth with a single as well. Schmitz finally tired in the tenth, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a free pass. Wally Westlake cleared the bases with a triple to enable the Tribe to sweep the doubleheader and end the week without a loss a Houtteman got a ten inning complete game.

Transactions/Moves

Manager Al Lopez made the following defensive changes heading into this week:

Al Rosen moved from 3B to 1B; Rudy Regalado was initially given the spot at 3B, but Al Smith ended up at 3B after just two games. 1B Bill Glynn, who'd started hot, was moved to the bench. With IF Hank Majeski being activated, C Joe Ginsberg was sent down and RP Bob Chakales was sent down to make room for Bob Feller.

Summary

The Tribe had a perfect week, amazing considering they played five games in four days in three cities. The starters pitched four complete games and the hitting star was Strickland, who had key hits all week. They also jumped up into third place in the AL standings, just a game back of the White Sox.

Up next, the three-week road trip ends with visits to Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Chicago White Sox

11

6

647

-

75

45

718

Detroit Tigers

9

5

643

0.5

57

48

578

Cleveland Indians

9

6

600

1.0

73

64

560

Philadelphia Athletics

8

6

571

1.5

41

47

438

New York Yankees

7

9

438

3.5

56

59

476

Washington Senators

6

9

400

4.0

56

60

468

Baltimore Orioles

5

9

357

4.5

30

48

297

Boston Red Sox

4

9

308

5.0

37

54

334

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker