1954 Indians flashback: Nine-game week ends with sweep by White Sox

1954 Player of the Week: Bill Glynn

It's a good thing our beloved Tribe went 6-0 the previous week, because this week’s schedule was brutal: Nine games, including two doubleheaders, without a day off.

The Tribe finished the previous week unbeaten by taking two in Baltimore and then finally getting some breathing room on the White Sox by sweeping four games at Cleveland Stadium. This week's hectic schedule included a doubleheader in Detroit on Monday, three games at home versus the Orioles and then a rematch with the White Sox in Comiskey, including a doubleheader on Sunday.

July 5 (@ Tigers)

July 5 (game 1): Indians 13, Tigers 6

July 5 (game 2): Indians 0, Tigers 1, 11 innings

The Indians cruised to victory in the first game as the Tiger pitchers were flat out awful. They gave up 14 hits and issued 13 free passes. The only Tribe extra-base hits were by Bill Glynn, who smacked three homers, including a grand slam in the third inning to put the Tribe up 8-0. Glynn finished the day driving in eight of the Tribe's 13 runs (he had just 3 RBI all season before then).  Dave Hoskins made the emergency start but didn't get out of the fourth though, so Hal Newhouser earned the win in relief.

In the nightcap, the Indians probably wished they saved a few of those runs. Don Mossi made his second start of the year and pitched a beauty. But George Zuverink of the Tigers was just as masterful. Through ten innings, both the Indians and Tigers had only three hits. Zuverink had a perfect eleventh, but Harvey Kuenn homered in the bottom half for the walk-off win to stop the Indian's eight game winning streak.

July 6-8 (vs. Orioles)

July 6: Orioles 3, Indians 11

July 7: Orioles 1, Indians 6

July 8: Orioles 1, Indians 4

The opener of the series was a laugher as the Indian bats tattooed Oriole starter Joe Coleman and reliever Mike Blyzka for all eleven runs in the first inning. Glynn continued his assault by leading off the game with another homer, his fourth in five plate appearances and the other big blow was a bases loaded triple by Wally Westlake. The Tribe finished with 10 hits that inning and fourteen for the game. Early Wynn was the beneficiary of the huge outburst.

The next day, the Indians benefited from another big inning, this time scoring six in the second off Bob Turley. Four walks, a Jim Hegan single and Bobby Avila two run double ended Turley's day early. That was all Mike Garcia needed as he cruised to his eleventh win. Ray Narleski pitched the ninth and was somehow credited with a one inning save with a five run lead.

The offense was a tad more judicious in the finale, scoring one in the third, one in the fifth and two in the sixth before Bob Feller surrendered the lone Oriole run in the seventh. Hegan had a solo shot, Feller an RBI single and Westlake a two run bomb. Feller pitched a seven hitter with six strikeouts as the Tribe finished the sweep by a 21-5 count.

July 9-11, 1954 (@ White Sox)

July 9: Indians 3, White Sox 8

July 10: Indians 0, White Sox 3

July 11 (game 1): Indians 0, White Sox 3

July 11 (game 2): Indians 2, White Sox 8

Seething from the previous weekend, the White Sox were ready to avenge that sweep. In the opener, Art Houtteman had a 3-2 lead headed to the seventh, with Jim Rivera tagging him for two solo shots. But some small ball got to him in the seventh. After a single and bunt, Hal Newhouser promptly walked the bases loaded. Bob Hooper allowed a two run single and Mossi did the same, giving the White Sox a 6-3 edge on the way to a victory.

In the Saturday matchup, Jack Harshman dodged trouble all day, with six hits and seven walks in 6.2 innings. But the Indian offense left all the baserunners on base save two who were erased on double plays. Wynn pitched well, but took his seventh loss.

In the Sunday opener, Narleski took the spot start and pitched similar to what Wynn did the day before. But the Tribe offense was blanked for the second straight game, this time by Billy Pierce who won his third start in four tries. Minnie Minoso's two run homer in the first was enough. Only Al Rosen and George Strickland managed singles off Pierce, but he did walk five guys.

The end of the week proved fruitless as the Tribe offense was shut down yet again in the nightcap. Virgil Trucks ran over the bats and had a chance for the third straight shutout giving up only two hits through eight innings. But three singles finally broke a 29 inning scoreless streak. Bob Lemon was not sharp as he returned from the DL, giving up three in the third and fifth innings. And that successful week prior was now all used up.

Player of the Week

Another easy call for this honor as little known Bill Glynn had a career week. He hit 281/351/656, with 4 homers and 13 RBI in 37 plate appearances. In his career he had just 10 homers and 56 RBI.

Transactions/Moves

Manager Al Lopez rode the hot hand as Glynn took over at first for Vic Wertz this week. Al Smith also moved back into LF, putting Westlake on the bench. With Lemon being activated, it appears Rudy Regalado was shelved temporarily,

Summary

The lost weekend in Chicago gave the Tribe a 4-5 record for the week as they headed into the All-Star Game. The White Sox had gotten back to within three games, and the Yankees were just a half game out of 1st.

Normally after a blitz of nine games in seven days, most of the team would get a good rest during the All-Star break, but Cleveland was hosting the game and the Tribe had five players named to the team.

Post break, the Indians continue another long trip, going to Philadelphia and Washington that weekend.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

56

27

675

-

394

294

631

New York Yankees

56

28

667

0.5

444

317

649

Chicago White Sox

54

31

635

3.0

416

290

659

Detroit Tigers

35

44

443

19.0

296

328

453

Washington Senators

32

47

405

22.0

335

365

461

Boston Red Sox

31

48

392

23.0

345

403

429

Philadelphia Athletics

30

49

380

24.0

301

443

330

Baltimore Orioles

31

51

378

24.5

264

355

368

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